Tour of France | Yves Lampaert surprised them all

(Copenhagen) Copenhagen is the city par excellence for cyclists and pedestrians. Everyone has their own path, well defined and identified. The cars ? They wait without hesitation and respect their own traffic corridor.

Updated yesterday at 1:43pm.

Simon Drouin

Simon Drouin
The press

But all those white and blue paint markings on the roads don’t just have benefits. All cyclists know it: when it rains, it slips. “Like a bar of soap,” remarked Switzerland’s Stefan Bissegger (EF), a favorite who hit the ground twice in Friday afternoon’s opening time trial of the Tour de France.

In these difficult conditions – and in front of a huge Danish crowd – Belgian Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step) surprised all the competitors who went in front of him, starting with his compatriot Wout Van Aert (Jumbo), who took the lead for a long time.

“I beat the great Van Aert! “Started an incredulous and tearful Lampaert after the finish. “It’s incredible for me, I never thought about wearing the yellow jersey. My head explodes! »


Yves Lampart

Lampaert, a 31-year-old farmer’s son, took advantage of a drier surface to beat Van Aert by five seconds. With an average speed of 51.8 km/h, he mastered the circuit and its twenty corners. The two-time state champion of the specialty had a great second half of the course.

I was expecting to be in the top 10. It would have been very good. In the end I beat everyone best.

Yves Lampart

Hugo Houle praised the coup de force of the Belgian, who was known for his qualities in the spring classics: “Impressive, Lampaert. I think he surprised a lot of people today. I do. He’s a very good runner, but to say he’d beat all these guys… The leaders were a bit trapped [par la météo]. Had they gone last, it would have changed the game. »

Speechless in the driver’s seat, Van Aert was aiming for his third consecutive Tour de France victory. He had won the final time trial and sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées last year.

“Of course I’m disappointed, that’s how he reacted. It’s frustrating but with the bonuses it’s possible to get the yellow jersey in the next few days. Today there was a chance. That’s a shame ! »

The other big news of the day is third place for Tadej Pogačar, the 23-year-old Slovenian who is aiming for a third consecutive title. Not only did he beat World Champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos), who suffered a slow puncture, but he also sent a message to all his other competitors in the standings.

“I feel confident, content even if it was tense and stressful for me,” assured the UAE leader. “It remains one of my best starts on the Tour. »

His two expected opponents from Jumbo-Visma were evenly matched. The Dane Jonas Vingegaard (7e) and the Slovenian Primož Roglič (8e) finished 8 and 9 seconds behind Pogačar respectively. It was not therefore Friday that the leaders of the Dutch formation wanted to set the hierarchy, an issue that could potentially become tricky.

Britain’s Adam Yates (Ineos) pulled off a superb operation by slipping to 13th placee Square, 16 seconds from “Pogi”. His teammate Geraint Thomas (18e) and Dani Martinez (33e) landed a little further. Here, too, the priorities still have to be defined.

France’s David Gaudu, teammate of Antoine Duchesne at Groupama-FDJ, saved the day by losing less than a minute to the leader.

The biggest notable loser is Australia’s Ben O’Connor (AG2R), fourth on the 2021 Tour, who is already almost a minute behind Pogačar.

The table is set for the second leg this Saturday where Van Aert will try to steal the yellow card from Lampaert. All attention is focused on the 18 km long double bridge across the Great Belt, connecting the islands of Zealand and Funen. The destination is 3 km after the end of the bridge. The 50km approach promises to be very nervy, especially if the offshore wind picks up.

Big equipment

For hardware enthusiasts, Bissegger has raised a large chainring with 64 teeth. Obviously that didn’t help him. EF’s young Swiss fell to 99e Rank after his two falls. “On the track, they shift into more and more high gears,” remarked Hugo Houle. I had a 60.” Chris Froome, who closed on an anonymous 112e Platz, continues to pedal with a very pronounced egg-shaped chainring.

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