A lot can happen in 33 flat kilometres. The rider in the yellow jersey can, for example, gain an extra advantage of 1'53” on Bauke Mollema, the rider who is closest to him in the general classification. That's how it was on the road to Mont-Saint-Michel in stage 11. And the time trial for stage 17 is a similar distance, at just 32km. But that is where the comparisons should end when comparing the two long time trials of the 100th Tour de France. The first was short, flat, and on a relatively rudimentary course and near the coast. The wind played a big part in the race and yet we still saw Chris Froome gain significant time on all his GC rivals on his way to second place.
The second individual time trial this year comes as early as stage 17 and it's hilly, hard, and particularly technical. But still Froome is the rider expected to excel.
While climbers lost significant time in stage 11, it shouldn't be so damaging to the likes of Mollema, Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Joaquim Rodriguez. But the legs are get more weary and the Alps await. Many things are different but one thing remains the same: Froome is still the favourite. He lost 11 seconds to Tony Martin in stage 11 but, given the terrain, it would be surprising if the ‘Panzerwagen' – as Martin is affectionately known – is able to finish ahead of this nearest rival from last week.
Add to the fact that the weather bureau has forecast rain for the final Wednesday of the 100th Tour also make a big difference. The starting order is the reverse of the standings on GC and the ‘Lanterne Rouge', Svein Tuft, will start at 10.17am. Froome won't leave until 4.33pm. The showers are expected to start at around 2.00pm. Is the weather going to make this even more interesting? Tune in to stage 17 to find out.