Date: Saturday July 2
Distance: 199 km
The first road stage of the race traces the western coast of Zealand (old, not New), the island upon which the metropolitan area of Copenhagen sits. It is also the fourth most populous island in Europe, so that’s something to think about. And you will have time to ponder that due to the fairly flat route, with three small classified climbs, that should set up like a ‘normal’ day at the Tour.
That is until the final 15 km when the peloton has to cross The Great Belt Bridge to get to the finish line. It will look fantastic but that will matter little to the peloton, which will be stressed by an exposed bit of road 18 km long and 65 metres in the air at its highest. It’s an understatement to say it could get windy.
That said, forecasts look to be in favour of the peloton, not least dry. Weather experts predict that there will be headwinds for most of the stage and that any gusts are not likely to exceed ‘moderate’, except maybe over the suspension bridge. In fact, it’s after the intermediate sprint at Kalundborg, long before the bridge, where some think it might get tricky.
Who will win stage 2?
We should have the first big showdown of 2022’s headline sprinters. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Fabio Jakobsen, Lotto Soudal’s Caleb Ewan, BikeExchange-Jayco’s Dylan Groenewegen, and so on. Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel will likely also be in the mix, and we might as well have that as a given for most stages this Tour, at least so we can save on digital ink. At this point though there’s also the tantalising chance of taking the yellow jersey.
Also close to yellow and an outsider for stage 2 is local man Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), the Dane with the best chance of home glory after a brilliant start to his Tour. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux’s Alexander Kristoff? Iain obviously thinks so.