Things We Learned From the First 3 Stages of the 2022 Tour de France

  1. Wout van Aert likes to be second! Well, not really, but in the first three stages he was 2nd every day. It’s not a feeling he enjoys though:

“You always have that feeling that you are losing,” he said after Stage 3. “And now my feeling came true. It’s really nice to have the yellow jersey. But yes… I am here to win, if you are so short it is still disappointing.”

(He doesn’t look that short on TV, a good 5’10” I’d have said…).

He not only has the race leader’s yellow jersey but also leads the Points Classification too, which is the jersey he is targeting. I am sure WVA will get that win however, to go with the three he won last year. 

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2. Magnus Cort (EF Education Easy Post) loves the polka dots! The Danish rider is revelled on the act that the first 3 stages were on his home soil of Denmark, and he celebrated by taking all the first places of the Mountains Classification that were on offer. Not particularly known for his climbing, the all-rounder Cort – who is known to be very shy off the bike – let his riding do the talking and thrilled the Danish spectators massed at every KOM point. 

“Today is a very big day for me,” said Court, pulling the polka-dotted jersey and wearing team-issued tie-dye Crocs on the podium after Stage 1. “I’m very proud to have a polka dot jersey, especially in Denmark.”

And that was that, interview over…

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3. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) justified his selection for the Dutch team by taking Stage 2 in a great sprint, but the shadow of Mark Cavendish, who was not selected to ride the Tour this year, will not go away. Many fans and most cycling commentators – me too – wish he was here to try to set a new record of 35 stage wins.

“On the story with Cavendish, I think we both deserve to be here,” Jakobsen said. “He’s been a huge example for me the past 15 years maybe. He’s a legend. I’m just grateful that I could take the spot – for some people, maybe take his spot. I’m pretty sure he enjoyed my win as well at home.”

With all the furore over Cav’s non-selection, Jakobsen’s story has been somewhat ignored. In 2022 he suffered a horrific life-threatening crash in the Tour of Turkey, and his win on Stage 2 marked a near0miraculous comeback, after doctors told him he would never race again. 

“I think for sure it’s a special story … It’s almost a fairytale,” Jakobsen said Saturday. “I’m super grateful to even be here. You know, I got a chance. There are other examples of riders that don’t get the chance to make it back – as a person or as a bike rider.”

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4. YES A BONUS! Words not needed for this one, except, if you think this is cool… then shame on you!

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

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