Tour de France 2022 : Stage 5 – Clarke conquers chaotic cobbles; others, not so much

We knew it would be a rip-roarer of a stage but who predicted that Stage 5 of this year’s Tour de France would see Jumbo-Visma have a shit day of #unluck; Tadej Pogacar ride the cobbles like they were smooth asphalt; EF’s two riders in the break practically ridden down by their own teammate; that Primoz Roglic‘s Tour nemesis would come in the form of a stray haybale; or that the stage would be decided in a photofinish between Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty) and Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech)? And yet for all that, none of the jerseys changed hands. There was nothing straightforward about today’s stage and there will be nothing straightforward about this write up. Just hang on tight and see how dirty we get by the end.

Continue reading

Tour de France 2022: Stage 2 – Feel-good win for Jakobsen while Wout slips into yellow

The second stage of the 2022 Tour de France hit the open roads and bridges of Denmark. Much chaos was predicted, but the racing was quite straightforward, though marred by a number of nervous crashes. QuickStep Alpha Vinyl’s Fabio Jakobsen took a feel-good sprint win, while Jumbo Visma’s Wout van Aert came second on the stage, enough to bag him the leader’s yellow jersey.

How it went down

Oh, Denmark, you tried. You served up some potential peril at the start of this race. Yesterday, you treated the riders to a soggy and sinuous time trial course and today coastal roads, crosswinds and the biggest bridge known to (Danish) mankind was on offer. We should know better by now, shouldn’t we? The more a stage is hyped up to have epic potential, the more likely it is to be… well… a bit dull. The crosswinds didn’t cross hard enough, the bridge looked great but didn’t provide decisive action. It all came down to a fairly bog-standard sprint finish.

Things that did happen

There’s no sport like cycling for paying tribute to its own. It’s been less than a year since Chris Anker Sorensen was killed after being hit by a van while riding his bike

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.

Continue reading