Mark Cavendish faces the difficult struggle to win a record 35 stages in the Tour de France in 2022. It’s not because most sprinters have been 37 years old since they retired and their age isn’t on his side. And he certainly knows it.
The cautious and neutral reaction of the Deceuninck QuickStep Racer to the Tour 2022 route was the credit of a skilled diplomat, not to mention the best sprinter in tour history.
The brutal reality of Cavendish is that 2022 will be much tougher, unlike the fairly simple tour course of the previous year. At the Olympics shortly after, the organizers definitely didn’t want to postpone the participation of Tokyo candidates in 2021.
Yes, the number of potential sprint stages at 7 o’clock was one less than in 2021, and Cavendish won four times, a total of 34 times, comparable to Eddy Merckx’s best-ever stage record.
However, the keyword there is “potential”. Almost everything on the 2021 flat stage was suitable for bunch sprints, but the terrain was so simple that Cavendish teammates could easily control things. 2022 is a completely different story.
Cav’s reaction to the 2022 route
“It’s going to be a very difficult Tour de France,” Cavendish said when the route was revealed.
“Of course, starting with my world champion Copenhagen will bring back a lot of great memories, but the first few days after the time trial may be really busy.
“Fast men don’t have as many opportunities as ever, so we need to try to get the most out of every opportunity.”
For example, Stage 2 passes through western Denmark (see map below), which is not famous for its hills. However, it also includes a 17-kilometer-long bridge that is ideal for crosswinds in the North Sea to crush Peloton, destroying the chances of a Cavendish sprint finale in the process.
Another virtually lucrative day for Manksman, Stage 4 to Curry could feature crosswinds again on the coastal road in advance. Other potential sprint stages to Lausanne and Saint-Etienne follow steep roads. Again, this is much more difficult for the Cavendish team to control.
The fact that the 2022 mountain stages (three in the Alps and four in Pyrenees) are much more difficult than in 2021 also does not help Cavendish. After finishing the Alpine stage outside the maximum hours, the 2018 memories that were removed from the tour are allowed, but still fresh enough to not fade.
On the plus side, Cavendish won the tour as hard as ever. At the Deceuninck Quick Step, Cavendish can count on the same highly devoted support rider who led him to the perfect position to win again last year.
But in 2021, the tour course was ideal for Cavendish. Not only did I re-enter the biggest bike race on the planet for the first time in three years, but I also missed some obvious opportunities.
By 2022, his margins of error were much smaller, and expectations and the associated pressures were much higher. All of this, the stakes in pursuit of winning its 35th tour stage were rarely higher.
Tour de France 2022 route map
- July 1: Stage 1 – Copenhagen – Copenhagen, Individual time trial 13km
- July 2: Stage 2 – Roskilde (Denmark) – Nyborg (Denmark), 199km
- July 3: Stage 3 – Vejle (Denmark) – Sonderborg (Denmark), 182km
- July 4: Transfer to France
- July 5: Stage 4-Dunkirk-Curry, 172km
- July 6: Stage 5 – Reel – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 155km
- July 7: Stage 6 – Binche (Belgium) – Longwy, 220km
- July 8: Stage 7 – Tomblaine – La Superplanche de Belle Phil, 176km
- July 9: Stage 8 – Doll – Lausanne (Switzerland), 184km
- July 10: Stage 9 – Eggle (Switzerland) – Chatelle Portes du Soleil, 183km
- July 11: holiday
- July 12: Stage 10 – Morzine – Mejeve, 148km
- July 13: Stage 11 – Albertville – Col du Granon, 149km
- July 14: Stage 12 – Briancon – Alpe d’Huez, 166km
- July 15: Stage 13-Bourde Azan-Saint-Etienne, 193km
- July 16: Stage 14 – Saint-Etienne – Mende, 195km
- July 17: Stage 15-Rodes-Carcassonne, 200km
- July 18: holiday
- July 19: Stage 16-Carcassonne-Foi, 179km
- July 20: Stage 17 – St. Gorden’s – Payragude, 130km
- July 21: Stage 18 – Lourdes – Howtacam, 143km
- July 22: Stage 19 – Castelno Manyoa – Cahors, 189km
- July 23: Stage 20 – La Capel Marival – Rocamadour, Individual Time Trial, 40km
- July 24: Stage 21-Paris La Defense Arena-Paris Champs Elysees, 112km
Where the yellow jersey wins or loses
The organizers of the Tour de France have designed a very dangerous route for the 2022 edition. This route features gusts, cobblestones and a ride on a mountain stage with penalties.
