The 2022 Tour de France began this year with the Grand Depart in Denmark featuring with three stages with 176 starting riders. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) won Stage 1 of the Tour de France, Fabio Jakobsen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) capped a remarkable comeback with a sprint finish victory in Stage 2, and Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco) won a sprint in Stage 3 on Sunday. Wout van Aert from Jumbo Visma snagged the yellow jersey after Stage 2 and retained it after Stage 3.
Monday is the first rest day and transfer day with the entire peloton and support staff relocating from Denmark to France.
Last year’s winner and back-to-back champion Tadej Pogacar is still the betting favorite to win the 2022 Tour de France. Pogacar sits in third place and only 14 seconds off the leader.
|GC STANDINGS (THRU STAGE 3)
- Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) 9:01:17
- Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) +0:07
- Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:14
- Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) +0:18
- Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0:20
Lampaert shocked the field with a victory in Copenhagen in Stage 1, and he had the yellow jersey for one day before van Aert seized it after Stage 2. Second place Lampaert trails van Aert by seven seconds in the GC standings.
Jumbo-Visma’s dynamic duo of Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic are in sixth and seventh place respectively. Roglic is 23 seconds off the lead, and Vingegaard is 22 seconds back.
Stage 1: Copenhague > Copenhague
The Tour de France raced on Danish soil for the first time in its 109-year history. Cycling fans from all over Denmark descended upon Copenhagen to catch a glimpse of the opening stage of the 2022 Tour de France. Stage 1 was an individual time trial, but rainy conditions early in the day led to several crashes on the slick roads of Copenhagen.
Yves Lampaert from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team caught nearly everyone by surprise with his victory in Stage 1. However, Lampaert is no slouch and a two-time world time trial champion, so he did not flinch during the 13.2 km route through Copenhagen.
“My mind is exploding, a top 10 would have been great, now I beat all the best in the world, I never expected it,” said Lampaert. “I know I’m in good condition, but this is something I could never dream of. Everybody is free to pedal as hard as they can in the time trial, but to beat Van Aert, Van der Poel, Ganna. Unbelievable for me.”
Wout van Aert was the betting favorite to win Stage 1, but he took second place after Lampaert edged him out by five seconds. Pogacar, the two-time defending champion, who entered the 2022 Le Tour seeking a three-peat, finished in third place. Lampaert finished seven seconds ahead of Poagcar (UAW Team Emirates) and ten seconds ahead of Italian star Filppo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers).
Stage 2: Roskilde > Nyborg
Sprinter Fabio Jakobsen from Holland nearly died after a horrific crash in the 2020 Tour de Poland when fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen bumped him into the barriers during a sprint finish. Jakobsen survived a coma and battled back from his injuries to win Stage 2 of the 2022 Tour de France.
“It was a long process step by step,” said a jubilant Jakobsen. “A lot of people helped me along the way. This is to pay them back so they can see it was not for nothing. I’m happy I still enjoy riding the bike and racing and luckily I can still win.”
Stage 2 included a daunting 202 km route from Roskilde to Nyborg. Music fans will recognize Roskilde for the name of the annual music festival that attracts the biggest acts in the world.
The peloton worried about crosswinds during the 18 km stretch over the Great Belt Bridge. However, the Scandinavian crosswinds were kind and mellow, so it was not much of a factor. Crashes were the major problem in Stage 2, which included Rigoberto Uran (EF Education–EasyPost) on the bridge.
With less than 2.5 km to go, Pogacar avoided disaster and remained in the saddle and on his bike during a crash. The sprinters were ahead of the crash in the peloton, which did not affect the final surge.
Jakobsen edged out van Aert and Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) to win Stage 2 and secure his first-ever yellow jersey in the Tour de France. It was one of those feel-good moments that becomes the fodder of Hollywood sports movies when Jakobsen went from near death to the top step on the podium.
Stage 3: Vejle > Sonderborg
The final stage in Denmark — a 182 km ride from Vejle to Sonderborg — was not overly exciting compared to the two previous stages. Another sprint finish was expected, but Jakobsen could not win two in a row. Instead, his nemesis Groenewegen emerged the victor with a photo finish in Sonderborg.
Van Aert finished in second place again, but he retained the yellow jersey. Groenewegen narrowly beat van Aert and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) for his first stage victory since 2019.
Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) was wicked pissed that van Aert’s elbow prevented him from making a move and denied Sagan a clear path to the finish line. With van Aert battling with Sagan on his right, he never saw Groenewegen dart to his left and sneak past everyone for the victory.
With Stage 3 complete, the Tour de France leaves Denmark and heads to France for Stage 4 on Tuesday.
Check out all of OG’s Tour de France coverage.