NeverSecond and the Tour de France 2022
The Tour de France 2022 started this Friday July 1st in Denmark and will last 3 weeks with the traditional finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
It is therefore in Scandinavian Territory that nearly 180 runners took the start of the Grande Boucle to cover more than 3.350km.
In our sights, we will mainly follow the partner teams of our friends from NeverSecond, that's to say:
- BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS : 8 riders on the list, the best known of which are Matej MOHORIC (winner of Milan-San Remo and 5th in Paris-Roubaix) and Dylan TEUNS (Winner of the Flèche Wallonne 6th in the Tour of Flanders and Liège-Bastogne-Liège).
- EF EDUCATION-EASYPOST : 8 riders on the list with race leader Rigoberto URAN (2nd in the Tour de France 2017 and 8th in 2020), Magnus Cort NIELSEN who will be at home for the first 3 stages, Neilson POWLESS (4th in the Tour de Suisse).
- JUMBO VISMA : 8 riders on the list including 2 favourites, Primoz ROGLIC (winner of Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné, Olympic Time Trial Champion) and Wout VAN AERT (2nd in Paris-Roubaix, Olympic Vice-champion in the race on line).
A short but very intense time trial with very slippery roads due to the rain. Among the favorites are Wout VAN AERT, Filippo GARNA and Tadej POGACAR. But it was finally the Belgian Yves LAMPAERT of the Quick-Step team who won with 5 seconds ahead of Wout VAN AERT. Tadej POGACAR completes the podium and at the same time takes the white jersey, synonymous with the best young rider on the Tour de France.
We continue on Danish territory with this second stage of the Tour de France. This stage is especially marked by the passage of the runners on the Storebaelt bridge, 18km long. The stage was decided in a sprint and it was no surprise that Fabio JAKOBSEN showed all his skills, in a discipline he particularly likes, by winning this stage ahead of Wout VAN AERT and Mads PEDERSEN. Wout VAN AERT takes the yellow jersey as well as the green jersey. Magnus Cort NIELSEN takes the polka dot jersey and POGACAR keeps his white jersey.
It's the last stage in Denmark, the opportunity for Magnus Cort NIELSEN to do the show at home one last time! Like yesterday, he took the breakaway but this time alone, scratching all the points for the polka dot jersey (he is also the only rider in this classification at the moment) and the 20 points of the intermediate sprint, throwing him now in third place in the green jersey standings. It's Dylan GROENEWEGEN who won this stage, it's his fifth on the roads of the tour. He is ahead of Wout VAN AERT who comes in second place for the third time in a row and who will celebrate at the same time his 100th second place in his professional career. It is also the second time since the start of the Tour that we find 2 Belgians on the podium.
FINALLY ! After 3 consecutive second places, Wout VAN AERT finally imposed himself as boss in this fourth stage, and in what way!
It was the first stage on French territory between Dunkirk and Calais (171,5km). A very rugged course with 6 listed climbs including that of Cap Blanc-Nez, a climb in which Wout and his Jumbo-Visma team literally blew up the peloton. Before that, the show was made by Magnus Cort NIELSEN who reinforced his polka dot jersey and Anthony Perez who won the fighting spirit award.
In the general classification, Wout VAN AERT consolidates his yellow jersey by taking a 25 second lead over his compatriot Yves Lampaert and 32 seconds over Pogacar.
On the program for this stage, a hilly route starting from Lille and including 11 cobbled sections before arriving near the Arenberg mining site. Among the favorites, we find once again Wout VAN AERT, second in Paris-Roubaix this year as well as the winner of this same race: Dylan VAN BAARL. Let's not forget also Mathieu VAN DER POEL, winner of the Tour of Flanders and 9th in Paris-Roubaix, a true specialist in cobblestone races.
An eventful stage with falls, attacks and above all a breakaway that managed to hold on. Within this breakaway, we find in particular the winner of the stage Simon CLARK but also the essential Magnus Cort NIELSEN, who for the fifth consecutive time has decided to lead the race.
Among the big losers of this stage, we find Peter SAGAN, Primoz ROGLIC as well as the yellow jersey Wout VAN AERT who all three fell. The Jumbo-Visma team also had a very complicated day between mechanical problems and falls.
Despite this, Wout VAN AERT keeps his yellow jersey as well as his green jersey for the stage which starts in his country. Pogacar and Magnus Cort NIELSEN also keep their jerseys. The latter once again won the prize for fighting spirit.
It is quite simply the longest stage of the Tour de France 2022. The peloton will set off from Binche to cover 219,9km and thus arrive in Longwy, not far from the Belgian-Luxembourg border. A special stage for the wearer of the yellow jersey Wout VAN AERT who will have the opportunity to shine on the roads of his country.
The final will once again be hilly, as during the last arrival in Longwy, in 2017. This year, the route is all the same a little different because after the climb of Montigny-sur-Chiers which should not pose a problem for the sprinters, they should be in much more difficulty on the coast of Pulventeux. 800 meters at more than 12% average, just that! Its summit is located 5.5kms from the finish, so punchers could take advantage of it. Then follow very technical and winding roads to the foot of the Côte des Religieuses, a final ascent not listed but which still offers 1,6 kilometers at nearly 6% average. In 2017, Peter Sagan won there in power in a reduced peloton.
