2022 Tour de France – Stage 1 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

By @EchelonsHub

The Route

The Tour de France starts here, in Copenhagen. The Grand Depart will this year be in Denmark, and the opening day will see a short but explosive 13.2 kilometers in the streets of the Scandinavian capital. 

A pan-flat route, however one that will present some challenges to the riders. It will feature at least 16 corners where the riders will certainly have to break, giving an average of over 1 per kilometer. Although it may not seem much, it will lower the average speed significantly and it will also mean that this will be a less constant effort – not as favourable for the specialists. This means that those looking for the stage win will also have to be willing to take great risks in order to win every second possible on the route. 

The Weather

Some slight chance of rain for late in the afternoon, which will point the main favourites towards the first places of the day. The weather will not be stable, with also a slight breeze from the south. In such an urban and technical route it’s unlikely to be crucial, however every second matters. 

The Favourites

Filippo Ganna – The time-trial World champion is always a big threat, and this is a time-trial he’s been focusing on for the entire season. A win would mean a yellow jersey too, and this is certainty an absolute goal for the Italian. 

Stefan Küng – Küng has perhaps sacrificed some of his time-trialing prowess this season in exchange of his classics and climbing skills to evolve – very successfully. He’s a very fast man nonetheless, and current European time-trial champion, with a big day ahead of him.

Wout van Aert – Van Aert was close to beating Ganna at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He’s used to wearing yellow, but at the Tour it is different. He’ll also want a stage win and points for the green jersey, but will he take the same risks as the other knowing of his goals for later in the race? 

Stefan Bissegger – Having missed the time-trial at the Tour de Suisse and national championships after getting Covid-19, it has been a bad run-up for Bissegger into the Tour. However in the short distances the Swiss is a beast, and has taken a win against Ganna back in February at the UAE Tour. Never a man to discard in such a stage. 

The win should be in the riders above, it is almost the list of the best four pure time-trialists in the world. However, this is the Tour de France and the level is extremely high, the outsiders are also fully capable of having a blasting start. The local riders specially: Mads Pedersen, Magnus Cort Nielsen, Kasper Asgreen and Mikkel Bjerg will be specially motivated to ride a strong course as a yellow jersey in their home country would be an unique career opportunity. 

But the competition isn’t limited to the danes. GC riders Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar are without a doubt great contenders to take a strong result here, specially motivated by possibly time gains on rivals. Geraint Thomas, Jonas Vingegaard and Daniel Martínez are themselves outsiders for a top place, although all these riders are unlikely to take massive amounts of risks.

Other outsiders include Mathieu van der Poel, Yves Lampaert, Mattia Cattaneo, Max Schachmann, Dylan van Baarle, Bauke Mollema, Jan Tratnik, Benjamin Thomas, Nelson Oliveira and Lennard Kämna

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐Ganna, WV.Aert

⭐⭐ Küng, M.Pedersen, Bissegger

⭐ Pogacar, Roglic, Asgreen, G.Thomas, Vingegaard, MVD.Poel, Cattaneo, Lampaert

My call for the win on the opening day and first yellow jersey is Filippo Ganna. This is his Tour debut, and one he will want to remember for a long time. The time-trial is short and rather technical, which suits his capacities very well. He’ll have prepared specifically for this one day, and with the pure power he’s got he can take this one home. 

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Rúben Silva

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