After nine stages, the 2022 Tour de France is not yet halfway there, but it has already given many lessons. Tadej Pogacar has already taken over what has been his property for two years, the yellow shirt. Primoz Roglic continues his annoying history with the Grande Boucle, while the French, if they haven’t won yet, still have a lot to play for before Paris. Here is the report for the first week of this 109th edition.
Winners: Tadej Pogacar and Wout van Aert monopolize attention
France Télévisions consultant Thomas Voeckler states: “Wout van Aert is the big one of the first week.” Three times second in the stages of Denmark, winner in Calais and then in Lausanne, Wout van Aert eagerly wore the yellow jersey before putting on the green tunic. In the points classification, he almost doubles the number of units over his pursuer, Fabio Jakobsen. “What he did in Calais is exceptional and encouraged every stage”emphasizes Thomas Voeckler.
The yellow jersey, Tadej Pogacar, is, of course, the other big winner after nine stages. Double stage winner, at Longwy and the Super Planche des Belles Filles, the Slovenian has already impressed, with a well-organized team around him to control the race. However, according to Thomas Voeckler, the suspense is not over yet. “He hasn’t won the Tour yet, he hasn’t eliminated the competition like last year. Then Jonas Vingegaard is even stronger than in 2021 and now he has his whole team by his side. He will be the only one who will be. to compete with Pogacar “.
Finally, Magnus Cort Nielsen, who wore the polka dot jersey until Sunday, was one of the main animators of this Tour outing, especially in his homeland, Denmark. “He spent a lot of time on the run, honored his polka dot t-shirt and gained popularity”summarizes Thomas Voeckler.
The losers: Primoz Roglic will have to support Jonas Vingegaard
Announced as one of the favorites in the final victory, Primoz Roglic is already almost three minutes away from Tadej Pogacar. “He is the big loser at the start of the Tour, well ahead of the othersbelieved Thomas Voeckler. It’s not his fault, because he crashed on the cobblestone stage and couldn’t do anything, he’s just unlucky. “ What role will he now play within his team, Jumbo-Visma, while Jonas Vingegaard seems to be the only leader? “I think they will use it to destabilize Pogacar, because it is not on the street either. They will do it differently, because they have to get the yellow shirt.”answers the consulting firm France Télévisions.
Ben O’Connor, leader of the Citroën AG2R, fourth overall last year, completely missed his first week, 50 minutes from the overall standings. “He also fell in Denmark and can’t recover. It’s hard to pedal.”observes Thomas Voeckler. Lotto-Soudal sprinter Caleb Ewan also missed great opportunities to shine. “There were several sprints in the early stages, while there won’t be many until Paris, and it didn’t go well there.”explains the old runner.
The questions: Will Mathieu van der Poel find his legs?
What happens to Mathieu van der Poel? Accustomed to flying the race on flat or mountainous profiles, the Dutchman spent the first week like a ghost, leaving the field open to a Wout van Aert who hasn’t asked for so much.
Visibly tired, Van der Poel seems too fair and seems to let go as soon as you imagine him playing for victory. “He’s better, but he’s usually able to resist Wout van Aert. He’s sorry we didn’t see them face off. We’re so used to them being on the same record. With the real Mathieu van der Poel, we would have had an even more magnificent show. “., observes Thomas Voeckler. The 101st in the overall standings only competes in his third Grand Tour, and discovers the Giro-Tour sequence so difficult to manage.
The other big question concerns the top of the ranking. With three men in the top 10 (four on Saturday before the failure of Daniel Martinez), Ineos Grenadiers advances in a position of strength to push Tadej Pogacar. With Geraint Thomas 3rd (1’17), Adam Yates 4th (1’25) and Thomas Pidcock 7th (1’46), the British seem best equipped to face the Slovenian prodigy, but they still haven’t ‘they have revealed. no map. “I don’t know what they’re preparing. They’re aware that Pogacar is stronger on the pedal. You have to compete imaginatively to destabilize the UAE, and we don’t know which of the three is in the best shape because the mountain just started.”concretizes the consultancy of France Télévisions.
The French: Gaudu and Bardet in the appointment, Pinot points once
There was no French victory during these first nine stages, but the results are nonetheless quite convincing. David Gaudu (5th) and Romain Bardet (6th) follow one another in the classification, ambushed behind the favorites. Both avoided the traps of the dreaded first week, as did regular Aurélien Paret-Peintre, 13th and third Frenchman. “They’re where they have the means to be. They’re in an ideal location, so it mentions it very well.”, rejoices Thomas Voeckler. Other lesser-known runners were also placed at the start of the Tour: Jérémy Lecroq, Hugo Hofstetter, Benjamin Thomas and Christophe Laporte appeared in the top 10 for at least one stage.
The tricolor riders still have everything to play for. Thibaut Pinot, who had a complicated day the day before, did a review this Sunday. “For the rest of the French, they didn’t have the profile for the stages. In the sprints, the best French sprinters are absent, and then they didn’t shine on the stages because they had to work with their leaders. They couldn’t express everything. its potential, and the proof is that when Thibaut Pinot has a good start, he responds present “, concludes Voeckler. It is mainly about perpetuating a tradition: since 1999, a tricolor runner has always won at least once during the Tour de France.