So against all the odds it made it, the traveling circus that is the Tour de France got to Paris, which is an achievement in its self, considering the current times we live in. Almost as remarkable as Tadej Pogacar's stage 20 TT ride. From the word go Team Jumbo Visma bossed this race, with their GC hopeful Primoz Roglic nailed on as the race favourite.
As the stages ticked brand the GC contenders dwindled away only a fool would of bet against Roglic holding onto the leaders Maillot Jaune and with one stage to go it seemed like a forgone conclusion the Roglic would be on the top step come Paris. On the day of stage 20 we pitched up on Planche des Belle Filles, it’s the third time I’ve shot on this climb so I knew what was in store, normally the press are bussed up to the top but with Covid restrictions in place we were allowed to drive up. As we approached the five km to go sign a large group of fans had gathered, recognising some of them from previous years I knew this was the place to stop, finding a place to park the car we walked back to the spot where the beer was flowing and the tunes were pumping, one guy in a Superman outfit seemed to be the ring leader. TT’s are incredibly boring too shoot as you need to get a picture of everyone as you have no idea who is going to win, riders come through in one minute intervals so moving any kind of distance is a bit of a no no. Setting off in reverse order the day slowly builds to a crescendo when the main GC hopefuls arrive and today was no different, with Roglic being last to run. As the riders pass it’s difficult to gauge the pace, whose going well, whose not performing. With all the riders shot we headed back to the car and to the evacuation route, down a narrow gravel road away from the race course, as we descended the climb my colleague was checking the results, he read out Pogacar takes the win, Pogacar takes the Yellow Jersey.
Words/Images: Chris Auld