The first Individual time trial of the Tour comes the day after riders were faced with the daunting but shortened finish up the Hors Categorie Mont Ventoux. There will be no rest for weary legs as the 37.5 km TT features an immediate 7 km climb up the Côte de Bourg-Saint-Andéol which tops out at 409 meters. The pure time trialists will make the most of the next 13.5 km as the road flattens out through the second time check at Les Arredons, before starting a steep descent down the Col du Serre de Tourre. At 25 km the road flattens back out hitting the 3rd time check at Le Pont-d'Arc. With 4 km to go, the gradient kicks back up to 6-7% before leveling off a bit to 3.5% for the last km.
|Stage Type||Individual Time Trial|
|Stage Distance||37.26 km|
|Avg. Peloton Speed||41.88 km/h|
|Avg. Pulling Power||388.37 watts|
|Avg. Pulling Yaw||10.33 °|
One aspect of the TT that doesn't occur during a normal stage is that the weather can change drastically between the first and last rider. Early riders experiencing a certain wind speed and angle could be at an advantage or disadvantage to later riders who could experience quite different conditions. Because of this the overall contenders will start close to each other, but the weather and conditions could play into the stage win. Forecasted conditions appear to be steady from the beginning of the race through when the GC riders are set to start, so hopefully changing weather will not play too large a role in the stage victory. Unfortunately, all of the riders will be battling strong cross winds in the first 20 km of the race. After the descent riders turn northwest and will face more of a head wind into Vallon-Port-d'Arc. The flat cross wind sections from 7-13 km will favor the big power riders while the flatter headwind sections from 25-30 km will favor riders with great aero positioning and low CdA.
The trend in the Grand Tours lately seems to be fairly complicated time trials where teams and riders have to decide whether to exchange bikes along the course. We have examined this to see what type of time gain you could expect to gain on a road bike in the initial 7 km versus a TT bike. The real disadvantage is weight but some riders who do not train on the TT rig often will feel a bit less comfortable and could produce a bit less power. Once riders crest the top of the initial climb the road bike will be a huge disadvantage, especially in the expected cross winds. The nature of the course lends itself to a real test for pure TT riders and GC contenders, as it has a little bit for everyone. On paper it sets up really nice for someone like Froome, Tom Dumoulin, Tony Martin, or even Porte who has Triathlon and TT background. The potential big cross wind on the flatter sections will favor the bigger power TT riders like Cancellara, but the hills might prove a bit too much for the win today. That same wind could cause some serious damage to Quintana who cannot afford to lose too much time to Froome, who has a nice mix of high power/weight ratio as well as high raw power values. Froome has proven with his stage 8 performance he has no qualms about attacking the descents where other GC riders have been a bit more hesitant.
Analysis was performed by modeling the peloton as a single rider using front of the pack drag characteristics and pulling power targets. Take a look at the entire race plan that was used for this analysis, which includes additional features, metrics and downloadable files.
Stage 13 Race Plan: https://www.bestbikesplit.com/client/44377