After 3,328 kilometers covered, the peloton crossed the finish line of the Tour de France 2022, on the Champs-Élysées, on Sunday July 24. Jonas Vingegaard won the yellow jersey ahead of the double defending champion, Tadej Pogacar. The two men flew over the Grande Boucle, as did Wout van Aert, winner of three stages. The French waited for the nineteenth act to raise their arms, but can be satisfied with placing four riders in the top 15 in the general classification. A look back at the 109th edition with Thomas Voeckler, France Télévisions consultant.
Vingegaard, Pogacar and the others
On the podium of the Tour de France, Sunday, on the Champs-Elysées, there was an air of deja-vu. Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar, who fought over the yellow jersey last year, climbed the first two steps again, but reversed their position. Tadej Pogacar gave way to the Dane despite multiple attacks to regain the yellow jersey, lost at the Col du Granon.
With more than eight minutes ahead of third for Jonas Vingegaard, and almost five minutes for Tadej Pogacar, the two men did not let any other runners get involved in their fight. “At the start of the Tour de France, we talked a lot about Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic. Jonas Vingegaard was also cited among the favorites, but a notch below, even in the hierarchy of Jumbo. And then it very quickly turned into a duel. There were those two and the others. They were really above the lot”confirms Thomas Voeckler, consultant France Televisions.
Wout van Aert, “the 21 stages at full speed”
His title of super-combatant of the Tour left little suspense. Second in the first three Danish stages, Wout van Aert won the first of his three stage victories on his return to France, in Calais, after a superb solo raid on the coast of Cap Blanc-Nez. Impressive, the Belgian, dressed in the yellow jersey, also became a model teammate to protect his leaders on the cobbles the next day, before losing the lead in the general classification, with panache, between Binche and Longwy.
Even in the mountains, Wout van Aert then regularly showed his green jersey at the front of the race, often in the right moves to start in the breakaways, but ready to slow down the pace to wait and help Jonas Vingegaard to resist the attacks of Tadej Pogacar. “Wout van Aert is impressive, because he didn’t have any days off. Either he was up front or he worked for his team. he was the most impressive rider of this Tour, more than the first two in the general classification”comments Thomas Voeckler.
Record average speed
With an average speed of 42 114 km/h, the Tour de France 2022 is the fastest in history. Rarely have the breakaways seen the end of the course, taken over by a supersonic peloton. Even on the longest stage of this Grande Boucle, between Binche and Longwy (219 kilometers), the winner Tadej Pogacar did not control his effort, driving at 49.4 km / h on average. “The wind often pushed the riders. Leaders sometimes wanted to integrate the breakaways, which pushed the peloton to accelerate, and we must not forget to mention the evolution of the equipment, which is always more efficient”analyzes Thomas Voeckler.
Four French in the top 15 of the general classification
It was long believed that the French would return empty-handed from this Tour de France, but Christophe Laporte decided otherwise. Almost on the gong, during the 19th stage, the tricolor of the Jumbo-Visma raised his arms in Cahors, a stage yet promised to sprinters, where the Blues could not necessarily have ambitions. “We must not forget that the best French sprinter, Arnaud Démare, was not engaged. Neither was the world champion, Julian Alaphilippe. And then Guillaume Martin and Warren Barguil, who had good legs, had to return because of the Covid-19. Thibaut Pinot was coming back from a blank year and did not go far from winning a stage”remarks Thomas Voeckler, coach of the French road cycling team.
As for the general classification, David Gaudu achieves the best performance of his career with a fine fourth place. “He arrived there on the pedal, among the very best and is in full progress”, notes the consultant. With Romain Bardet (7th), Valentin Madouas (11th) and Thibaut Pinot (15th), French cycling still has four representatives in the top 15 of the general classification. “So it’s not a bad Tour at all for the French”concludes Thomas Voeckler.
High honors for EF Education-EasyPost and Israel-Premier Tech
If the Astana and Movistar teams, very little in sight, disappointed Thomas Voeckler on this Tour de France, the former rider salutes the performance of the EF Education-EasyPost and Israel-Premier Tech teams: “They pleasantly surprised me. They were more in supporting roles in previous years, and at the start of the season, and achieved a better Tour than they could have hoped for in my opinion”. EF Education-EasyPost was able to count on Magnus Cort Nielsen to animate the Tour de France. The Dane, who wore the polka dot jersey for a week, also won a stage victory in Megève. Among his teammates, Alberto Bettiol or Neilson Powless were often seen up front. The American, 13th in the general classification, achieves his best performance in the grand tour.
The Israel-Premier Tech team, meanwhile, did not place a rider in the top 20 of the general classification, but took two stage victories, including one on the prestigious cobblestone stage with Simon Clarke. The surprising Canadian Hugo Houle also raised his arms after a solitary raid between Carcassonne and Foix.