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Tour de France 2022: three things to know about the first stage in Copenhagen

The Grande Boucle, here we go! For once, it’s a Friday that the Tour de France starts. The 176 riders start with a 13.2 km urban time trial through the streets of the Danish capital. The riders of the peloton, and in particular the world champion of the specialty, the Italian Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) will be to their advantage. Here are three things to remember about today’s stage.

The stopover city: a first for Copenhagen

Denmark, a cycling country which redeemed itself after the fall of its idols Bjarne Riis or Michael Rasmussen, doped repentants, welcomes the start of the biggest race in the world for the first time. Never had the Grande Boucle gone so far north of the European continent. This route through the streets of its capital is a great celebration for this country crazy about cycling, not only for cycle races, but on a daily basis. In Copenhagen, there are 736,000 bicycles, and 42% of trips to school or work are made by bicycle!

The favors: the Italian Filippo Ganna

The course fits him like a glove. 13.2 km of flat in the streets of Copenhagen, it is a treat in advance for Filippo Ganna. The Italian from Ineos-Grenadiers is a time trial machine, on the track as well as on the road. Double world champion, Olympic team pursuit champion, and already winner this season of five time trials including that of Dauphiné, Filippo Ganna, 25, is logically aiming for victory and the yellow jersey tonight. Beware, however, of the Belgian Wout van Aert (Jumbo Visma) or the Swiss Stefan Küng (Groupama FDJ).

Note that Tadej Pogacar, the reigning double winner, will start at 5:05 p.m., just after Ganna and van Aert. A risk of rain is announced at the start of the evening and Pogacar does not want to be handicapped by a bitumen made more dangerous by the humidity.

The eye of Thierry Gouvenou, course manager

“Remember that this is not a prologue but a time trial. A prologue must not be longer than 8 km, and it is not eliminatory (if you have a problem and you miss your start, you will not be eliminated and you will have the right to start again the next day with the time of the last ). In a time trial this is not the case at all. There is a time limit for elimination.

This course is clearly to highlight the beauties of Copenhagen. The city asked us to highlight its beautiful assets. In the minds of the chosen ones at the beginning, it was not possible to pass in front of the Little Mermaid, but we did it! This will also make a nice little technical passage. We will pass in beautiful places, in addition to the Little Mermaid: the Royal Palace, the Parliament and the Town Hall.

In sporting terms, it’s very, very fast with beautiful straight lines that are not very dangerous. There will be just a small technical passage in the middle of the course. This is clearly an exercise made for pure timekeeping specialists. We should be above 55 km / h on average. It will take power and aerodynamics. »

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