2022 Tour de France – Stage 3 Preview
The first road stage of the Tour de France was, as always, tense, however with a lot of wind being an extra reason for it today. Several crashes saw danger on the day, however seemingly without any major casualty. The peloton towards a sprint, where Fabio Jakobsen rode to the win with a dashing turn of speed in the final meters. Wout van Aert has finished second jumping onto the yellow jersey, with Mads Pedersen riding into third.
Positive: Jakobsen winning the stage, van Aert riding into the yellow jersey, and essentially every rider that finished the day unscathed.
Negative: A lot of riders crashed or were caught behind, however it seems as if no-one has lost the race today.
The third day of the race will see the peloton head south towards Germany. Although it will not reach it, the 182-kilometer long route will head towards Sønderborg for what should be the second bunch sprint of the race.
The stage starts in the city of Velje, there aren’t many features to the day that can deal damage on the riders besides the weather and the tension. The day isn’t pan-flat, however it also doesn’t include any meaningful ascent where the sprinters could be put into difficulty.
The final sprint isn’t too technical, however the final ten kilometers will surely see a significant fight for positioning In order to avoid crashes. Near the city center with just under 10 kilometers to go there will be some technical sections, but then the roads open up towards the finale. The final corner will be inside the final kilometer, however this is a finale where timing the leadout to the very last possible moment will be crucial in order to deliver the sprinter in prime position.
A modest breeze from the west all day long. Dare I say, the chance for echelons is actually higher tomorrow, as the direction points towards a crosswind throughout much of the day, with tailwind towards the end. The final straight will have some headwind.
Breakaway chances: 1%
The situation doesn’t really change, in this set of circumstances it is still not possible to see a breakaway succeeding. Too many favourites, strong teams, easy profile, etc.
Fabio Jakobsen – Quick-Step had a good leadout today but were swarmed in the end. However Jakobsen had the pure speed in the end. He did what was expected, and he can be called the man to beat from now on.
Caleb Ewan & Dylan Groenewegen – I rate them both equally, as very fast sprinters but with a clear downside which is their inconsistency. Perhaps this less technical sprint will suit them better, and the headwind will be favourable for a rider like Ewan.
Wout van Aert – He did it all right today, only beaten by Jakobsen. Jumbo rode a strong day, and van Aert will have not only a yellow jersey to defend, but two second places to improve on.
Jasper Philipsen – He had speed today but came from behind. Philipsen is ordinarily very good with positioning, and tomorrow should be a better opportunity as today he couldn’t take advantage of his skills.
Mads Pedersen – He’s shown enough arguments today that he can win a sprint at the Tour again. Perhaps he needs a tougher stage, as in pure speed he has riders above, however Trek rode tremendously today in the leadout and the Dane has a good shot of winning.
Peter Sagan looked good today aswell, together with Danny van Poppel. Both will be good options for tomorrow in terms of the first places. Alexander Kristoff had some riders towards the front with him today, it won’t be an ideal finish but he’s definitely a card to play for in the sprints.
Hugo Hofstetter and Max Walscheid were present, showing signs that they can improve on their results, B&B Hotels’ Luca Mozzato and Jérémy Lecroq both finished on the Top10 and will also be options for a minor place. Alberto Dainese is another possibility, if he manages to be near the front.
Inside The Bus
This morning I talk to…
#35 Stan Dewulf – This is an important day. Ben hasn’t had an easy run so far, but nothing has taken him out of GC contention yet. Nerves will be high, again, you and Oli have the crucial task to keep him towards the front throughout the day, and be near the front in all critical moments.
#106 Edward Planckaert – Let’s see, the hilly days are the ones where you’ll have more of a role, so save yourself. Jasper will be riding for the win, you and Mathieu can help but also have the freedom to stay behind and not spend much.
#185 Pierre Latour – The guys will be focused in Peter, but take care of yourself and try not to loose time. Stay near the front, don’t get too relaxed when the pace goes up.
⭐⭐Philipsen, Jakobsen, M.Pedersen, Ewan
⭐Groenewegen, Sagan, Kristoff, Dainese, Van Poppel, Walscheid, Hofstetter, Mozzato
A chaotic finish. I will say this, Jakobsen is without a doubt the most consistent option, however not all sprints are the same despite similar profile. Ewan is not a reliable choice in some sprints, but he is my option for tomorrow as the finale isn’t as dangerous as today’s, and the headwind should favour the Australian in the line.
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