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Surprise: Yves Lampaert pulls on first Tour yellow jersey after winning tricky opening chrono in Copenhagen

Defending champion Pogačar best of the GC favourites

Photo by: Sirotti

Quick Step’s Yves Lampaert stunned the cycling world by seizing the first yellow jersey of the 2022 Tour de France, proving the fastest in Friday’s first time trial Grand Départ since 2017. The last Belgian to wear yellow was Greg van Avermaet in 2018, and the last Belgian to win the Grand Départ was Philippe Gilbert in 2011. It was the first time that world chrono champion Filippo Ganna was beaten in a Grand Tour Race of Truth. Friday’s opener was the second of three 2022 Grand Tour first stages on foreign soil, the Giro d’Italia’s Grande Partenza having been located in Budapest, Hungary, and the Vuelta a España set to begin in Utrecht, the Netherlands in August.

On Canada Day, the top Canuck was Hugo Houle, recently 15th on GC in the Tour de Suisse.

Houle was 40th on Friday.

You can watch the 2022 Tour de France at FloBikes.

The Course

Copenhagen’s 13.2-km chrono might have been flat, but it was crammed with corners, something that could prove treacherous in the rain.

Corners galore in Copenhagen.

Tour debutante Ganna was expected to win, as he was five for five in Grand Tour time trials and had led both the 2020 and 2021 Giros after taking the opening chronos.

Jérémy Lecroq of French wildcard team B&B Hotels was the first to roll the course, and late Canadian addition Guillaume Boivin was third out of the start house.

Boivin was the third rider to roll down the start ramp.

Two early riders who could challenge for the day’s win were Stefan Bissegger and Mathieu van der Poel. Bissegger crashed twice. Van der Poel knocked Bauke Mollema off the hot seat with 15:30.

Primož Roglič was another early starter. As the rain fell harder, he crossed the line 3 seconds slower than van der Poel. His Danish teammate Jonas Vingegaard was a second faster.

Ganna, Van Aert and Tadej Pogačar all went in a row. The rain stopped to let them through. Ganna bumped van der Poel from the hotseat by 2.5 seconds and then was in turn usurped when Van Aert hit the line at 15:22. Pogačar was two seconds slower than Van Aert.

Van Aert’s teammate Christophe Laporte achieved the best split time but crashed soon after. Lampaert had the eighth fastest split time but accelerated to crack his compatriot’s mark by five seconds, an average speed of 51.8 km/hr. It was only 12 days ago that Lampaert was disqualified from his home tour for dangerous and unfair behaviour towards Tim Wellens.

Saturday’s stage from Roskilde to Nyborg is an early opportunity for the sprinters, although everyone will be worried about winds the 16-kilometer long Grand Belt bridge.

2022 Tour de France Stage 1
1) Yves Lampaert (Belgium/Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) 15:17
2) Wout Van Aert (Belgium/Jumbo-Visma) +0:05
3) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) +0:07
40) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +0:47
105) Antoine Duchesne (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +1:14
129) Guillaume Boivin (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:26
134) Michael Woods (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:29