Tour de France 2021 LIVE stage 20: Wout van Aert wins time trial, Pogačar seals yellow jersey

Live updates as the overall winner of the Tour de France 2021 is decided here

Hello and welcome to live updates from the final time trial of the  Tour de France 2021, stage 20. 

Estimated finish: 5.55pm French time (4.55pm BST) 

Stage 10 start times

Current podium: 

1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, 35-53
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 21 seconds
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 32s

Follow live updates below


Hello cycling fans! 

Cycling Weekly news editor Alex Ballinger here, bringing you the morning updates ahead of stage 20 of the Tour de France 2021, the final time trial that will decide the winner of this year's race (before the processional sprint stage tomorrow).

Let's take a look at the profile: 

Here is the profile for today's TT.

So it looks like a mostly flat course, with some lumps in the middle section and then a final ramp up to the line.

There are no classified climbs on this stage, BUT as we learned from the stage five TT, the profiles can be deceiving, so expect this to be much hillier than it looks on paper. 

At 30.8km its also a very similar length to the stage five TT, which was absolutely dominated by Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who won the stage by 20 seconds over Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), and put himself in position to take over the yellow jersey in the process. 

Tour de France stage 20 profile

(Image credit: ASO)

Today's stage starts at 1.05pm French time (that's 12.05 British time).

The estimate finish for today's stage is around 5.55pm French time (4.55pm British time) . 

Here's how the overall standings look heading into the final general classification stage of the race: 

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 79-40-09
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 5-45
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 5-51
4. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r Citroën Team, at 8-18
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 8-50
6. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 10-11
7. Alexey Lusenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 11-22
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 12-46
9. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 13-48
10. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 16-25

Almost six minutes for Tadej Pogačar is going to be almost impossible to overturn in 30km, unless something goes catastrophically for the Slovenian, but the race isn't over until Paris.  

The first bit of news this morning is that Mark Cavendish has responded after a video emerged of him shouting at a team mechanic before the start of stage 19.

Cavendish was having problems with his bike before the start in Mourenx, making his frustration clear in front of fans. 

He has now shared an Instagram post explaining the reasons for his outburst.

Read the full story here: Mark Cavendish responds after video emerges of him shouting at mechanic at Tour de France 

Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France 2021

(Image credit: Getty )

Here's a reminder of the results from the stage five time trial, when Tadej Pogačar won his first stage of the race and became the yellow jersey in waiting behind Mathieu van der Poel. 


Tour de France 2021, stage five: Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne (27.2km ITT)

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 32-00
2. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 19s
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 27
4. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-VIsma, at 30s
5. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, at 31s
6. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 37s
7. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 44s
8. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 55s
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, at same time
10. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 1-00 

That course was similar in length and terrain to today's stage. Will we see a repeat on the stage winner, or will Küng, Van Aert or Asgreen be able to topple Pogačar against the clock. 

Here are all the start times for the riders today. All times are local to France so subtract an hour if you're in the UK, everyone else you'll have to figure it out yourselves.

Tour de France: Stage 20 time trial start times

Geraint Thomas has been reminiscing this morning, first sharing pictures of his last Tour de France stage 20 time trial (in 2018 as he confirmed his yellow jersey) and now swinging by the Bordeaux Velodrome for the first time in 15 years.

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The least expected TT rivalry between Stefan Küng and Pierre Rolland continues

See more

Stage 20 is underway as the first riders set off!

Deceuninck - Quick-Step's Tim Declerq was the first man off the start ramp, soon followed by DSM's Cees Bol.

And now Mark Cavendish sets off, waving to fans in the opening metres. The green jersey looks very content, presumably much happier with his bike set-up this morning compared to yesterday...

And now Chris Froome sets off, who's probably not used to starting this early in a race against the clock. He receives a couple of unkind boos as he rolls off the start ramp considering how he's continued to battle through this race.

Mark Cavendish sets the best time at the first intermediate sprint, which will likely be surpassed very soon. Cav will have to wait until tomorrow to try and seal Tour win number 35.

André Greipel sets off, having announced this morning he will call time on his 17-year career at the end of 2021.

Michael Mørkøv is out on course. Mark Cavendish's lead-out man will have no interest in a result in today's stage. 

It's all about getting through and leading Cavendish to another potential stage win on the Champs Elysées tomorrow. 

Tim Declerq also out on course.