The race begins with a 13km individual time trial in Copenhagen, with the second stage crossing the 18km Great Belt Bridge to win protons.
“It’s windy here 364 days a year,” said tour director Christian Prudhomme when the route map was released. “This tour can be lost as early as the second day.”
Those who pass the Danish 3-day opening block and the 4th stage through the Flanders hills need to deal with the 5th stage through the cobblestone sector between Lille and Allen Berg.
That’s when light climbers are expected to suffer days that can be hit by crashes or mechanical damage due to tricky terrain, which usually favors day race specialists.
“To want to pass these stages and win the tour, you need to be a versatile rider and have a strong team at your disposal,” said Thierry Gvenou, deputy director of the tour.
The first test of the climber will take place in Stage 7, with the first finish of the five summit finishes at the top of the Planche de Belfil. Time trial.
Pogačar, who beat his rivals in the mountains in the previous edition, won the classics of Liège-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia monument, proving that he is a powerful one-day classic rider given the nature of the route. bottom. It’s hard to see the tour favorites on the other side of him.
The race will reach its highest point at the top of a lung-destroying uphill to the Col du Galibier, 2,607 meters above sea level, after a penalty of 11.3 km. With an average gradient of 9.3 percent
Stage 12 begins with Briançon and ends at the summit of the iconic Alpe d’Huez (8.1% at 13.8 km), with a 1986 tour where five-time winners Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond crossed hand in hand. Follow the same route. For the famous one-two.
The French said he would help his Ravi Claire team win the race after benefiting from the American help in the previous edition.
“Both will need to tour this stage next year,” Purdom said of a former rider.
After two brutal stages in the Pyrenees, the race will be completed with a 40km individual time trial in southwestern France and most of the procession to the Champs Elysees in Paris.
Women’s TdF returns for the first time in 33 years
- July 24: Stage 1-Paris Tour Eiffel-Champs Elysees, 82km
- July 25: Stage 2 – Mo – Provins, 135km
- July 26: Stage 3 – Lance – Epernay, 133km
- July 27: Stage 4 – Troyes – Bar sur Aube, 126km
- July 28: Stage 5 – Bar le Duc – St Die des Vosges, 175km
- July 29: Stage 6-Saint-Dié-desvoges-Rosheim, 128km
- July 30: Stage 7 – Celesta – Le Marcstein, 127km
- July 31: Stage 8 – Lure – La Superplanche de Belle Phil, 123km
The women’s Tour de France revived in 2022, and organizer Christian Prudhomme said the race wanted him to survive.
The Women’s Tour hasn’t been held since 1989, starting this year in Paris and ending eight days later at the summit of the Superplanche de Belfil, which passes through eastern France in eight stages.
“It’s a balanced route and suitable for some types of riders,” race director Marion Ruth told reporters.
Men’s tour director Purdom said the biggest challenge was to make the race a financially sustainable event.
“If so [sustainable]The Women’s Tour would have been held for 40 years, “he said.
“The biggest challenge is to broadcast the race. I think we did a good job as the race started on the same day that the men’s race ended in Paris,” said Prudom, who said the event was in 170 countries. I added that it will be broadcast on. Men’s races are broadcast in about 190 countries.
Every year more than 300 towns sign up and pay to host the men’s tour stage, but Purdom had to approach the women’s race candidates himself.
“But they are all paying admission and it’s to give you a element of comparison [the week-long men’s stage races] Paris-Nice and Criterium du Dauphiné, “he added.
“The goal is to organize a race that will survive 100 years and can be seen when I’m older and using Walker,” said 60-year-old Purdom.
The 2022 Women’s Tour runs from July 24th to 31st and begins two weeks after the end of the longest women’s race on the calendar, Girodonne (July 1-10).
Slovenian double tour champion Tadej Pogačar, who defends the men’s title, is very interested in the event.
“Maybe after the tour, I’ll go see the Women’s Tour in a camper van,” he said. “This is a historic moment for cycling and will be a great event.
“Holding this race is a big step. Your dreams will come true.”
French champion Evita Muzic adds: