Tour de France: Evenepoel wins the first time trial, Pogacar retains yellow jersey

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) won the first individual time trial in the Tour de France on Friday. Slovenian Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) retains the yellow leader's jersey.

Evenepoel, the reigning world champion in the discipline, completed the 25.3 km between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin in 28:52 (avg. 52.58 km/h), coming in 12 seconds faster than Pogacar in this seventh stage of the Tour.

The Slovenian Primoz Roglic (BORA - hansgrohe), Olympic time trial champion, finished in third place at 34 seconds ahead of the Dane Jonas Vingegaard (Visma - Lease a Bike), fourth at 37 seconds. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) finished in a nice fifth place at 52 seconds.

"I enjoyed every meter of this individual time trial"

For the 24-year-old Evenepoel, it is also his first stage victory in his first Tour. "This is crazy. I had a good day," Evenepoel said in an interview afterward. "I enjoyed every meter of this individual time trial. It is wonderful to win today."

Shortly before the end, Evenepoel seemed to have a mechanical defect. His chain appeared to falter, but luckily, for the world champion, it was a false alarm. "I thought for a moment that I had had a puncture, heard a sound similar to that. Maybe it came from the audience on the side, someone had thrown a glass," he explained. "But I quickly realized that there was no problem and I kept driving."

Pogacar now has a 33-second lead over Evenepoel in the general classification. Vingegaard follows third at 1:15.

Tomorrow/Saturday the riders will cover 183.4 km from Semur-en-Auxois and Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises in the eighth stage. In the hill stage, they have to climb two third-category climbs and three fourth-category climbs.


Soudal Quick-Step team's Belgian rider Remco Evenepoel cycles past the finish line of the 7th stage of the 111th edition of the Tour de France cycling race © THOMAS SAMSON / AFP


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