Yves Lampaert winner of the Copenhagen time trial and first yellow jersey

Yves Lampaert winner of the Copenhagen time trial and first yellow jersey

On a course where the specialists in solo effort were expected at the start of the 109th Grande Boucle, the suspense was at its height in the pouring rain this Friday. The Belgian Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) won the first time trial of the Tour de France, at 31 years old. The Belgian rider set the fastest time in the streets of Copenhagen, winning in 15’17”, at an average speed of 51.5 km/h. He beat Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) by 5 seconds and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) by 7 seconds, and will wear the yellow jersey for the first time.

Wout van Aert’s face spoke volumes about his surprise. Thinking he had done the hardest part after having dismissed the favorites, the Belgian saw his 7th victory on the Tour fly away when he saw his compatriot dethrone him, the fault in particular of the road which quickly dried up. On a course free of any difficulty, the Belgian time trial champion in 2017 and 2021 hurtled down the crowded streets of central Copenhagen. The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider takes his first victory on the Tour.

The rain put an end to the hopes of Swiss Stefan Bissegger (EF Education Nippo). Winner of two stages this season on the Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse, the 23-year-old rider advanced like an outsider: he fell twice, caught in the narrow sectors in the first part of the route. Expected in the exercise, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) did not exist, relegated to 23 seconds, he who had contracted the Covid just before the Grand Départ.

The main favorites at the rendezvous

The short distance of the time trial limited the risk of gaps. However, the favorites responded present. Double winner of the Tour, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) was close to winning a third time in three years, after those at La Planche des Belles Filles in 2020 and Laval in 2021. The 23-year-old Slovenian rider confirms his label of big favourite. The two leaders of the Jumbo-Visma, the Dane Jonas Vingegaard and the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, finish in a pocket handkerchief, 15′ and 16′ from the winner. Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) finishes at 23 seconds, Gareth Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) at 25 seconds, Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) at 31 seconds. Only Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) conceded more time: 1’1”.

Fact of the day: the French are limiting breakage

In an exercise that is often not conducive to French riders, the various French headliners achieved good times. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) finished 50 seconds behind the winner of the day. The Breton is not giving up on his podium ambitions, even if he had a great scare along the way. His teammate Thibaut Pinot set the clock at his own pace and conceded 1 min 21 seconds. Another positive performance, Romain Bardet (DSM) finished with a disbursement of 45 seconds over Yves Lampaert. Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma), ahead in the intermediate time on the best time (6.6 km), fell and lost all chance of victory, finishing at 36 seconds.

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