The 109th Tour de France hits the open road on Saturday for a 202km route between Roskilde and Nyborg.
After a surprise time-trial victory for Yves Lampaert opened the race, it could be another Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider who wins Stage Two, with Fabio Jakobsen the 7/4 favourite.
A rainy day in the Danish capital wasn’t enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the Copenhagen crowds and the riders did their best to battle the conditions.
Team Jumbo Visma’s Wout van Aert looked set to take yellow with a stunning time, edging out world time-trial champion Filippo Ganna of Ineos Grenadiers but Lampaert was the pick of the late riders and claimed a storming success.
“My mind is exploding,” Lampaert said. “I thought a top 10 would be great and now I beat all the best riders in the world. I’m just a farmer’s son from Belgium. To do this, I never expected it.
“The roads were really wet, the potholes were full of water. I think I had the same conditions as the main favourites. Always in the corners I said, ‘Yves, go faster, trust in your tyres’.”
Reigning champion Tadej Pogacar (4/1 Tour de France 2022 Outright) was third on the day, sandwiched between Van Aert and Ganna, while Jonas Vingegaard (7/2) won the battle of Jumbo’s general classification riders, beating Primoz Roglic (4/1) by two seconds.
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The weather looks set to change for Saturday as the peloton travel from Roskilde to Nyborg, tracing the coast before heading across the Great Belt, an 18km bridge that joins the islands of Zealand and Funen.
The first sprint finish of the 2022 Tour is likely, but the sprinters’ teams will need to be vigilant against the expected winds, especially when 65m up in the air on the bridge.
After a stunning time-trial on Friday, Alpecin–Deceuninck’s Mathieu van der Poel (20/1 Stage Two Winner) could try and make a late break, as he did to take the yellow jersey in 2021. That might be part of a two-pronged attack alongside sprinter Jasper Philipsen (13/2).
Jakobsen will also be looking to take his maiden Tour de France stage win having been selected ahead of last year’s green jersey Mark Cavendish.
Cavendish succeeded another Quick-Step man in Sam Bennett in winning the points classification and the young Belgian is 4/1 to make it three in a row for his team in that competition.
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