Ten Takeaways: Tour de France Stage 1
Breaking down what we learned in the short, but explosive, opening time trial that produced a shocking stage winner & surprisingly large GC gaps
The 2022 Tour de France kicked off with a rainy 13-kilometer time trial in Copenhagen. While the sport’s TT stars were watching the weather forecast closely and attempting to dodge the afternoon rain by getting an early start, QuickStep’s Yves Lampaert shocked this cohort of favorites by blazing through the dense city streets after the stage had already appeared to have been won by Wout van Aert. By the time he finished the best ride of his career, Lampaert had a five-second cushion on Van Aert in second and seven seconds over Tadej Pogačar in third.
While Pogačar missed out on a stage win, the two-time Tour de France winner will certainly be happy with a performance that saw him put significant time into nearly every other GC contender and get his campaign for a third-consecutive overall win off to a strong start. And even after we saw some GC contenders like Geraint Thomas, Aleksandr Vlasov, and Ben O’Connor lose significant time to Pogačar, the fact that nearly every major favorite made it through the stage unscathed will be considered a victory in itself and means we still have a wide-open GC battle ahead.
Stage (& GC) Top 3:
Yves Lampaert +0
Wout van Aert +5
Tadej Pogačar +7
Filtered GC Stage Results:
Tadej Pogačar +0
Jonas Vingegaard +8
Primož Roglič +9
Adam Yates +16
Geraint Thomas +18
Aleksandr Vlasov +24
Dani Martinez +37
Ben O’Connor +54
Stage 1 Notebook:
Stefan Bissegger: EF’s stage hopeful raced over wet roads despite his early start time. He crashed twice due to what appeared to be over-inflated tires slipping on the painted roads.
Mathieu van der Poel: The Dutch superstar carved through the course with far more ease than Bissegger and came over with the fastest time, but as soon as he came over 4-seconds faster than Bauke Mollema, it was clear he didn’t have enough for the winning ride.
Primož Roglič: The GC contender basically crept through the course, going through wet corners and chicanes with an abundance of caution.
Despite this, he came through the line with a very fast time, just 3-seconds down on Van der Poel, which indicates he was pushing far more power on the straightaways.
Jonas Vingegaard: The Danish GC hope was absolutely flying through the streets of Copenhagen. I was shocked by how explosive he looked coming out of the corners, and he would come through just 2-seconds behind Van der Poel and a second ahead of his team leader Roglič.
Filippo Ganna: The World TT Champion was riding his textbook perfect position and flying down the straightaways.
But, after a mid-stage flat, he appeared to lose traction/confidence in the corners and was noticeably slower than others in technical sections.
Tadej Pogačar: The GC favorite once again looked unbothered by the wet, technical roads, but shockingly also looked just as fast as Ganna on the straightaways. With a few kilometers remaining, he overtook Ganna’s time (likely due to Ganna’s mid-stage flat) and came through 7-seconds faster than the big Italian.
Yves Lampaert: The stage winner, who took off far later than the others, took advantage of the drying roads by carving through corners much faster than those who came before him.
And once he got to the straightaways towards the finish, he was pushing a massive gear and eating up more and more time on the others. With 3km left, he was nearly 10-seconds faster than Van Aert at the same point.
Lampaert came through with the fastest time of the day with a fairly large 5-second gap over Van Aert. Something I noticed when he took the final corner is just how little water was spraying up into his face versus the riders who set off earlier, which gives us solid evidence that his decision to set off later gave him a massive advantage.
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