The Deceuninck - Quick-Step support riders are all grouped together on general classification having stuck together in the mountains to help guide Mark Cavendish through inside the time cut. 

Dries Devenyns from Deceuninck - Quick-Step is the fastest rider so far, with a time of 37-59 and an average speed of 48km/h.

We've not yet seen any TT specialists finish the course, so don't expect Devenyns to stay in place for long. 

Chris Froome has just finished his ride, with a time of 41-22. That's slower than the time of Mark Cavendish, was finished in 40-05. 

Froome is provisional 10th place after 10 riders. 

Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) is out on the course. At the first preliminary time check 7.6km into the course he set the fastest time of 9-16, with an average speed of 49km/h. 

He is going to be the first real benchmark time from a TT specialist. 

Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) is out on the course and is absolutely flying. 

He's the new fastest rider after the first time check. 

The Swiss could be a serious contender for the stage win. During the stage five TT he was one of the only riders who had to take on their run in the rain, which slowed him right down on the technical course. 

We have the first real benchmark time from Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-ASSOS), who is the first of the time trialists to finish the course.

He set a time of 36-54, but was only five seconds faster than Dries Devenyns, so don't expect that time to stand..  

Bjerg is looking rapid out on the course still, he's a minute faster than Walsheid at the second timing check, 20.1km into the stage. 

He should be the first real benchmark time of today's stage.

But Bissegger is out on course and we're seeing a dual between the two. 

Absolutely rapid time from Mikkel Berg who now tops the leaderboard. 

36-46 and he's the first rider to break 50km/h.

We now wait to see if Bissegger can topple the Dane. 

The difference in abilities in a time trial never ceases to amaze me.

Every single one of these riders is phenomenally fit, but when it comes to the race against the clock some just have something more. 

Here's a perfect example: 

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Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) is the new leader! 

It was a great dual out on the road between Bissegger and previous leader Mikkel Bjerg, but its the Swiss rider who comes out on top with a time of 36-38. 

That's the benchmark time for now, but there are still some strong TTers on the way. It's going to be a long wait for Bissegger in the hot seat. 

Want to know more about the current leader of stage 20 Stefan Bissegger?

Cycling Weekly sat down (virtually) to catch up with Bissegger during his first Tour de France earlier in the race.

Read the full story here: Stefan Bissegger: Previous generations couldn’t race for themselves - now when you’re good you can get results 

Stefan Bissegger on stage 20 of the Tour de France 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Really strong time from Britain's Fred Wright, the youngest rider in the race at age 22-years-old. 

He's provisional third with a time of 37-49, just over a minute slower than Bissegger.

For anyone who just loves looking at TT bikes (like me), enjoy this from Astana 

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We have some serious contenders out on the course currently.

Brandon McNulty from UAE Team Emirates is a great time trialist and is fourth fastest at the first intermediate check after 7km.

But Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) has just come through the first time check and is currently the fastest rider, with a time of 9-10, which is six seconds faster than Stefan Bissegger. 

We could see a podium shake-up coming soon. 

Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ) has come through the finish with a provisional podium time.

He currently sits third with a 37-39, compared to Bissegger's 36-37. 

No major changes at the moment. We've just seen Michael Matthews finish but he's not challenging for the stage. 

McNulty is still looking strong with the third fastest time at the second time check, 20km into the stage, but he was still 30 seconds slower than Bissegger.

Meanwhile Danish national champion Kasper Asgreen is looking great out on course still, he could be on to take the top spot depending on his run in the second half of the course. 

Now things are getting serious as European TT champion Stefan Küng is preparing for his run,

The Groupama-FDJ rider is one of the two big favourites to win today's stage, after his second place in the stage five TT.

But after Tadej Pogačar defied all the odds to win that TT, Küng will be hoping Pogačar's general classification ride means he's more fatigued and will struggle on the penultimate day of racing. 

This would be by far the biggest win of Küng's career if he can pull it off. 

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McNulty powers across the finish line with a decent ride.

He's provisional third but he's almost a minute down on Bissegger, so no chance of the win and he's very likely to slip off the podium by the end of the day. 

TT expert Dan Bigham, offering his insights on GCN's coverage, says that's around a 20w difference between Bissegger and McNulty. 

Stefan Küng out on the course! 

Can this be the stage-winning run? 

Asgreen approaches the Tour de France and is flying! 

The Dane comes into the final 100m with plenty of time to spare over Bissegger.

He's done it! 

