Tour de France 2022: Stage 1 – Yves Lampaert takes a surprise yellow

Bonjour mes amis et velkommen til København. Stage One of the Tour de France kicked off with a 13.2km time trial around the rain-slicked roads of Denmark’s capital. All the maillot jaune money was on the four big names with skills against the clock, and boy did they perform. Filippo Ganna (INEOS-Grenadiers), Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team-Emirates) and Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma), all rode faster than Alpecin-Deceuninck’s  Mathieu van der Poel. But they all had to cede to a lung-buster of a ride by Yves Lampaert who takes the first yellow jersey and the TDF lion plushie back to the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl bus.

What the hell just happened?

The 13km parcours should have been perfect for the power TTers. All the talk in the run up was about who could beat Ganna and how they might do it. There was skinsuit news, chainring news, new aero helmet news. It was set to be the fiercest of contests, except we had all forgotten the weather. After a day of glorious sunshine for the team presentation, the rain fell on the opening stage and suddenly everything became that little bit more anxiety ridden and uncertain.

and cobbles

The early lead was taken by Trek-Segafredo’s Bauke Mollema looking resplendent in his new Dutch champion skinsuit.

The nerves corkscrewed tighter as EF Education – Easy Post hot favourite, Stefan Bissegger, demonstrated exactly how slick the roads were.  Pushing a huge 64tooth chainring, he held nothing back as he went into the corners.

His luck eventually ran out and he hit the deck, not once but twice, putting paid to EF dreams of yellow.

Poor guy, you have to feel for him

Everyone held their breath as the GC guys started – they had a fine line to walk between staying safe and not losing time they cannot make up in the mountains

Jumbo-Visma duo Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic played all their cards perfectly, finishing the day 7th and 8th respectively.

Next into the hot seat arrived a fearless Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix Deceuninck – how long will it take me to remember that name change?) sliding his bike around corners for fun.

Then came the three riders everyone had their eyes on as Pippo, Wout and Tadej rolled off the start ramp one after another.

Ganna’s usual smooth style was hampered by the wet corners

Wout was burning it up. Matching van der Poel for silky bike handling but really laying down the power on the second half of the course to scream over the line and into the hot seat.

That Jumbo Bee jersey gives the riders the look of a full sleeve tattoo, and I like that.

The 2021 champion looked as cool as a cucumber before the start…

… and that swag never left him as he finished just 2 seconds behind Van Aert.


Aurelien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroen) had all three superstars chasing him – and he wasn’t caught. BRAVO!

It all looked set for Wout Van Aert to take yellow, right up until Yves Lampaert’s times started to show on the live-tickers.  The former two-time Belgian National TT champion is no slouch against the clock and these shorter city-centre style routes suit him to a tee. Even so, I did not expect him to get close to his countryman’s time. Neither did Wout.

But as the finish line drew nearer that’s exactly what happened. With a shout of pure joy he came over the line with 5 seconds in hand.

An incredible ride, which stunned fans and commentators alike, and probably no one more than the man himself. We will not speak of the long overshoe socks

I don’t think the atmosphere of the stage can quite be captured by the official highlights, so I bring you #RookieRacingRecap from the inimitable Belinda. She has you covered.

Just a farmer’s son from Belgium

Yes the road conditions may have been more favourable and yes the wind had dropped. But you know what? The big names get to choose what time they want to roll down the start ramp on the opening day, it’s always a gamble, and it takes nothing away from Yves Lampaert’s victory. He rode that course with pure guts and skill. Knew he would lose time in the corners if he didn’t let the bike run under him. Knew he could ride that course with all its technicalities. Trusted his skills and his bike and went for it.

He was overcome with emotion during his interview

we’re still not mentioning the long socks!

Time trial stylings

I know a lot of fans like to nerd out about TT tech, but at VeloVoices Towers we’re more into the absurdity of some of the TT helmets. They may well be aero, but really?

The new Specialised TT helmet, with additional snood/face sock!

A different angle made the whole thing so much worse.

More aero-helmet stylings on this thread

Good to see the first wearer of the yellow jersey was not to be seen in such things.

I did have to laugh with Geraint Thomas. All that INEOS-Grenadiers money on a super aero TT suit and he forgets to take his gilet off.

Danish Roar

Denmark has a beautiful relationship with the bicycle. I expected the Danish crowd to be knowledgeable and vocal, but wowsers, these clips gave me goosebumps. Very few riders get take part in the Tour de France, and fewer still have the opportunity of a home town Grand  Depart. How special it must have been for the 10 Danes on the startlist today. Imagine riding the course on this wave of sound.

Vingegaard! Vingegaard! Vingegaard!

They were cheered all around the course

I have a soft sport for Mr Pedersen (yeah I know, you’re all shocked!). Not only is he dynamite on the bike, but his work ethic, down-to-earthness, and his passion for what he does shines through. Have a watch of this behind the scenes from Trek-Segafredo.

Before I leave Denmark, for those that love a little history with their Tour, look no further than this thread from Rasmus.

Things that made me smile

When you’re hungry

It wouldn’t be Le Tour without La Caravanne

The brilliant #couchpeloton are here to bring the fun. If you’re are not following either Mrs Frog or Belinda on twitter. YOU ARE MISSING OUT!

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