Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux presents a team balanced between stage chasers and a focus on the general classification for the 109th edition of the Tour de France, which will start from Copenhagen (Denmark) this Friday. The eight riders will be led by former European champion, four times stage winner and yellow jersey wearer Alexander Kristoff, who will receive the support of experimented riders Andrea Pasqualon and Adrien Petit for the sprint finishes. Baroudeurs Sven Erik Bystrøm, Taco van der Hoorn and Georg Zimmermann will keep an eye out for successful breakaways between the mountains, where Louis Meintjes will chase a top ten in the final classification with the support of Belgian rider Kobe Goossens. This selection will be directed from the Grand Départ by Aike Visbeek, Steven De Neef, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Pieter Vanspeybrouck.
Alexander Kristoff returns to Denmark, where he became European champion in 2017, to start his ninth Tour de France. The Norwegian rider is a four time stage winner, all of them were won in a sprint. In his latest participation in 2020, his victory in the opening stage in Nice offered him the honor to wear the yellow jersey. In 2018, he was victorious on the Champs-Elysées. In total, Alexander Kristoff finished more than 30 times in the top five.
For the sprint finishes, the Norwegian rider can rely on his two teammates of the sprint train, Andrea Pasqualon and Adrien Petit, who both participated three times in the Tour de France. Italian rider Andrea Pasqualon finished eight times in the top ten in the colors of the Walloon team. Frenchman Petit, the sixth of Paris-Roubaix and third of the GP de Denain, will race close to his city Arras in the fifth stage between Lille and Arenberg, in which the first cobble section of Villers-au-Tertre is named after him.
South-African rider Louis Meintjes reached Paris three times, twice in eight place (2016, 2017) and in fourteenth place last year in the colors of the Belgian team. This Friday, he will race for the first time on Danish soil since he is a professional and after a fruitful month with in addition to his victory in the Giro dell’Appennino, a sixth place in the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Mercan’Tour Classic.
Kobe Goossens and Taco van der Hoorn will make their debut in La Grande Boucle. For both, it is their second Grand Tour. Last season, van der Hoorn showed himself in the breakaways in the Giro d’Italia, resulting in a resounding victory in Canale, with Kobe Goossens revealing himself on the roads of the Vuelta 2020 with a 24th place in the final classification.
Sven Erik Bystrøm and Georg Zimmermann both participated once to the Tour de France. The 24 year old German rider discovered the race last season with the Belgian team and despite a wrest injury following a crash on day one, he achieved a top ten two days before Paris and took his first pro win in the Tour de l’Ain one week later.
From Friday 1st to Sunday 24th of July, the 109th edition of the biggest cycling event in the world will cross four countries. The 21 stages of the Tour de France 2022 are divided as follows: two time trials, six flat stages, seven hilly stages and six mountain stages from which five with a summit finish.
The individual time trial of 13 kilometer through the streets of Copenhagen is the northernmost start in the history of the event and is followed by two more stages in Denmark through the wind in the heart of the fjords and a travel day. It is in Dunkirk that the peloton will land for the start of the fourth stage, for a first hilly stage in the north of France.
For the first time in four years, the riders will be confronted with 19.4 kilometer of cobble sections between Lille and Wallers-Arenberg, for a fifth stage inspired by Paris-Roubaix. The next day will be special for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, as Binche, city where the team’s heart beats, will host the start of the longest stage of 220 kilometer towards the finish on the Côte des Religieuses in Longwy.
Also the finish of the seventh stage holds nice memories for the Belgian team. The Super Planche des Belles Filles, where Xandro Meurisse finished 3rd in 2019, will be the battlefield of the first confrontation between the climbers in the Vosges. Afterwards, the riders make their entry in the Alps via two hilly stages in Switzerland and a rest day.
The second week starts with a crossing of the Haute-Savoie region and a finish on the Altiport of Megève, after 21 kilometer of climbing. The next day in the heart of the Alps, the peloton will have to cover the Col du Télégraphe and the Col du Galibier before finishing on top of the Col du Granon. The Col du Galibier is with its 2642 meter of altitude not only the highest point of this 109th edition, but it will also animate the next difficult stage on July 14th. This time, the climb precedes the Col de la Croix de Fer and a final on Alpe d’Huez.
Before the entry in the Pyrenees, two transition stages and a hilly finish in Mende precede the final rest day. A stage for baroudeurs in Foix goes ahead of two difficult stages in the Pyrenees: Peyresourde and Hautacam are the fourth and fifth uphill finishes of this edition, and both are preceded by other mythical climbs of the Tour, for example the Col d’Aspin, the Aubisque or Val Louron-Azet. The sprinters receive an opportunity in the nineteenth stage in Cahors, before an individual time trial of 40 kilometer which concludes the battle for the general classification, and the traditional closing stage in the capital.
Stage 1 (01/07): Kopenhagen – Kopenhagen (13km) (= TT)
Stage 2 (02/07): Roskilde – Nyborg (200,2km)
Stage 3 (03/07): Vejle – Sonderborg (182km)
Stage 4 (05/05): Dunkerke – Calais (171,5km)
Stage 5 (06/07): Lille Metropole – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut (153,7km)
Stage 6 (07/07): Binche – Longwy (219,9km)
Stage 7 (08/07): Tomblaine – Planche des Belle Filles (176,3km)
Stage 8 (09/07): Dole – Lausanne (186,3km)
Stage 9 (10/07): Aigle – Châtel (192,9km)
Stage 10 (12/07): Morzine – Megève (148,1km)
Stage 11 (13/07): Albertville – Col du Granon Serre Chevalier (151,7km)
Stage 12 (14/07): Briançon – Alpe d’Huez (165,1km)
Stage 13 (15/07): Le Bourg d’Oisans – Saint-Etienne (192,6km)
Stage 14 (16/07): Saint-Etienne – Mende (192,5km)
Stage 15 (17/07): Rodez – Carcassonne (202,5km)
Stage 16 (19/07): Carcassonne – Foix (178,5km)
Stage 17 (20/07): Saint-Gaudens – Peyragues (129,7km)
Stage 18 (21/07): Lourdes – Hautacam (143,2km)
Stage 19 (22/07): Castelnau-Magnoac – Cahors (188,3km)
Stage 20 (23/07): Lacapelle-Marival – Rocamadour (40,7km) (= TT)
Stage 21 (24/07): Paris La Défense Arena – Champs-Elysées (115,6km)