Denmark is a flat archipelago where the wind serves as a mountain to slow Sunday cyclists and scatter professional Saturday runners. So when the organizers of the Tour de France heard about the Great Belt link, two successive bridges battered by sea air currents, they jumped at the chance to install it on their Danish route and spice up the second stage, drawn between Roksilde and Nyborg over 202.2 kilometers.
The Tour de France loves big departures abroad
The infrastructure, 18 kilometers long, has linked the country’s two main islands, Seeland and Funen, since 1998. It is cut to allow container ships as tall as buildings to pass through this strait. Its pylons are 254 meters high and can be seen from afar, like Chartres Cathedral in the Beauce plain or Mont Ventoux in the Comtat Venaissin.
A bridge conducive to “edges”
This Saturday, July 2, the windsocks were horizontal there, the Danes had massed at both ends and the followers were wondering about the possibility of a blow from maritime Trafalgar. The site is conducive to “borders”, these cuts in the peloton caused by side gusts. But the wind was rather from the front and the Great Belt gave birth to a mouse. Even a collective fall at the entrance to the bridge caused more fear than harm.
This stage finally ended with a massive sprint, which was not the scenario written in advance. Dutchman Fabio Jakobsen (Quick Step) took the opportunity to achieve his first success on the Tour, at the age of 25, for his first participation in the event. Just under two years ago he was in a coma, after nearly losing his life in a violent crash in the Tour of Poland in 2020.
The strong go-getter won ahead of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visna), who has not lost everything in history. This second place indeed allowed the Belgian, through bonuses, to take the yellow jersey from his compatriot Yves Lampaert. Last Danish stage of this Tour 2022, the peloton will leave Vejle on Sunday July 3 to reach Sonderborg, 182 kilometers further. A day promised to sprinters. Finally, in principle.