Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Ilnur Zakarin continued his fight in the general classification on Saturday’s stage 20 individual time trial, putting up a seventh-place finish on the 31k course and moving into 9th place for the overall in the 105th Tour de France. Today’s stage began in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle and ended in the Basque town of Espelette.
I was feeling good today. I came early to look at the parcours and see what the course looked like. Then in warm-up on the rollers I felt like I had good legs. I gave my best today, said Ilnur Zakarin. On course Zakarin led at the two check points for his time slot, only giving way to the final top riders.
World time trial champion Tom Dumoulin of Team Sunweb stole the win by 1-second from 4-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome and 14-seconds to yellow jersey Geraint Thomas, both of Team Sky. The winning time was 40.52 (45.51km/h). Zakarin held seventh place at +1:02, producing a performance that leap-frogged him over Nairo Quintana (Movistar) for a ninth place on the general classification. Barring any accidents on the way to Paris, the final podium will be Thomas, Dumoulin (+1:51) and Froome at 2:24 after 21 stages and three weeks of racing.
Zakarin: The team has supported me so much these last stages. I’m happy with my result, as well as my performance in these last days. I feel like I’ve come around to my best condition. I’m a little disappointed my condition came just a bit too late but I’m hopeful for the Vuelta I will have this good shape.
The final stage into Paris on Sunday is mostly ceremonial until the race for the final finish line on the Champs-Élysées. At 116km, the day begins in Houilles.