A team time trial, I enjoy them quite a lot. We kick things off in the Netherlands – in Utrecht.
It will be quite an interesting TT as it is not a long straight road from start to finish. It looks very tricky at the start, but after looking at it on Google Maps, it is not as bad as it looks. There is a narrow bikelane at the start and a few narrow roads near the end, but they should easily be able to fit the riders changing turns. It does not look particularly technical.
As always with opening time trials in Grand Tours, it will be a late start tomorrow – kicking things off at 18:30 while the last team should be finished at 20:30. There is a bigger chance of rain for the early starters and wet roads mean you will be going slower. Therefore, it would be best to be a team starting near the end.
Jumbo – Visma – they should start as the favorite as they have a very strong core consisting of Roglic, Affini and Dennis. My best guess would be Teunissen to be the strong fourth rider to finish with them too. The team is the best developed when it comes to time trials and gear – they will be very difficult to beat.
Quick-Step – I like their core for tomorrow too. Evenepoel, Cavagna and Van Wilder. It will all come down to the performance Alaphilippe can do. He is still not back at his very best yet but slowly getting there. They are one of the few teams that can steal the win from Jumbo – Visma.
INEOS – the third team with the possibility to win tomorrow. Van Baarle and Hayter will be their two big engines. The question I have, is will they finish with Sivakov and Tao G Hart at the front too, to have more opportunities later in the race? It could cost them. I can’t see them winning, they would need another very good time trialist to compete for the win in my book.
BikeExchange – the team that can surprise. They used to be dominant in the discipline and they have loads of experience with Durbridge, Hepburn, Scotson and Craddock who all are experts at the discipline Simon Yates himself is very good too. They don’t have any time trial stars, but they have team where a lot can contribute.
⭐⭐⭐ Jumbo – Visma
⭐ BikeExchange, INEOS
Who will win?
I will take a win for Jumbo-Visma on home roads. They have the best team, the best gear and the best chance of dry roads too.