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Saturday, July 2, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France stage one team reports

Stage winner Yves Lampaert's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl posted this:

Yves Lampaert stormed to victory on stage 1 of the Tour de France, a flat but rain-soaked 13.2km individual time trial, beating a host of specialists on his way to the prestigious Tour de France yellow jersey and making it five years in a row that a Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider has worn the iconic tunic.

Yves Lampaert in yellow.

“It’s incredible, I didn’t expect this and I don’t understand how it happened. I was thinking of a top 10, those were my expectations at the start, but somehow I managed to beat the best riders in the world. I’m just a farmer’s son from Belgium, so this is something I would have never dreamed of. My mind is exploding”, a teary-eyed Yves said in disbelief after the biggest victory of his career.

Rain was expected during the day, but to the surprise of many it didn’t come towards the end of the stage, but instead impacted the early starters, among whom were also many of the GC favourites. Yves Lampaert was in the last third of the start list, and benefitted from some slightly dryer roads, which allowed him to put in the performance of a lifetime on the streets of the Danish capital.

Despite not being the fastest at the only intermediate checkpoint, the 31-year-old former Belgian ITT Champion ramped up the tempo in the last seven kilometers and finished with the best time after a stunning ride on the second part of the course, stopping the clock in 15:17.

Having averaged over 51.8km/h on his Specialized Shiv machine – the only rider to break this barrier – Yves improved the provisional time by five seconds and went straight into the hot seat, where he remained until the very end, when he let all his emotions overcome him before collapsing into the arms of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl staff.

“To beat all these guys today is unbelievable for me! The roads were wet, and I kept saying to myself on the corners ‘Yves, go faster, trust in your tires or you’ll lose seconds in the corners’, and in the end I finished five seconds faster. I think I’ll only realise what I have done after the Tour, when I’ll return to my family. I can be proud of myself, but while on the podium I thought of the whole team and especially of Tim Declercw. He’s my best friend, but he’s home now and I miss him. I’m so happy with this victory and honoured to wear the yellow jersey”, added Yves, the 18th different rider in the history of the Wolfpack to win a Tour de France stage.

Here’s the report from Wout van Aert’s & Primoz Roglic’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has just missed out on a win on the opening day of the Tour de France. The Belgian of Team Jumbo-Visma rode to the second time in the time trial. Classification riders Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard finished among the main competitors for the general classification.

Wout van Aert came close. Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez

Due to the wet weather conditions, the course was treacherously slippery in some places. Roglic was the first to start on behalf of Team Jumbo-Visma. The Olympic time trial champion rode a strong race, placing him among the general classification's favourites. Vingegaard followed his teammate's example and rode to seventh place in his home country.

After the Team Jumbo-Visma GC riders, it was Van Aert's turn. The Belgian, previously tipped as a favourite for this first stage, held his own in difficult circumstances. In the end, only Lampaert managed to set a faster time.

"I am satisfied with my time trial. On the road, I had a good feeling. I didn't take too much risk in the corners, but I rode good lines. It went well. I think the second time proves that", Van Aert said.

The Belgian had traveled to Copenhagen with big ambitions. "I came to win. When I crossed the line, I knew I had already beaten some strong riders. It was a bit of a shock that Yves was faster in the end. Well done to him."

Sports director Grischa Niermann reviewed his riders' performance after the time trial. "Primoz and Jonas rode well. The most important thing was to ride a good ride and not fall. They both did that well. They only lost time on Pogacar. We can live with it and are satisfied with the time trial of our GC riders."

After his GC riders' excellent race, Niermann also hoped to win. "When Wout came in, we thought we had a good chance of victory. Then Christophe came close, but unfortunately, he fell. Lampaert was five seconds faster, so we were beaten on value", the German sports director said.

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Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this report:

Today’s start of the Tour de France 2022 in Copenhagen was quite tricky. A 13-kilometer-long ITT in the city center was even more difficult because of wet conditions. Aleksandre Vlasov was one of the early starters today. Like all of the BORA – hansgrohe riders he didn’t take any risk in the corners and just tried to limit his losses. With a time of 15:49 Vlasov finished just outside the top 20 in the end, around 30 seconds behind Y. Lampaert who takes the first Yellow Jersey. Lennard Kämna was BORA – hansgrohe’s best placed rider in the end, with a time of 15:43 he finished 19th.

Here's a pic of the team's Felix Grossschartner doing his time trial. Sirotti photo

“I started not too fast and took no risk in the corners. After some kilometers I was able to push a little more as I felt more comfortable on the bike. On the flat parts my legs felt quite good, not perfect, but good and I am optimistic for the upcoming days. I think it was not my best TT, but it was a solid one.” – Lennard Kämna

“It is just the first stage, and we have a long race ahead of us, so I didn’t want to take any risk. On the straights I was able to push a big gear and actually felt really good. Compared to the other GC favorites my time is ok. So, we can be happy with the day.” – Aleksandre Vlasov

“Well, I think it was a good day. Of course, we could have gone faster, but there would have been also the risk to crash and lose everything. Therefore, we did choose a conservative approach today. We didn’t lose too much time and are in a good position with Lenni, Aleks, Max and Patrick. Now there are some tricky road stages ahead of us and after that we will see where we are.” – Rolf Aldag, sports director

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Here's the report from third-place Tadej Pogacar's UAE Team Emirates:

Tadej Pogačar’s Tour de France began with a confident time trial performance.

In the time trial held in Copenhagen, on a city course of 13.2 km, the winner of the last two editions of the Grande Boucle achieved the 3rd best time, 15’24 “at 51.385 km h on average, 7” slower than the winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and just 2” from the performance of Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

Pogacar riding to third place.

Pogačar’s ride in the second part of the stage was particularly effective: after setting the 13th time in the first 6.6 km, the Slovenian athlete was flawless in the remaining kilometers towards the finish line, going on to conquer a place on the podium of the day.

Pogačar is already at the top of the youth ranking (17" on Thomas Pidcock, Ineos-Grenadiers) and will wear the white jersey in the 2nd leg, the 202.2 km Roskilde-Nyborg: which will cross the Great Belt Bridge, which will lead the group to pedal completely exposed to the wind for 18 km.

Pogačar: “It was an excellent opening time trial for this Tour de France: even if the weather conditions were not good, the crowd was exciting and pushed me to give it my all, while enjoying the day at the same time.

"Some corners could have been risky, but I didn’t take any chances, still managing to put in a very good performance thanks to good legs. It was a nice result also in terms of the general classification”.

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Here’s the report from fourth-place Filippo Ganna’s Team Ineos Grenadiers:

Filippo Ganna rode hard to take fourth place in the opening time trial of the Tour de France as the race kicked off on wet roads in Copenhagen.

Filippo Ganna got to wear his world time trial champion's jersey.

The world champion finished the 13.2-kilometre effort with a slow puncture on his rear wheel, coming home 10 seconds back on the winning time.

A pre-stage soaking of the Danish roads made for difficult conditions for all the riders, with the team's trio of GC contenders all finishing safely. Adam Yates returned from illness to set a strong 13th fastest time, 23 seconds back on stage winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step-AlphaVinyl).

Geraint Thomas finished just two seconds further back in 18th after encountering amongst the worst of the wet conditions. Daniel Martinez finished 33rd on the day (+44").

Tom Pidcock was the final Grenadier down the ramp and on his Tour debut he rode to an impressive 15th fastest (+24").

The action continues on Saturday with the first proper road stage with a chance for the sprinters, but with an objective for the team to steer clear of any trouble and time loss.

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