Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) on his way to stage 1 victory at the 2022 Tour de France.

After the Tour’s opening time trial, who’s set up for yellow in the coming days?

Yves Lampaert took an emotional victory on a very damp stage 1 of the Tour de France, but there’s a handful of riders snapping at his heals.

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Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) took everyone by surprise, himself included, to win the opening time trial of the Tour de France, and the first yellow jersey with it.

With two on-paper pretty flat days coming up and small gaps in the top 10 after stage 1, there are a handful of riders in with a chance of wearing yellow before the Tour leaves Denmark.

On stage 2, we can expect the high-performing GC riders like third-place Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) to take a back seat as the sprint-oriented riders come to the fore. That said, there’s a massive great bridge and the threat of crosswinds, so they won’t be too far from our thoughts, and there’ll be Classics specialists hoping for a super hard day out.

Lampaert has a five-second advantage over second-place Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), and though Lampaert would ordinarily be considered among the favourites during the Spring Classics, he’s likely to be a key component of Fabio Jakobsen’s sprint, which is Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s number one goal of this Tour.

With that in mind, and given Van Aert’s own objective to fight for green, Lampaert would have to be given freedom of the stage on Saturday and/or Sunday, which in itself is unlikely, and he’d have to do one of the rides of his life to beat Van Aert (unless, of course, the latter crashes).

So perhaps the question really is, who can keep Van Aert from wearing yellow?

Early TT leader Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ended the day in fifth, 13 seconds down on Lampaert and eight behind Van Aert, making him best-placed to disrupt his long-time rival’s potential. However, rather like Lampaert, he’d have to have the perfect day tomorrow – Sunday’s stage 3 pure sprint an even less likely prospect for him – and either win the stage with Van Aert off the podium, or find himself in a superior split should crosswinds blow the peloton apart – unlikely. He is however in a better position than the race leader, in that he’ll have more freedom to go for his own goals despite sharing team leader duties with specialist sprinter Jasper Philipsen.

One position and two seconds behind Van der Poel is Denmark’s own Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) who will be rubbing his hands together in delight at the possibility of wearing, or at least taking yellow before the race leaves home soil. After a spectacular time trial, he sits 15 seconds behind Lampaert, and with a full weight of team support behind (and in front of) him, Pedersen is going to be incredibly motivated between now and the first rest day.

Those in with an admittedly slim outside chance – if, say, a small group breaks clear in wild winds over the Great Belt Bridge – include Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco) 25 seconds down, Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) 23 seconds down, and Danish hope Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) who has 21 seconds to make up.

The most likely contender then is Van Aert, but expect Pedersen and Trek-Segafredo to give the Belgian a run for his money.

Tour de France (2.UWT) Copenhagen → Copenhagen

LAMPAERT Yves Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma
POGAČAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates
GANNA Filippo INEOS Grenadiers
VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Deceuninck
PEDERSEN Mads Trek - Segafredo
VINGEGAARD Jonas Jumbo-Visma
ROGLIČ Primož Jumbo-Visma
MOLLEMA Bauke Trek - Segafredo
TEUNS Dylan Bahrain - Victorious






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