With the so-called “edge” stages, it’s kind of always the same story. The organizers propose, but the wind disposes. Since the presentation of the Tour de France 2022 route last October, this 2nd day (Danish) between Roskilde and Nyborg had been packed like a small curb world championship.

Just imagine: the wind has already derailed two wagons of a freight train on this Storebæltsbroen, sold with its 17 kilometers over the Great Belt strait as the bridge where the general classification could take shape. At least getting lost for some. “In very flat areas like here in Denmark, you try to play with the elements. But curbs are not an exact science,” warned event technical director Thierry Gouvenou.

This Saturday, July 2, the wind has put a rabbit to the “mister route” of the Tour. Not supported enough and from the front, it did not allow the peloton to be scattered like a puzzle and to blur all our bearings for the next three weeks. All this is not really Fabio Jakobsen’s problem. The Dutchman from the Quick-Step, he stepped on the accelerator in the last fifty meters of the stage to blow the victory to Wout van Aert, very “Poulidor” from the start.

Already 2nd in the time trial in Copenhagen, the Belgian has at least swapped the yellow of his Jumbo-Visma jersey for that of the overall leader. Not enough to sadden its previous owner, Yves Lampaert, a happy man and teammate on arrival. The victory of his sprinter makes him happy, and Jakobsen (25) knows what he owes him. “Yves was fantastic. He fell on the bridge, he came back and helped me. Yesterday, he motivated me by saying that I was going to win today, ”he thanked him at the microphone of France 2.

Almost four minutes later, Tadej Pogacar crosses the line at the pace of a cyclist and on the rims with two flat tires… But with his eternal mischievous smile. The outgoing double winner was slowed down by a fall in the last three kilometers, but was reclassified in time from the first as required by the regulations. For now, the Slovenian is still lucky.

A long Danish guard of honor

No one therefore lost the Tour after the Great Belt strait, as expected, feared or hoped for. A suprise ? Not for a Lampaert, rider, team member and also the weatherman of the Quick-Step. “There will be a headwind tomorrow [Saturday], it does not make borders”, he warned, Friday, at the end of his victorious time. Despite everything, the Belgian found this day in yellow “very nervous”. “It was still very windy and the roads were narrow. There were also a lot of people on the side of the road…”

For this 202.2 kilometer stage, the Danish public formed a long line of honor for the riders, but with the most Nordic respect. At the exit of Roskilde, Radio Tour lists the names of the first escapees of this 2022 edition. Pierre Rolland and Cyrille Barthe are for the B

The Scandinavian alliance takes advantage of the first false flat – erected as a 4th category side because it is necessary to spice up these stages in full – to drop the two Frenchmen, disorderly in their attacks. “I put myself in the red and after, behind, they were stronger. They saw that we were two Bs

“Okay, let’s avoid taking the plunge!” »

And those borders? They arrive ? Always not. The Jumbo, the Quick-Step and the Ineos may accelerate to get back to the front of the peloton in a grouped formation at the slightest change of direction, Eole is definitely not doing its part. Still, the nervousness was palpable. “There could have been more fighting, sooner, after, here, with 18 kilometers with unfavorable wind, it calmed everyone down”, summarizes the Frenchman Anthony Turgis.

On this bridge of all the announced dangers, the images are beautiful, the spectacle is less wild and brutal than expected. A fall at the front of the peloton, however, sends some of them to the ground. Among the unfortunate… Anthony Turgis. At this precise moment, the 2nd of the last Milan-San Remo must tell himself that he would avoid sea bathing in the Baltic. “When I lost the bike and even saw the edge, I thought, ‘well, let’s avoid taking the deep dive!’ But it’s ok, the barriers were quite high and there was still a little room to get on the ground, ”the TotalEnergies runner prefers to laugh, despite a painful hip.

The native of Bourg-la-Reine (Hauts-de-Seine) risks dragging out his sentence on Sunday (“we’ll see if it’s broken or if it’s a hematoma that’s swollen”) for a 3rd stage announced as more calm, between Vejle and Sonderborg (182 kilometres). Unless the wind decides to surprise his world. After all, edging sometimes happens when you don’t order it.