36-14, absolutely rapid time and his average speed was 51km/h.

We have a new leader. 

Absolutely rapid start to the run from Stefan Küng. 

He's 10 seconds up on Asgreen at the first intermediate time check, 7km into the stage.

If he can keep this up for 23 more kilometres he's going to blast into the hot-seat. 

Kasper Asgreen trying to recover after his effort.

He's still in the hot-seat, but Küng is out on the course and still flying. 

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Oooh it's close at the second time check, 20km into the stage. 

 Stefan Küng is fastest by the tiniest margin, just 0.2 of a second quicker than Asgreen.

But the final 10km definitely suits Küng more, as it's slightly downhill and suits a power rider like the Groupama-FDJ man. 

Oh wow it looks like it's all gone wrong for Küng (if the on-screen timing is to be believed).

According to the graphic Küng is 16 seconds down to Asgreen with 1km to go. 

It looks like he may have gone too hard in the first half of the course and is now suffering badly. 

After three weeks of racing, its impossible to know how your body will react to a TT, and it looks like this Tour has taken a lot out of Küng. 

Küng crosses the line 16 seconds slower than Asgreen!

It's a huge disappointment for the European TT champion, who now sits provisional second place. 

Here's how the provisional podium looks after after Küng finished. 

1. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, in 36-15
2. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, 36-31
3. Stefan Bissegger (Sui) EF Education-Nippo, in 36-37 

52 riders left to start, including Nairo Quintana who is preparing for his TT now. 

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) on the start ramp now.

This is a TT worth watching, as Kuss plans to become a GC contender in the coming years but admits his time trial is the only thing holding him back.

He's been trying to improve against the clock but still struggles, especially when compared to his sterling performances in the mountains. 

This year's race went awry for Kuss on the opening stage, where he finished almost dead last in Landerneau, but he fought back to take a stage in Andorra on day 15. 

He has also been supporting Jonas Vingegaard in the mountains, helping the Dane climb to second overall heading into the TT. 

One of cycling's more bizarre stories, is this: 

Here Jonas Vingegaard is being fitted for the custom white skinsuit worn by the leader of the young rider's classification.

The weird thing being, Vingegaard isn't leading the young rider's classification as that's currently held by Tadej Pogačar. Vingegaard is only looking after the jersey because Pogačar is wearing yellow.

This is a controversial detail in time trials, as Vingegaard's custom white skinsuit could well be slower than his team's kit, but he still has to wear it even without leading the classification.

Cycling is bizarre.  

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Küng looks absolutely devastated at the finish. 

This was another chance at Tour de France stage victory and he's fallen short again, after he was beaten by Tadej Pogačar in the stage five TT. 

Just heartbreaking. 

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) out on the course. 

You may remember Alaphilipe's remarkable TT stage win in Pau during the 2019 Tour de France, where he held off Geraint Thomas and kept the yellow jersey for another day.

But he's not expected to do much in this TT, he's had a very different Tour this year, where he's been trying for breakaways late in the race but just hasn't had his previous form. 

Geraint Thomas across the line. 

He's three minutes down on the current leader, so clearly not giving it his full effort.

Thomas is in the British Olympic team, including in the time trial, so we would have expected him to hit out, so it's surprising.

But after the injuries he suffered in the opening week, that may explain why he's been trying to take it easy since then. 

Riche Porte also three minutes down as he crosses the line. Ineos Grenadiers clearly not too worried about striking out for results in this stage. 

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) hits the start ramp.

Van Aert is a serious contender for the stage today.

He came into the Tour de France underprepared due to illness, but he has been improving every day, including with his stage win on the Mont Ventoux stage. 

This will be the real test to see how well he has developed since his appendicitis. 

Huge reaction as Julian Alaphilippe blasts past the crowds out on course.

He is still the darling of France, having won the opening stage and added another day in the yellow jersey to his palmarés. 

Van Aert approaching the first intermediate time check 7km into his run and he's looking great so far.

His time of 8-58 is the fastest at the first timing check, two seconds ahead of Küng who was the previous fastest and 10 seconds faster than Asgreen.

It's worth pointing out Wout van Aert's powers of recovery. He is always phenomenal late into a race where other may begin to suffer, so that could be the deciding factor at the end of this stage. 

Van Aert using a smaller gear then Küng did on this TT. The Belgian is running a 56 outer while the European champion used a huge 58 chainring.

Julian Alaphilippe has just finished his effort, but he's way down on the top times as he crosses the line 1-44 down on his team-mate Asgreen

First shots of the race leader warming up ready for his effort at 17.19 (16.19 UK). Judging by the way he's been riding this Tour Tadej Pogačar won't be holding back in his effort

We've got the top-10 on GC heading out on the road now. Rigoberto Uran is already underway, as is Pello Bilbao. Eighth overall Guillaume Martin has just rolled off the start ramp 

Wout van Aert is absolutely destroying this course. 

He's just crossed the second timing check 20km into this 30km ride as the fastest man so far. 

He set a time of 24-04, which is 20 seconds faster than the previous fastest times of Stefan Küng and current leader Kasper Asgreen.

If Van Aert can maintain this rate he's going to smash Asgreen's time and take the hot seat. 

We're well into the top-10 now, as Richard Carapaz is starting his ride. 

Here's a reminder of the GC as it stands: 

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 79-40-09
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 5-45
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 5-51
4. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r Citroën Team, at 8-18
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 8-50
6. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 10-11
7. Alexey Lusenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 11-22
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 12-46
9. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 13-48
10. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 16-25. 

Jonas Vingegaard is now off the start ramp too, and looking well up for this. There is only one rider left to start now...the yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar

Wout van Aert crosses the line 21 seconds faster than Kasper Asgreen, with only Vingegaard and Pogačar really capable of besting this time...and almost as soon as the Belgian crosses the line into the hot seat does the yellow jersey set off.

Wout van Aert stopped the clock at 35:53.34, the first to break the 36-minute mark, with an average speed of 51.94km/h

Pogačar looks strong on the TT bike, poetry in motion as his hips wiggle, shoulders shuffle and his legs push out more watts than you or I could ever dream of.

Rigoberto Urán takes a dodgy line coming into the second checkpoint, nearly colliding with the barrier, but saves it

Pogačar has already lost 17 seconds to Van Aert over the first few kilometres

Disaster for Pello Bilbao as his radio seems to have become dislodged, he tries to rearrange it before dropping it, his TT bars catching it, this will cost him a fair chunk of time

Deceuninck - Quick-Step's Mattia Cattaneo sets the provisionally fifth quickest time, another good ride for him. The Italian will likely finish just outside the top 10 on GC but has ridden a great Tour.

Wilco Kelderman is looking like he will usurp Ben O'Connor and move up to fourth overall. Kelderman is sporting the classic TT dribble look, which even for those with a limited knowledge of the sport can understand means he's giving it some welly

Richard Carapaz is going well too, faster than both Kelderman and O'Connor at the second check point, the Ecuadorian's podium place was already pretty much secure but is now certainly his

Pello Bilbao loses three minutes on Van Aert's fastest time, depending on Guillaume Martin's time he could move up to eighth

Pogačar is nearly 39 seconds slower than Van Aert at checkpoint two, 18 seconds slower than Vingegaard, looks like he's just easing himself to the finish, the race already won, the opposite to last year

Movistar's Enric Mas has successfully defended his sixth place from seventh-placed Alexey Lutsenko

Got that wrong earlier (blame the combination Tour fatigue and mathematical fallibility) O'Connor has successfully defended his fourth place in the overall from Wilco Kelderman

Carapaz crosses the line having lost more than two minutes but a good performance to confirm he'll be on the podium in Paris

Not long after Vingegaard crosses the line 32 seconds down on team-mate Van Aert, third best time, which Pogačar is unlikely to beat today

Tadej Pogačar sails into the finish, pushing a little bit as he confirms his yellow jersey. Two Tour participations, two victories. Sensational.

Stage 20 result

1. Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, in 35-53
2. Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 21 seconds
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 32s
4. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, at 38s
5. Stefan Bissegger (Sui) EF Education-Nippo, at 44s
6. Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 49s
7. Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates, at 52s
8. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, at 57s
9. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Eduation-Nippo, at 1-00
10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 1-21

GC after stage 20

1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, in 80-16-59
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 5-20
3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 7-03
4. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r Citroën Team, at 10-02
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 10-13
6. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 11-43
7. Alexey Lusenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech, at 12-23
8. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 15-33
9. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 16-04
10. Rigoberto Urán (Col) EF Education-Nippo, at 18-34

Tadej Pogačar will achieve the biggest winning margin at the Tour de France since Vincenzo Nibali in 2014, and also the largest gap between first and tenth since that year too

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