2022 Tour de France Presentation

Danish Start For 'Complete' 2022 Tour de France

Danish Start For 'Complete' 2022 Tour de France

The 2022 Tour de France embarks from Denmark, pushes into Switzerland and Belgium, visits Dunkirk and Lourdes, and features five mountain slogs.

Oct 14, 2021 by FloBikes Staff

The 2022 Tour de France embarks from Denmark, pushes into Switzerland and Belgium, visits Dunkirk and Lourdes, and features five mountain slogs.

While the opening three days in Denmark had already been publicized, the rest of the route was unveiled in a ceremony before an audience of several thousand at a Paris conference center on Thursday.

Cycling fans can look forward to a pulsating penultimate day with a time trial over a 40km course.

Other highlights will be a stage on the cobbled roads of Roubaix on the border of France and Belgium, and massed ranks of spectators will be allowed on the classic climb of the Alpe d'Huez on the French national holiday of July 14, provided new Coronavirus precautions are not introduced.

The 2022 route looks favorable to all-rounders who can master the time-trial, such as reigning two-time champion Tadej Pogacar and his compatriot, Olympic champion Primoz Roglic.

There are two time-trial stages over more than 50km, although riders will also be put to the test over five massive mountain stages.

Pogacar, however, denied he would be favorite for a third yellow jersey.

"I've won two so I'm more confident but every year is different so it's back to zero," the UAE Emirates team rider said.

"There's lots of tricky stages with either wind or cobbles or little climbs where you can make a mistake, and the Alps looks tough, I'd say the Alpe d'Huez would be the big one," said the 22-year-old.

The race also takes in the pilgrimage town of Lourdes and the picturesque medieval city of Carcassonne in southwest France.

The race begins with a short 13km time trial around Copenhagen, passing by the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid.

But the key challenges in Denmark will be runs along the fjords and the crossing of a 17km bridge over the sea between two islands.

The 2021 runner-up Jonas Vingegaard is Danish and there will be several Danes at the start in 2022.

"I think Jasper Stuyven is our best chance of taking yellow in Denmark," said veteran Jakob Fuglsang, veteran of 10 Tour de France races.

Only a complete rider can win

While the route avoids the entirety of France's western coast, it is at least balanced on a sporting level.

"It's a race with a bit of everything," course designer Thierry Gouvenou told AFP. "The word that best captures how to describe the 2022 route is that it's complete.

"You'll need to be at ease with wind too, because of this bridge over the sea in Denmark and also on the stage to Dunkirk," he said of the final Danish run and the first French one on stage four.

"The cobblestones might also have their say on how things go in the race for the (winner's) yellow jersey. There are 19 kilometers of them, that's complicated for a lot of people," he added.

"But anyone who wins will need to be a complete rider because there are five finishes at high altitude and one of them is at 2400 meters.

"You have the entire palate of what it is possible to provide on a Tour de France."

The winner will pull on the yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysees after eight laps of the French capital on the final day.

Cobbles risk on stage 5

The Tour runs over 19 kilometres of cobbles on this stage in the region that is usually crossed by the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic.

Last visited in 2018 when Geraint Thomas produced a strong performance before going on to win the race, the stage can hamper the chances of any riders who are uncomfortable on cobbles.

The cobbles themselves are from old mining roads and cut through beetroot or potato fields.

Dusty in dry wether and muddy in the wet, this is one of the early highlights of the race and will see an intense battle for a prestige stage win.

Highest summit

Only the purest of climbers will thrive here as the Tour climbs way above the treeline to the rarefied oxygen at over 2,413 metres.

To get there the peloton also has to cross the Col du Galibier at 2,642m, the highest point on the race with an endurance-sapping 17km ascent.

Alpe d'Huez

Spare a thought for the non-climbers in this race as after stage 11's 44km ascent, the following stage has another 66km of them.

The day will be dominated by scenes of partying fans on the hillsides as the iconic climb up the Alpe d'Huez returns to the Tour route on the French national holiday of July 14.

Stages 11 and 12 could give a clear idea of who could win the race.

Lourdes, stage 18

The stage sets off from the pilgrimage city of Lourdes and heads up the Hautacam climb, with 13km at a steep incline on a narrow, winding ascent.

We should know at the summit who the champion will be – or at the very least, which names have fallen out of contention.

Final time-trial

In the 2020 Tour de France, the race leader Primoz Roglic was memorably humiliated by his then little know younger Slovenian compatriot Tadej Pogacar, who overhauled him to clinch the title.

The 40km individual effort provides a final potential banana skin, and will be a test of physical and mental endurance for a tired peloton.