5 Underdogs For The 2022 Tour De France
5 Underdogs For The 2022 Tour De France
The Tour de France is set and ready for take off this Friday in Denmark.
The Tour de France peloton has landed in Copenhagen and is ready for Friday's grand depart. The past several years have been dominated by the young guns, chief among them is 23 year old defending champion and top favorite Tadej Pogačar.
While it's difficult to bet against Pogačar, the Tour de France always provides an unpredictable three weeks of racing. The following five underdogs could surprise the peloton this July.
Jakob Fuglsang (Israel – Premier Tech)
Jakob Fuglsang made the move to Israel – Premier Tech after racing with Astana for 8 years. He earned 2 top ten finishes in the first races with his new team. As the 3-time winner of the Tour of Denmark, he will be cheered for at the Grand Départ by fans and family alike in his home country. At 37, age is not on his side as he will be fighting against all the young powerhouse talent in the peloton. He was third at the Tour de Suisse behind Geraint Thomas and Sergio Higuita and is poised to try his luck again at the Tour.
Romain Bardet (Team DSM)
The Frenchman is marking his tenth year racing on the WorldTour with a return to the Tour after crashing out of the 2020 edition. Romain Bardet was staging an impressive comeback, sitting fourth on GC at the Giro d’Italia last month. Looking to steal the overall in the final week, he instead was hit by an illness that forced him to abandon.
After a disappointing performance at the Tour de Suisse by Thibaut Pinot and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl announced Julian Alaphillippe will skip the Tour to continue his recovery, Bardet is expected to be one of the top GC hopes for the host country. Time will tell if he is able to overcome the Slovenian favorites.
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
While the peloton is focused on his teammate Primož Roglič, Jonas Vinegegaard has proven his capability of fighting for victory time and time again. After Roglič suffered a bad crash in the opening week last year, abandoning a few days later, it was Vingegaard that stepped into the captains’ role. He would finish second in Paris behind Tadej Pogaçar.
The Dane is back on form and ready for the Grand Départ in his home country, which will provide him with a little extra motivation for the weeks ahead. He finished second in the GC behind Roglič at the Critérium du Dauphiné a few weeks ago.
David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ)
Another French hopeful, David Gaudu chose to race the Critérium du Dauphiné in his lead up to the Tour. The 25-year-old finished inside the top 20, but what was most impressive was his mountaintop stage win on stage 3 at Chastreix-Sancy; Gaudu bested the likes of Wout van Aert and Ruben Guerreiro of EF Education – Easy Post. Climbing is his specialty, but we will see if he can hold his own in the time trial stages.
Neilson Powless (EF Education - EasyPost)
The American is ready to embark on his third Tour de France. Since joining the WorldTour in 2018, he has settled into a supporting role, assisting his teammates to GC victories. He has become somewhat of a breakaway specialist, acting as a carrot for rivals to chase before his teammates launch their finishing bid.
Last week, Neilson Powless escaped the grasp Covid had on the peloton at the Tour de Suisse. His team captain, Urán, had tested positive forcing him to exit early. This gave Powless the rare opportunity to go for GC. He finished fourth overall behind Geraint Thomas and Jakob Fuglsang, a career best. If the teams’ GC contenders face another batch of tough luck, Powless is on form and ready to act as another option.
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