The Top Contenders To Watch For At Tour de France 2022

Author: Jomathews


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Now is the perfect moment to celebrate. The biggest race of the year is about to start: the Tour de France. During the coming weeks of the 109th edition of La Grande Boucle – which starts on Friday, July 1 in Copenhagen – here are the riders to watch for.

In the aftermath of last year's postponement to accommodate the Euro 2020 football tournament, Denmark will be hosting the Grand Depart for the first time. It is joined by Belgium (Stage 6) as well as Switzerland (Stages 8 and 9), marking the first time in over a decade eight countries have been included. It will be attended by about 176 riders; there will be eight riders for each of the 22 teams. The number of teams has decreased by one since 2021.

The Tour de France 2022 kicks off with the 13-time trial in Copenhagen that is set to feature the world's top-time trial athletes, including the two-time world champion Filippo Ganna, Stefan Bissegger of Switzerland, and two-time world medallist Van Aert. While some may believe otherwise, there is no doubt that the Tour is one of the biggest and most challenging in the world, accounting for some 80 percent of a WorldTour organization's sponsorship income.

As the result of the 1903 founding of Henri Desgrange, editor of L'Auto newspaper, it may not be the most popular stage event with cycling enthusiasts, but it appeals to the general public as well as the cycling community. Because of this, it is one of the most-watched sports events worldwide, including the likes of the Olympics or World Cup of football. In the event that the race reaches an end in Denmark, the event will continue on Tuesday, 5 July, when the race will once again be dominated by cobbles as it has been since 2018. As the first stage begins, participants will finish on the Super Planche des Belles Filles, followed by the Super Planche des Belles Filles in Switzerland, outlining the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne at the end of the run.

After the first week of the tour, cyclists spend the next two days in the mountains. There will be two climbs on stage 11: the Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier topped by the Col du Granon; Bastille Day will have two climbs as well, this year marking the return of Alpe d'Huez.

As the Tour de France 2022 crosses the Massif Central, it will make its way into the Pyrenees for a rest day before its final journey to Carcassonne, which will lead to the Pyrenees. A return to the summits on stages 17 and 18 (Peyragudes) will be the last chance for climbers with special skills to make up for the deficit in the GC. On stage 20, there will be a time trial covering 40km. Sprinters will compete one last time along the Champs-Elysees at the end of the last road stage.

 

During the Tour of France 2022, what teams will race?

The same as every other WorldTour race, top-tier teams gain invitations, as for the Tour, every team participates. The top-ranked ProTeams Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic both qualified for the tournament, as well as wild card spots given by race organizers ASO to B&B Hotels-KTM and TotalEnergies.

 

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The Contenders

A major challenge for Tadej Pogacar is likely to be Jumbo-Visma, which brings two big threats to the race overall.

There's no doubt that Primoz Roglic is one of the most decorated team players, winning the Rio de la Tiers three times, as well as being a podium finisher at the Tour of New York in 2020. His first two victories this year were Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine, giving him a good head start into the Tour. Nonetheless, he is going to start in the absence of his Slovenian counterpart. Roglic is arguably better at time-trialing in flat situations, but when it comes to mountain races, it's unlikely that Pogacar will beat him. It is likely that if Roglic does not crash like last year, he can compete with Pogacar.

Romain Bardet has enjoyed something of a revival since joining DSM and should enter with the intent to make a difference. When he was forced to abandon due to illness, he was fourth overall at the Giro; only a few days earlier, he had won the Tour of the Alps. The focus of Bardet's efforts will be on the top three places in the GC tour he belongs to, regardless of where he finishes by the end of the year. A realistic goal is to finish in the top five overall. A top-five finish is very likely for O'Connor if all goes well. If he doesn't succeed at his GC plans, he may switch to stage chasing to improve his chances in the next couple of weeks in the mountains.

The Tour returns to the stage since Ben O'Connor finished fourth after winning a fabulous stage last year. A strong run-in has been enjoyed by the West Australian, which includes top finishes at the Trial del Sol, including the Volta a Catalunya, the Tour de Romandie, and a third-place finish in the Dauphine behind Roglic and Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma.

 

Comeback for Chris Froome

No matter what Chris Froome does, he will always be remembered for his achievements in cycling. It is important to examine his character, and you will see that the former winner of the Tour de France doesn't shy away from challenges, particularly the most challenging in his career as a cyclist. There is a great deal of pressure on Froome for his entry at the Tour de France. 

Despite the Briton's best efforts, his healing couldn't come quickly. Nevertheless, Froome is proving day by day that he can face challenges as they arise – and so far, he has come to the end of it with no problems at all. Providing Froome with a strong performance in advance of the Tour, which takes place 1-24 July, Pogacar, as well as those running for the title, must be on their guard. In terms of wins, Froome is unlikely to win, as there will be a lot of twists and turns, which would threaten the entire race.

 

Other Contenders

Along with the main protagonists of the maillot jaune, Enric Mas is hoping to bring a Tour de France podium to the Movistar team, which hasn't had a podium since 2016

Ben O'Connor, the AG2R Citröen man, will aim to improve on his stage title as well as his fourth-place finish in the last year's event; however, the extensive time trials may not make it easy for him to perform. Likewise, Jack Haig, O'Connor's countryman, will have a good feeling about this race after recently winning the Vuelta, albeit he may find it necessary for him to share the lead duties with Damiano Caruso and the Bahrain-Victorious team.

Would it be possible for a French winner? Almost four decades have passed since Bernerstein began wearing the yellow jersey in Paris. It appears that Romain Bardet has a better chance of scoring in the Giro than anyone else, although the Team DSM had to leave early due to illness, so he appears to have a better chance of scoring. In the race that will feature Thibaut Pinot, who missed last year's race, Groupama-FDJ's best chance is David Gaudu.

 

Conclusion

The top runners in the general classification will compete throughout the race to cut off their competition - in particular when it comes to the mountains, along with those seeking to win the youth classifications. Based on the points ranking, sprinters will vie for positions in the cluster sprints on the tracks that run along the 19 road stages. The race will be decided between those who go over the mountain range and the most difficult Alpine and Pyrenean passes between the most successful in Tour de France 2022.


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