A trip along the Danish coast, today’s stage will be a nervous one because the wind could get up. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of danger because everyone wants to be at the front to avoid trouble so the pressure is on to fight for position which increases the danger and so on. There’s also the spectacular Great Belt Bridge across the sea just before the finish.
Welcome to the first of 21 daily stage previews, you’ll find them freshly baked like a croissant every morning.
The Tour starts with a 13km time trial around Copenhagen, a tour of many the Danish capital’s sights and monuments. There’s the stage win, a yellow jersey up and an early form test for the overall contenders, all in front of what promises to be a giant crowd in Copenhagen.
A look at the overall contenders for the Tour de France. Unsurprisingly it’s Tadej Pogačar vs. Jumbo-Visma vs. the field but the route and misfortune could also have their say, the long first week promises to high wire act.
Part power, part daredevil… part mental arithmetic, the Tour de France’s points competition for the green jersey could also be an interesting contest this year with Wout van Aert making it his goal but he’ll have to take on the pure sprinters and a contest skewed towards them.
Last year’s mountains competition in the Tour de France was exciting with several riders in contention until the contest was accidentally won by Tadej Pogačar. Now the system has been changed to make this kind of inadvertent win less likely.
As well as influencing the organisers, Pogačar is having wider effect with many big name riders coming to the Tour de France with the stated aim of winning stages and the mountains prize rather than go for the overall classification. This should make the mountains competition more lively too so here’s a closer look at the mountains competition for the Tour de France and some of the likely contenders.
With one week to go, a reminder that the 2022 Tour de France guide is online, complete with stage profiles and comment on each day’s course, plus reference material on all the points and mountains competition, time cuts and more, handy if you want more detail ahead of the race or during it.
Just go to inrng.com/tour for the next four weeks. You’ll also find the link at the top of the page if you’re on a desktop, or on the drop-down menu for phone readers.
Julio Jimenez died earlier this month in his home town of Avila aged 87 in a car accident. He reached the heights of the sport, winning the Tour de France’s mountains competition three times as well as finishing second overall in the race and was one of the all time great climbers of the sport with triumphs in the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia too.
This week’s tables are very tight with Lotto-Soudal and BikeExchange-Jayco practically tied on points, spelling trouble for the Aussie team as their relegation rivals all had strong rides.
Now we wait. With the Tour de Suisse, the Tour of Slovenia, the Route d’Occitanie and the Tour of Belgium over, there’s a two week lull until the Tour de France, with many national championships next weekend for a change in format of racing.