Tour of France | While waiting for bikes and a suitcase, Boivin plays it safe…

(Copenhagen) Quebecers exercised “extreme” caution in the opening time trial of the Tour de France, contested largely in torrential rain on Friday afternoon in Copenhagen.

Posted at 5:03pm

Simon Drouin

Simon Drouin
The press

Guillaume Boivin, who started third, faced an additional difficulty: he wasn’t riding his time trial bike. The Israel Premier Tech cyclist had to borrow a teammate’s mount because he had not received his suitcase and three bicycles after arriving in Denmark on Wednesday.

“I have the impression that I’ll have them after the Tour because we’re leaving here in two days,” raged the athlete from Longueuil after his effort. We are used to Air Canada. This happened to me twice in one week. Thanks Air Can…”

Boivin was called up at the last minute following the withdrawal of a teammate who may have been infected with COVID-19, and made trips to Montreal, Toronto and Copenhagen Wednesday through Thursday. He returned from Edmonton where he placed second at the Canadian Championships in Edmonton on Sunday.

Under these circumstances, he is happy to start his second tour with “a short day”. He picked up the 129e time and finished 1min 26s behind surprise winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step).

“I pushed hard but didn’t take any risks in the corners. You really had to concentrate, especially when it was raining. In the turns it is very slippery because there is paint. I had nothing to gain, so I was extremely cautious. »

As he resigned, he told his sporting director Zak Dempster that he had heard absolutely nothing from his instructions on the headset. The thousands of spectators who crowded the barrier fences along the entire 13.2 km route were too loud.


Hugo Houle before the start of the time trial

Hugo Houle, who watched his friend’s race from the rear, was able to reconnoiter the track one last time. Still, he struggled to find his way through that human tunnel where every turn felt like the last.

The former Canadian specialty champion did very well, finishing 40the 47 seconds down on the winner thanks to a solid second serving (31ste Time).

“It was going well, the power was good, but I was safe in the corners. I didn’t want to play with the best, so I didn’t see the point of risking anything today. But the sensations are excellent. I’m happy. Otherwise the atmosphere was pretty great. »

Houle, who has not devoted energy to the time trial this year, was Israel-Premier Tech’s best. Despite drier conditions at the end of the race, his Danish friend Jakob Fuglsang had to settle for 64e Rank (+55s).


Antoine Duchesne, Canadian rider for the Groupama FDJ team, starts the first stage of the 109th…e Edition of the Tour de France, individual time trial over 13.2 km, in Copenhagen, on 1ah July 2022.

Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ) had no ambitions at this event and showed caution in the curves. However, he found additional motivation at the end of the race when his manager whispered in his ear that he was four seconds ahead of his roommate Thibaut Pinot. The Chicoutimi native added three more to the line to become 105e (+ 1min 14s).

“It was great, such a time trial in the city,” enthused Duchesne. There were people everywhere, not an inch free. it was crazy people all the way. You get into the game, you want to go full throttle, you’re a bit euphoric, on adrenaline. It changes the times we sometimes do in potato fields when it’s gray in winter…”


Michael Woods of Team Israel-Premier Tech

After a thorough warm-up, Israel-Premier Tech’s third Canadian, Michael Woods, surfed to the finish and finished 134the 1.5 minutes from Lampaert. The 35-year-old Ontarian didn’t bother to loosen his legs on the stationary bike after his performance.

“I didn’t go all out because of the corners,” he explained. It was really dangerous. I have seen that [Stefan] Bissegger had fallen twice so I didn’t take any chances. My goal is just to finish the first week without a fall. I achieved that today. »

Woods was still able to measure the strength of his legs. “I rode well, I’m strong, I think I’ll be ready for the next three weeks. »

The tour started well, it remains to bring together a reassembled rider with his bikes and suitcase. Meanwhile, the Israel Premier Tech publicist went to buy her some clothes…

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