The Tour de France 2018 will get underway on Saturday the 7th of July, and just two days later the riders will begin Stage 3, which is the Team Time Trial (TTT) in Choulet.
Whilst the TTT is notably different to all other stages of the race, it is very important to consider this stage if you want to back a certain rider to be crowned winner of the Tour de France 2018.
In the TTT, teams must race against the clock separately from each other. Each team will start five minutes after the last, and the final time will be taken from the time at which the fifth rider of the team crosses the finish line.
Although this may make it seem like the TTT is quite removed from the GC contender race, it is, in fact, quite the opposite. In the past the winning team of the TTT have often gone on to have their GC contender win the Tour de France overall.
In today’s guide, we’re looking at which teams are the favourites to win the TTT, why they’re likely to win, and how this may affect the odds on the overall winner of the Tour de France 2018.
Tour de France 2018 Stage 3: Overview
As we’ve just mentioned, Stage 3 in this year’s Tour de France is a Team Time Trial. Below you can find all the information about when and where this stage will take place.
|Tour de France Stage 3: The Team Time Trial|
|Start Date and Time||9/6/2018 at 14:10 (GMT)|
|Expected Length of Stage (Time)||2hr 25m|
|Distance of Stage||35.5 km|
|Location||Choulet (Pays de la Loire)|
Tour de France 2018 Stage 3: Winner Predictions
Predicting who may win Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2018 is quite tricky, as the Tour hasn’t included a Team Time Trial since 2015. That being said, we can make some predictions based on which team has the strongest squad overall and who won in 2015.
Who Won the Last Tour de France Team Time Trial?
As we’ve just mentioned, the last time the Tour de France included a Team Time Trial was in 2015. In this edition of the race, BMC Racing were crowned the winners, finishing just one second ahead of Team Sky.
The 2015 TTT was slightly shorter than this year’s (stretching 28 km), yet both routes are quite similar to each other. In 2015 the TTT included a steep uphill drag at the start, whilst this year’s riders will face a 4% climb at kilometre 25, for 1.5 km.
Which Tour de France 2018 Team is the Strongest?
When we are considering which team is likely to win the TTT in the Tour de France 2018, we must consider which have the strongest ‘chrono’ squad, instead of which teams include the strongest riders. A ‘chrono’ squad simply refers to how the team work in synergy with each other, employing effective strategies to win.
BMC Racing are undoubtedly the strongest team in this department. In 2017, BMC Racing won all World Tour Team Time Trials (aside from in the World Cycling Championships, where Team Sunweb took the victory), and in 2018 they have also won the TTT in the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Suisse.
Aside from BMC Racing, Team Sky are looking strong in this stage, after winning the TTT in the Critérium du Dauphiné. In addition Team Sunweb are very possible contenders, after winning the TTT in the World Cycling Championships in Bergen, Norway last year.
TL;DR – BMC Racing are the favourite team to win the TTT at Stage 3 of the Tour de France. Falling slightly behind them are Team Sky and Team Sunweb, so you can also expect good odds on these two teams.