Now that the start-list has been hopefully finalized without any Covid disruption, we shall have a look at the major riders who will be on show for the next 3 and a half weeks.
A further insight can be found at the Route To The Tour De France : Parcours
A daily preview will also be available on the eve of each stage:
As such the 2022 Tour will consist of:
1 cobblestone ( pavés stages)
2 Time trials
5 flat stages with a bunch sprint not promised in any of them
6 hilly stages
7 mountain stages!
This is not going to be a sprinters tour. Most team should be congratulated for leaving their main sprint team home and even a big applause should be given to those who left out their main sprinters.
One of the main attractions of the first week will be the stage 5 pavés stage in Arenberg. There is whole host of riders would could pretend to victory however many will be on duty to protect their leaders. Free of any duty and looking to aim for stage victory will be Inter-Marché Wanty Gobert’s Petit, Kristoff, Vander Hoorn and Zimmermann. Trek Segafredo is another team with the weapon to hurt here with Mads Pedersen, Stuyven and expert gravel rider Quinn Simmons.
Quick Step’s Yves Lampaert and Kasper Asgreen will be free to try their own things. We can expect Mathieu Van Der Poel to force things up here with the help of his teammates Micheal Gogl. Hugo Hofstetter and Anthony Turgis of Arkea Samsic and Total Direct Energies represents France’s best hope. Finally it would be unwise to ignore expert paves riders like Gianni Moscon of Astana , John Degenkolb of Dsm and of course Inoes’s recent Paris Roubaix winner , Dylan Van Baarle.
The two time trials represents nearly 55 km of solo rides and is no joke, while Danish riders, Mads Pedersen, Kasper Asgreen and Magnus Cort Nielsen will be dreaming of wearing Yellow at home, The two rather flattime trial will be a real play ground for Filippo Ganna. His biggest threat remains the formidable Wout Van Aert. Swiss duo of Stephan Küng and Bisseger will also relish their chances. Finally Roglic and Pogacar will probably be the last riders to take down both circuit and could use that as an advantage to make the best time.
The total of 5 flat stages is an eye-wash. The likelihood of échelons in the first 2 stages combined with a categorised climb 10km from the stage 4 finishing threatened certainty of a bunch sprint finish. The other 2 flat stages (19th and 21st stage) seems quieter and more straightforward affairs but the presence of actual pure sprinters by that time is very unlikely.
It has been made no secret that Mads Pedersen is aiming for his first Tour De France Stage victory in Denmark. As much as his team will make the race hard to eliminate pure sprinters, it will be impossible to get rid of Wout Van Aert. Along with the two time trials, Wout Van Aert could win all the flat stages!
Hoping for bunch finishes will be Quick Step’s Fabio Jakobsen. Alpecin Fenix, Team Bike Exchange and Intermarché Wanty Goubert (IWG)will not mind things going either way. Alpecin Felix can blindly trust Jasper Philipsen or Mathieu Van Der Poel to bring them a stage victory. The same could be said for (IWG) with Kristoff and half the other team.
Team Bike exchange could also pretend to the same except that their two main men : Dylan Groenewegen and Micheal Matthews are far from their best form. The former is possibly the first rider of the peloton dropped when the gradient elevates while the second, although remains one of the most versatile riders seems to have lost his top sprint legs to win a stage.