TOUR’22 Rest Day #1: Paint Dry Three Days!

Overview of rest days: The number of spectators on the side of the road in Denmark for the first three stages of the Tour de France 2022 was phenomenal, too bad the same cannot be said for the race. Ed Hood takes a cynical look at the action so far and the implications for the next three weeks.

Thank goodness for Magnus Cort

STEP 1
I was the one who said it would be a surprise if Pippo Ganna didn’t win. I looked at the flat pan profile and thought; ‘it’s all about watts.’ But if I had studied the actual course of the stage instead of just the elevation and noticed all those bends, I probably would have gone for Wout Van Aert – Pippo has the watts but also the mass to accelerate out of those bends , the tall Italian weighs 83 kg while the winner weighs 75 kg.

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No, not Ganna

I will not say ‘surprise’ winner, Yves Lampaert is a lad of quality; you don’t win the dwarven gate twice if you are, ‘medium’ And while Remco may have beaten him to the Belgian iTT title this year, Lampaert put a minute on Campenaerts who finished third. He’s also a tough guy and a great bike handler – the course was made for him, a ‘kermiskoers chrono.’ Hat !

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Lampaert – Nothing to complain about for Patrick

arundel bike t-wrench banner

Patrick Lefevere was heavily criticized for omitting Cav from the Tour squad, but the race is already a success for his team. The early stages always garner the most interest and Lampaert’s humble, human reactions to his success made for excellent television. And for a team that many say is, ‘completed,’ Lampaert’s victory was their 35th of the season. . .

A good day for Yves, but who else?

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Van Aert very close to yellow

WVA’s run kept him well in the frame for the yellow jersey in Stage Two; Pogačar, as expected, has shown that his form is where it should be; Vingeard and Roglič were both very strong. A short opening time trial is not ‘be all and finish all,’ but since the introduction of the prologue in 1967, ‘The Greats’ du Tour – Merckx, Hinault, Indurain, Armstrong, Froome all performed well in the first time trials.

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Big Mig in TT mode

In addition to the time aspect, there is the psychological element, losing a minute in 15 minutes or less of riding is obviously not good for the head. And on that subject, one of my picks on the podium, Ben O’Connor, fourth overall last year, lost a minute – not a good start for the AG2R man – although there are stories of a ‘mechanical.’

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Not a great first step for Ben O’Connor

And we have to mention crashes, some of them said to be due to pilot error – but don’t imagine that all the equipment the pros use is ‘compound’ – some of them aren’t fit for purpose, but you’ll never hear that said in open court. Either way we’re off and running and tomorrow sees the first ‘group start’ and what threatens to be a chaotic finish. And one final late addition on the timed test: Ganna’s race was compromised by a puncture, he finished with a flat tire – but wouldn’t he have been on tubeless self-sealing rear rubber?

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This vest!

Then there’s Geraint Thomas and the vest he forgot to take off I heard Mitch Docker say wearing it might have cost him up to 40 seconds – but Dan Bigham, that’s ‘do the math’ at the moment, we await the figures with interest.

Stage 1 Highlights

2ND STEP
Yes, those Quick-Step boys are over for sure. The yellow jersey, two stage victories, their 36th UCI victory in 2022 and their 50th stage victory in the Tour de France, yes, it’s over for the men in blue.

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Stage 2 victory for Fabio Jakobsen

Back in 2017 I interviewed Fabio Jakobsen, he was part of the now late SEG Racing Academy and had just signed a deal with the powerhouse Quick-Step team.
His answer to my last question tells you a lot about the man:

Me: “One last question, maybe cheeky, Fabio: what reward are you going to give yourself with your first Quick-Step paycheck? »
Fabian: “Nothing. I’ve made a deal with myself there won’t be a fancy sports car until I’ve done it so my parents never have to work again. You have to remember those who have allowed you to be in the situation in which you find yourself in life.

A hard-working, humble, friendly man who returned from an accident that could have ended his life, let alone his career. HAT !

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A young Fabio winner of the Ster van Zwolle

And it’s time for me to eat a humble pie – again – on one of my dada horses, ‘Grand Tours departing out of their homeland.’ As with the Giro in Hungary, Denmark raced proudly with huge crowds and excellent, ‘Vibe.’

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“Take! » Denmark.

And while the scene finale was a cracker, the bulk of the scene is what my colleague Dave would classify as a, ‘paint dryer.’ There is a category for boring steps beyond that; ‘HC dry paint’ but the second stage escaped that stigma – fair. The break took place without too much noise and we were then treated to the B&B Hotels duo doing the back of a real horse; and I wasn’t impressed with Magnus Cort’s victory salute antics when he took that third point from K o M – not cool. Ask yourself; ‘Would Sean Kelly have done that?’

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And what about Cort’s stain? I’ve said it before, the only man to walk away with facial hair in the peloton was Italy’s former second in Ronde, Roubaix and Primavera, Fabio Baldato – period.

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Baldato – The only facial hair

The ‘chaos’ over the bridge never materialized and for a Tour opening stage it was far less jittery and dangerous than many others we have seen over the years. And a final word on the non-selection farrago of the Cav Tour. Lionel Birnie from “Bike Podcast” – which just isn’t the same without the late Richard Moore, although it’s always good to hear Mitch Docker – is at the Tour and he asked Kasper Asgreen about the, ‘Cave thing’ after the second step.

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Asgreen pretty happy with Jakobsen

The Dane explained that within the squad it’s not a problem and it’s more of a media construct than a real problem. After the soundbite was played, Birnie said he wasn’t sure he believed Asgreen. Why can’t the English media just accept that it’s up to the staff of the team to select who they think will do the best job for the team – and the decision of Quick-Step management is now totally justified?

Stage 2 Highlights

STEP 3:
A good sprint and nice to see Groenewegen back ‘Up there,’ winning his fifth stage of the Tour de France. And it’s good to see Australian businessman Gerry Ryan making the most of his huge investment in this team; he put his money where his mouth has been for years.

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Stage victory for Dylan Groenewegen and Gerry Ryan’s BikeExchange-Jayco

BUT, it’s official, Dave ranked stage three a, ‘HC paint dryer’ stage. PEZ Mentor and diviner, Vik agrees, so ‘Sorry’ but someone has to tell it like it is. I gave some Cort ‘to stick on’ yesterday for antics when he took the polka dot jersey but thank goodness for him today; his breakaway to Hoover to king of the mountain points was about all that happened until the hammer fell with 20K to go.

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Cort saved the day

As Eurosport commentator and former sprint fiend Robbie McEwan has observed, is it strange that more runners haven’t hit the road and made some TV time? But maybe it’s because the ‘real’ The Tour de France hasn’t started yet – it’s coming on Tuesday. That said, the reception for the race in Denmark probably exceeded the expectations of ASO organizers with huge crowds and enthusiasm.

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There won’t be as many roadside fans in France as far as the Alps

Northern France and the Four Days of Dunkirk territory next – and hopefully a little more AGRESS, gentlemen. . .

Stage 3 Highlights

# Only Stage 3, lots more to come – stay PEZ for all ‘Stage Reports’, Rest Day Round-Ups’, ‘Race Breakdowns’ and all the news in ‘EUROTRASH’ Monday and Thursday. #

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Simply not!


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