On the undulating time trial course to Laval, the Danes Bjerg, Asgreen and Vingegaard were in their element for a long time, but it was Stefan Küng who got to plant his bottom in the hot seat the longest.
A duel with Wout van Aert announced itself, although Tadej Pogacar had different thoughts about it. The defending champion knew then that there was no more than limiting damage for his battered compatriot rival Primoz Roglic. So he was able to hit a serious blow on the 5th day.
Pogacar set a formidable time at the first intermediate point, which he only confirmed at the following measuring points. Küng already knew what time it was, because Van Aert also gave up more and more ground.
Pogacar could not escape the stage victory, but was the yellow jersey also in it? Julian Alaphilippe was no threat to Mathieu van der Poel, he did not have the legs of Pau 2019. With his little time trial experience, Van der Poel seemed like a yellow canary for the cat. Nothing could be further from the truth.
At every intermediate point, Van der Poel equaled eerily exactly the times of Van Aert and that was enough to eventually park his bike in 5th place. He keeps 8 seconds from his lead over Pogacar, Van Aert is now 3rd at half a minute.