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The ultimate showdown
Whatever the state of the race 24 hours before the finish in Paris, this time trial will be one that you won’t want to miss. It takes place in the department of Lot, on the edge of the famed Dordogne region, and 90 percent of the 40.7-kilometer course is on narrow country roads that are rarely straight. The scenic route starts in Lacapelle-Marival, said to be one of the most beautiful villages in France, with a castle dating from the 13th century; and it ends in Rocamadour, a medieval pilgrimage site whose ancient buildings cover a rocky promontory. Two hills make the final 6 kilometers particularly challenging: the first 1.6 kilometers at almost 5 percent, the one to the finish 1.5 kilometers at almost 8 percent.
It’s a course where even the rider in the yellow jersey could concede minutes rather than seconds. The rolling, technical nature of the TT course favors a specialist, maybe Roglič; but should there be scorching weather and a close grouping of riders at the top of the GC then we could see a penultimate stage like the one in 2007 at nearby Angoulême, when race leader Alberto Contador conceded two minutes and kept the yellow jersey by just 23 seconds over Cadel Evans and 31 on Levi Leipheimer.