Yves Lampaert is a disappointment, however

Inevitably, when it comes to selling “The northernmost start in the history of the Tour de France”, the sun is not guaranteed by the organization. Zeal, yes. In Copenhagen, Friday 1er July, bad weather did not stop the Danes from attending in large numbers the 13.2-kilometer time trial on the wide avenues of their capital.

Relive the live stage: Surprise yellow jersey, Belgian Yves Lampaert wins in Copenhagen

On paper, this time won by the Belgian Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step) was not announced as too technical, apart from a closed bend to come to greet the statue of the Little Mermaid and a very short step of cobblestones in front of the royal palace. .

But in the city, when the rain comes to the party, any white line becomes a threat of falling. The favorites in the overall standings and the stage victory had anticipated the threat starting early. A bet on time more or less right. The first yellow jersey of this 2022 edition started a little later, at 5.44pm, shortly after the worst downpour.

Happy as a “Flahute” in the rain

The smile is not the first thing that impacts Yves Lampaert. The boy embodies pure-blooded flamingo. More like leeks, like the ones he harvested in his parents’ fields. The first yellow jersey of the 2022 Tour is a tough guy, lover of wind and cobblestones. In short, the typical “Flahute” of cold humor, especially understandable to those who master this Dutch-Flemish dialect typical of the inhabitants of their region of Engelmunster.

Upon arrival, the Quick-Step runner made his audience laugh, and in French. “I beat the great runner Wout van Aert, but I’m still the former Belgian time trial champion [en 2021] », he says when he sees his compatriot come to greet him. Despite the mask, we almost guess a smile from his dolphin. Van Aert knows Lampaert’s pedigree. In Belgium, a double winner of Through Flanders is something to respect.

The country could have expected better from him. At 31, Lampaert has shown his limits in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix still resists him (third in 2019, fifth in 2021), despite the obvious predispositions. His season almost came to an end just a few miles from the velodrome. A too advanced spectator and Lampaert makes a sun in the Willems sector, before falling on his back like a judoka. The podium had flown, but the young father was already happy to hug his young son, Alois.

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He often presented himself as Patrick Lefevere’s favorite son. “He’s my driver, he’ll never leave our team,” the Quick-Step manager once said he ruled out interest in the Trek. Still, Lampaert is nearing the end of his contract and there was no indication of whether Lefevere would live up to his promise after a disappointing Classics campaign.

But that was before drying all the best riders on Copenhagen’s wet roads. When he understood that victory was assured, we even saw the “Flahute” of the fields wipe away a few tears. “This morning I thought a top 10 would be good, I’m a good driver, but here are all the best in the world, he excitedly confided in the microphone of France Télévisions. I am a yellow t-shirt, my career is already successful. »

Stefan Bissegger, fall and relapse

Turned on “four, five laps” route, Benjamin Thomas (Cofidis, 23ethe first Frenchman) said to himself: “The boys like it [Mathieu] Van der Poel i [Stefan] Bissegger will have fun. » On arrival, for the second, it was a grimace soup. The Swiss may have trusted to be so “fan” of the new caramel pink t-shirt with two neon yellow dinosaurs from his EF Education-EasyPost team, he was hoping to change it for a yellow tunic.

Designated as one of the favorites of this inaugural time trial, the Turgovian chose to go out among the first runners, in eighth position, when rain was announced for the end of the afternoon. Failed bet: the track specialist covered the 13.2 kilometers on a wet road … And his dream turned into a nightmare. Instead of being the first leader of the Tour, Bisseger inaugurated the autumn stretch.

Twice: in a sharp bend to the right, then again a few meters later. His teammate Neilson Powless saw the first gadin before getting off the bus to take the exit. The American pragmatically summarizes: “I had to give it my all if I wanted to win. Here’s what he did: he played. It just wasn’t his day. » Then there is no yellow, but a few blues.

Christophe Laporte, damn turn

When Christophe Laporte lights up green in the middle, the hope of seeing a Frenchman put on his yellow jersey goes through his head. A hope quickly evaporated. A few hectometers further on, the Jumbo-Visma rider made a wrong turn. A fall without consequence, except chronometric. “On the handset, they told me I had the best time, it doesn’t change much to know, it was just motivating,” he told France Télévisions who was driving faster than his leaders Wout van Aert and Primoz Roglic after 6.6 kilometers.

At ease in a few moments, the old mountain cyclist was trying to understand this slide at low speed not far from the Little Mermaid. “I didn’t really think I was taking any chances, I was surprised when I arrived at the park. I pedaled a little too much before the turn, I was wrong. It’s my fault. » But there is no time to think. His training is based primarily on his talent as a wheel racer to protect a Roglic in a 2.e stage open to all winds and all edges.

Tadej Pogacar passes between the drops

And during that time, discreetly, the double headline got a new feat. We know that Slovenian is never happier than a rainy day. We also know that with him there is no certainty … What does it matter, then, that the route of this time trial was sold too flat for it to compete with the specialists in exercises? Prudent on the turns but author of incredible straight climbs, the UAE leader finished third, just ahead of reigning world champion Filippo Ganna.

His two main rivals in the overall, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic, are 8 and 9 seconds behind. So yes, we are beginning to know the phenomenon, after all it has not lost any stage since the Tour of the Basque Country 2021. “I’m sure, satisfied with my performance, although it was tense, tight, the person concerned reacted. For me, this is one of the best starts of the Tour de France. »

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