Tour de France 2024 stage seven preview - the first test against the clock

The differences between the specialists and the pure climbers will be measured in minutes rather than seconds on stage seven 

Date: Friday July 5, 2024
Distance: 25.3km ITT
Start location: Nuits-Saint-Georges
Finish location: Gevrey-Chambertin
Start time: 13:05 CET
Finish time (approx): 17:29 CET

In recent Tours de France, mid-race time trials have tended to have great influence on the race for the yellow jersey. Last year, a two-week deadlock between the seemingly inseparable Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar was at last broken during one in Combloux; Vingegaard produced arguably the performance of his career, and one of the all-time great time trials, by putting 1:38 into his main rival over the course of just 22.4km to take a firm hold of the yellow jersey, and just shy of a massive three minutes into the next best rider. 

Two years earlier, it was Pogačar who used a similar length 27km time trial on stage five to first take control in what was his ultimately successful title defence, albeit not quite as comprehensively, gaining over 40 seconds on all of his GC rivals bar Vingegaard. And the stage 13 time trial in 2019 saw great drama as Julian Alaphilippe produced a sensational performance in the yellow jersey to win the stage and suggest that maybe he was capable of winning the Tour de France, on the same day that Wout van Aert suffered the horror crash that kept him out of action for the next seven months. 

With this in mind, the potential impact of stage seven's test against the clock should not be underestimated. Totalling 25.3km, it's a similar length to the aforementioned time trials, so even though it comes a little early in the race to feel like a decisive moment in the GC race, we can expect comparably big gaps between the favourites — the differences between the specialists and the pure climbers will be measured in minutes rather than seconds. 

Starting in Nuits-Saint-Georges (where Marcel Kittel edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen in a photo finish to win stage seven of the 2017 edition), the course will first make its way through forested landscape, before entering the vineyards of the Côte-d'Or region on their way to the finish in Gevrey-Chambertin. It’s here where the region’s famous Pinot Noir grape is grown, and no less than nine of Burgundy’s 33 AOC wines can be found in the Gevrey-Chambertin vineyard alone. In terms of the parcours, these vineyards are significant in that the terrain will undulate up and down a little rather than be completely flat, with the hardest point coming 10km into the route when the road rises at 6.5% for 1.5km. Still the roads of this course are predominantly flat, and therefore a chance both for the specialists against the clock to compete with the GC contenders for the stage win, as well as a real danger for climbing GC contenders not comfortable on their TT bikes. 

Tour de France 2024 stage seven profile

Route profile sourced via ASO


This is the first of two individual time trials and thankfully, for the pure specialists, it is the flattest, so we can expect to see those who excel against the clock high up on the rankings for the stage. World champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal–Quick-Step) will have had this stage circled as one to target considering his strength in the time trial. He is currently sitting in second on the GC and will likely use this stage to claw back a few seconds between himself and the top spot. He’s looked in good form over the past week too, so we’re expecting a stellar performance from Evenepoel on stage seven. 

However, 45 seconds sits between the Belgian rider and the man in yellow, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who is also a demon against the clock. He’s demonstrated his time trial prowess during the Giro d’Italia in May, where he won one of the time trials and then came second behind TT powerhouse Filippo Ganna.

Olympic time trial champion Primož Roglič (Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe) will, like Evenepoel, hope to use his skills against the clock to make up time on Pogačar, but will need to show a level of form that has so far been lacking in race so far.

Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and both excellent time triallists on their day, the former flourishing in Grand Tours while the latter has proven a more consistent racer against the clock in his short career. It feels unlikely either will be a favourite for the stage victory, but neither should lose significant time to the other contenders around them.

Beyond the GC, Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) is a strong contender for the stage victory despite his varying form. He will be targeting stage wins throughout these three weeks and with an opportunity to go for it, he will try and take it with both hands. Another rider who can contest the stage win will be Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost). He came second in the Swiss N National Championships, which was similar in length. However, the Swiss ITT national champ, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) will also be lining up for this stage too. Bruno Armirail (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team), Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X Mobility), and Geraint Thomas (Inoes Grenadiers) could also be contenders for the first individual time trial.  

Stage seven winner prediction

We think Remco Evenepoel will claim the stage win in the first time trial. He is looking in good shape so far and racing well, so we expect he'll secure the victory.

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