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Gallery: Wout van Aert triumphs in thrilling Stage 20 time-trial at 2022 Tour de France

23 Jul 2022

So much for time-trials being boring.

Then again the 2022 Tour de France has delivered non-stop thrills for more than three weeks now, so why should a race against the clock on Stage 20 be any different?

The stage win was only settled in the final moments of the day as it became clear the yellow jersey of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) wasn’t going to match the time of teammate and green jersey wearer Wout van Aert, sealing the Belgian’s third stage win of an incredible Tour, with every chance of making it four tomorrow on the Champs-Élysées.

But that doesn’t tell the full tale of just how close it was, with Van Aert, Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) all within seconds of each other at the time checks out on the course.

Van Aert posted his time at the finish while the top 3 contenders overall were still early in the own efforts on what was a lumpy and challenging 40.7km course from Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour.

That gave him the best seat in the house as he watched his rivals out on the course from the finish, powerless but to wait and hope his time would be fast enough.

It was. Pogačar’s hopes faded first after a strong time at the first checkpoint, then it was Thomas’s turn to drop out of contention and ultimately even the mighty Vingegaard proved unable to match his mercurial teammate despite being fastest at every point out on the course.

Van Aert’s final time of 47:59sec was all of 18 seconds faster than Vingegaard in the end, although the Danish race leader did sit up in the final couple of hundred metres, while Pogačar and Thomas ended third and fourth, 27 and 32 seconds behind respectively. 

It’s time to look back over the day’s action through the photographic lens, courtesy of Godingimages.

Peter Sagan of TotalEnergies, one day away from a ninth Tour de France finish.

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Marco Haller approaches the picturesque finish at Rocamadour, but only to a 93rd place finish.

Christophe Laporte: Winner yesterday, more than 6 minutes off the pace today.

Simon Geschke still wearing polka dots feels like a punishment now that Jonas Vingegaard has officially won the competition.

European TT champ Stefan Küng (Groupama-FdJ) experienced some dark moments...

...While Owain Doull (EF Education-EasyPost) was impossible to miss.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies), with his mind on the Champs-Élysées perhaps?

Ineos Grenadiers’ time-trialling express train Filippo Ganna could do no better than fifth.

Mattia Cattaneo (QuickStep Alpha Vinyl) produced a strong ride to finish seventh.

Newly reinvented time-trial aficionado Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) followed his Dutch national TT title win last month with sixth place here.

The Tour’s MVP strikes again.

Thibaut Pinot looks set to finish the 2022 Tour in 15th place. Will he be happy with that? You suspect not.

Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) finishing 13th, on the other hand? Chapeau.

Adam Yates’s Tour promised so much before fizzling out in the third week. But given that we were wondering if he’d even start the race after Covid took him out of the Tour de Suisse, 10th overall is a decent result.

Romain Bardet (Team DSM) took 25th on the stage, a decent result considering his limited TT abilities, but still dropped a place overall to seventh...

...That was because Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) jumped to fifth despite only finishing a handful of places higher.

Nairo Quintana does not enjoy individual time-trials.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) clearly does, however. Fourth on the day and third overall, G has every reason to smile.

There was to be no repeat of Tadej Pogačar’s TT heroics on La Planches des Belles Filles two years ago. Not against Jumbo-Visma’s Class of 22.

Blowing a kiss or stifling a yawn? Jonas Vingegaard has made this Tour look so easy at times, it’s hard to tell.

A pat on the back from the stage winner. Just one day to go, Jonas...

Warming down or plotting his revenge? You decide.

To the victor go the spoils. Bravo indeed.

‘Who are all these people screaming at my dad?’

‘Sagan won seven of these, you say?’

Wait, that’s not Simon Geschke...

White will have to do for Tadej this year, but is also a reminder that he’ll be fighting for more Tour wins for many years to come.

For all our coverage, head to our Tour de France hub