Very stirring from the start, the yellow jersey, Wout VAN AERT undoubtedly wanted to leave in the breakaway of the day. Although he would have hoped to have more partners with him, he still ended up with Jakop FUGLSANG and the young Quinn SIMMONS. Wout VAN AERT will literally put on a show, but the adventure will end solo 11 kilometers from the goal. As expected, the final was settled between the punchers. It was Tadej POGACAR who won the stage, leaving no chance to his rivals. The acceleration in the last 250 meters of the Côte des Religieuses will have placed the rider among the favorites for the rest of the Tour. He won his 7th stage of the Tour de France and put on the Yellow Jersey which he found again to tackle the Super Planche des Belles Filles stage tomorrow.
Wout VAN AERT nevertheless retains his green jersey and also wins the prize for fighting spirit. Magnus Cort NIELSEN also keeps his best climber's jersey.
The Planche des Belles Filles stage is a mid-mountain stage, which in no way diminishes its difficulty... especially at the finish! L'arrival at 1140 m altitude, after an ascent, certainly demanding but limited to 7 km of effort, cannot be synonymous with hierarchy for the rest of the Tour which is built much higher, much further. On the other hand, it very often shows the forces involved as well as the climbers in good shape. Today, the main favorites remain Tadej POGACAR, and even more after yesterday's stage
This Saturday, it was the perfect route to see a fight at the top between the two real stars of this Tour de France 2022, namely Wou VAN AERT and Tadej POGACAR. Jumbo-Visma and the UAE Emirates team both toughened up the message that other teams could not win in the Olympic capital. Moreover, it was on the Olympic Stadium hill that the regrouping took place and it was finally Wout VAN AERT who won his second stage (in a sprint) on the roads of the Tour this year. He is ahead of Michael MATTHEWS. With 8 victories on the clock since his arrival at the event in 2019, he thus equals Tadej POGACAR, the current yellow jersey!
This is the first real mountain stage during which a large breakaway formed from the start. The strongest riders in this breakaway were able to resist the peloton.
Among them, we find the Luxembourg rider Bob JUNGELS and the Frenchman Thibaut PINOT. The latter delivered a real chase in the last 15km, making a little more than 1.30 minutes behind the leader of the stage. In the end, Bob JUNGELS will have managed to hold on until the end after a solo breakaway of 63km. The winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2018 has enriched his personal record as well as that of his native country. He won this 9th stage, 11 years after the last Luxembourg victory on the roads of the Tour, offered by Andy Schleck at the Col du Galibier.
The good operation of the day is once again for the young yellow jersey, who by finishing 5th in the stage, gains 3 seconds ahead of all his competitors except Vingegaard who will have remained in his wheel until the end. POGACAR therefore has a 39'' lead over the Danish VINGEGAARD and 1'17'' over Geraint THOMAS, 3rd in the general classification.
This is the first stage in the Alps during this 2022 edition of the Tour de France. Although it may be scary, this stage was not only reserved for pure climbers. The prospect of a victorious breakaway meant that we quickly found ourselves with 25 riders leading the race. Among them, the experienced Philippe GILBERT, KÄMNA or even this year's "showman" Magnus Cort NIELSEN. The latter will also be victorious in this 10th stage on his first day without the polka dot jersey. Probably one "pea" less for the Danish rider.
At the level of the general classification, the frustrated of the day is undoubtedly called Lennard KÄMNA. After the disappointment during the Super Planche des Belles Filles stage and after once again leading the race, he finished 10th in this stage and saw Tadej POGACAR save his yellow jersey by 11''. The German therefore now finds himself in second place overall and thus ahead of VINGEGAARD
This is probably the most complicated stage of this 2022 edition of the Tour de France! On the program for the day, two non-categories climbs including the Col du Galibier and its summit at an altitude of 2.642m. Without forgetting the arrival, which is also located at an altitude of more than 2.000m. It is also the highest finish of the Tour this year!
This stage was incredible both in terms of the beauty of the landscape and in terms of the race. It will remain legendary. A race as we like even with attacks, lots of attacks! Reversals and a team strategy worthy of a game of Stratego.
The icing on the cake... undoubtedly the change of yellow jersey in the most beautiful way. And yes, after having countered a dozen attacks from the Jumbo-Visma team, POGACAR cracked... he who was nicknamed the indefatigable. It is Jonas VINGEGAARD who takes his place in 1st place overall. The 25-year-old Dane can greatly thank his team who accompanied him until 5km from the finish, a distance at which he attacked the Slovenian in a very powerful way. He will also take more than 2'15'' over his first runner-up, Romain BARDET.
We therefore find two riders from the Jumbo-Visma formation among the leaders, since VINGEGAARD has the yellow jersey and VAN AERT still keeps his green jersey. As a reminder, this training is a partner of NeverSecond.
