The day after the inaugural time trial won by Yves Lampaert, the Tour de France 2022 offers its first online race, Saturday July 2, for the second stage. On the program, a probable sprint finish, unless the wind disrupts the plans at the end of the 202.2 kilometres.
What is the stage profile?
The second stage between Roskilde, capital of Denmark between the 10th and 15th centuries, and Nyborg offers a relatively flat profile. With only three fourth category climbs placed in the first half of the course, logic would dictate that the sprinters are battling for the first time in this 109th edition.
But that’s without counting on a particularly tortuous finale. To reach the island of Funen from Seeland, the peloton will cross the Great Belt by the eponymous bridge. Depending on its direction, the wind could mess up the peloton which will find dry land just three kilometers from the finish. It will still be necessary to be wary of a left turn almost at a right angle, 500 meters from the line. Placement will be essential.
Why can the Great Belt Bridge be tricky?
Since the announcement of the route in October, the first week has been on everyone’s mind. Two stages, in particular, are frightening. The fifth, between Lille and Arenberg Porte du Hainaut because of the inhospitable cobblestones. And so this second, Saturday.
At the heart of all questions: the Storebæltsbroen, in Danish in the text. To span the Great Belt, the runners will ride for 18 kilometers above the sea. They must first ride on the East Bridge which connects Seeland to the small island of Sprogo. A massive structure located more than 250 meters high and whose main span (i.e. the length between two pylons) is the third longest in the world. The runners will then take the West Bridge to reach the island of Funen, which is about twenty meters above sea level.
The risk of edges is known to all. With such a long distance exposed to the wind, the peloton could be dismantled into several pieces if Eole blows three-quarters face. You will have to stick your elbows out to position yourself and above all play tactically to trap the opponents. Dantesque final to be expected!
Which runner can benefit from it?
Looking at the profile, being a sprinter will not be enough to win at Nyborg. It will also be necessary to know how to take advantage of the weather conditions and the risks of edges in the last twenty kilometers of the stage. In this game, Fabio Jakobsen ticks all the boxes.
The Dutchman is one of the best sprinters on the planet, if not the best. With ten successes already this season, including the second stage of Paris-Nice, Fabio Jakobsen is the runner who has raised his arms the most in 2022, tied with Tadej Pogacar and Remco Evenepoel.
In addition, he can count on a Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team expert in edging. Even in the absence for Covid-19 of the muscular Tim Declercq, replaced by Florian Senechal, the Belgian team will certainly be able to protect him. During the second stage of the 2015 Tour, the Quick-Step had been at the maneuver in a similar arrival judged in Zeeland, in the Netherlands.
11:55 am: start of the broadcast on France 2 and france.tv
12:15 p.m.: fictitious start
12:35 p.m.: actual departure
4:59 p.m.: expected arrival in Nyborg