The Tour de France yellow jersey battle is set to be determined by a 22km time trail around the city of Marseilles.
Everyone expects the coronation of Sky’s Chris Froome, who defends a narrow lead over Romain Bardet and Rigoberto Uran. Uran is the better time trialist of that duo, but Froome is better still, and last on the road he will know throughout exactly what he needs to do.
The bookies have him chalked up as a short price to win the stage – which may not be entirely generous. The opening time trial – admittedly in the wet in Dusseldorf was 14km and Froome was just 6th behind teammate Geraint Thomas.
Whilst Thomas is not in opposition, multiple world time trial champion Tony Martin is, and he was ahead of Froome in Dusseldorf.
Add in recent stage winner and time trial wizard Primoz Roglic and there are enough specialists in this discipline to make Froome no value. Whilst the yellow jersey would love to win a stage, ultimately his pacing will be against his GC rivals and is unlikely to risk that win by trying to pace against the stage lead.
Team Sky however may still have a stage win to celebrate. Former world champion time trialist, and second to Martin last year, Vasili Kiryienka was 3rd in Dusseldorf.
He has been spent at the front of the peleton in the hills working for Froome, but he had a quiet day in the latest stage, and he will get the chance to post a time as he ranks 114th overall. He is a serious contender and has sneaked in over-priced as the spotlight is on the battle for yellow.
Recommendation: To win Stage 20, Vasili Kiryienka, 0.5pts each way, 33/1 Paddy power, Betfair
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