Another mountain stage with Alpe d'Huez in sight, just that!
On the menu, the intermediate sprint from the start of the stage, after only 11km, but above all 3 off-category passes and a finish at the top of Alpe d'Huez. Will we be entitled to POGACAR's revenge? Will we finally see a victory for Nairo QUINTANA? Will a French runner shine during this national holiday?
All these questions deserve to be asked but one thing is certain, the Granon stage will have done damage and will undoubtedly leave traces among the riders!
And although this stage of Alpe d'Huez arrives the day after a trying event, a breakaway is still formed, and not just any breakaway!!! At the foot of the famous climb with 21 bends, 5 riders have decided to take the race on their own. With 6 minutes in advance, we find in this small group the young British nugget Tom PIDCOCK and the legend of the Tour Chris FROOM. It should be noted that the young PIDCOCK exceeded the 100km/h mark during a very impressive descent. At 22, he became the youngest winner in Alpe d'Huez. In the general classification, Tadej POGACAR's attacks failed to keep Jonas VINGEGAARD away, who keeps his Yellow Jersey.
On the menu of the day... a real stage for a pure sprinter. Those who have not really had the opportunity to express themselves during the last stages in the Alps, it is now time to show all their abilities. Among the sprinters' teams we find the Lotto-Soudal with Caleb EWAN who has still not won anything, the Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl who, for their part, have already been able to impose the strength of Fabio JAKOBSEN, just as BikeExchange-Jayco has been able to do it with Dylan GROENEWEGEN. Let's not forget also the green jersey, Wout VAN AERT who could honor his jersey when he arrives at the "Greens" of Saint-Etienne, at the foot of the Geoffroy Guichard stadium.
It was finally Mads PEDERSEN who won for the first time on the roads of the Tour de France. The general classification remains unchanged.
A breakaway group once again formed fairly quickly. Among the 23 who made up that of the day, credible candidates were not lacking. To get the upper hand over the Pinot, Mollema, Kämna, Sanchez, Meintjes, Fuglsang, Uran, Martinez or Bettiol, Michael Matthews provoked his fate on a first attack 53 km from the finish, then had to get rid of his last rivals in several stages on the final climb, to finally win his duel with Alberto Bettiol in the last kilometer of ascent. On the aerodrome of Mende. He thus won his fourth stage of the Tour de France, five years after his last success in Romans-sur-Isère. Behind the Australian, the battle between the title contenders did take place, but Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard finally crossed the finish line at the same time. So no change.
Although Carcassonne has historically smiled on breakaways, it is perhaps a new tradition of sprint finishes that is taking hold at the foot of the city, a year after Mark Cavendish's record victory which equaled the number of stages won by Eddy Merckx, with his 34th bouquet.
The verdict of the explanation between the strong this time crowned a young sprinter who finally won his first victory on the Tour and in a beautiful way. Winner of three Vuelta stages, Jasper Phillipsen was also ranked in the Top 3 stages of the Tour eight times between the last edition and this year. For the occasion, he offered himself the luxury of beating the green jersey Wout van Aert as well as the Dane Mads Pedersen, i.e. the podium of the Champs-Elysées stage in 2021… out of order.
The stage was also marked by the fall and retirement of Steven Kruijswijk. The Yellow Jersey loses two teammates during the day, with the package of Primoz Roglic, but the classification does not change.
Resumption of the race after the second day of rest. On the program, a Pyrenean menu which hardened in the end with the ascents to the Port de Lers and the Mur de Péguère. It is moreover on these first slopes that the voluminous escape of the day disintegrated. In the end, it was the Canadian Hugo HOULE who proved to be the most daring and the most resistant, attacking 40 km from the finish to claim his first victory outside the Canadian championships. With this solo raid, he became the second Canadian winner in the history of the Tour de France after Steve Bauer (its sports director) in 1988.
Some changes in the top 10 of the general classification, since Romain Bardet suffered the day and tumbled to 9th position in the hierarchy, 6'37 '' from Jonas Vingegaard, attacked but not worried by Tadej Pogacar.
During this ultra-dynamic Pyrenean stage (129,7 km), the riders of the UAE Emirates team went on the offensive as soon as they climbed Hourquette d'Ancizan to shake off the peloton, then catch up with the last attackers of the day in the ascent to the Col de Val Louron-Azet. During the climb to the Peyragudes altiport, there was a match between Tadej POGACAR and Jonas VINGEGAARD. The tiny advantage taken by the Slovenian rider in the last three hundred meters allows him to raise his arms for the third time this year on the Tour, without knocking the Danish leader from his throne. He only takes 4 small seconds from him thanks to the bonuses and will therefore have to do things differently during the next stage if he still wants to have a chance of being yellowed in Paris.
Overall, Geraint THOMAS remains on the podium but now finds himself 4'56'' behind the yellow jersey. Romain BARDET gained 3 places by moving up from 9th to 6th place, just behind David GAUDU who defended his position (5th).
[TO BE CONTINUED...]
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