Tour de France will experience a stormy stage this Saturday due to the strong winds

Tour de France

It is not worth prophesying about what has already happened, but without a doubt, Yves Lampaert was a fixed name among the favorites to win the first stage of the Tour de France. That is why the transfixed face of Wout Van Aert when he sat on the hot seat knowing that the Quick Step “day laborer” still had to pass, the man born in Izegem, Belgium, 31 years ago, and who was able to shoot at the same speed as Remco Evenepoel in the recent Belgian road championships.

Remco, his teammate, won the time trial from Gavere flying at more than 51 kilometers per hour, while Yves, the road captain of the cream-blue team, approached that mark and came close to matching it.

That detail should have served to suspect that this Friday, in Copenhagen, the illustrious Ganna, Van Aert, Kung, Van der Poel, and company were not going to have an easy time.

Incredibly, Lampaert became the fourth Belgian rider to win the opening time trial of a French Tour, alongside Eddy Merckx, Freddy Maertens, and Eric Vanderaerden.

He will be the leader this Saturday, in the very complicated section between Roskilde and Nyborg, 202 kilometers on the edge of the North Sea, the sea of ​​​​the Vikings. And perhaps he manages to defend the yellow, by luck or by his own legs, since both accompany him in the current season.

This Friday, in the 13 km time trial, he won because Frenchman Cristophe Laporte, from the Jumbo Visma, fell midway through the course when his records were the best on the stopwatches.

In addition, Lampaert is very strong on flat ground, as he was able to demonstrate on stage 2 of the 2017 Vuelta an España when he defeated the skilled Italian Mateo Trentin.

The initial fraction, however, will put him to the test as a teammate. The strong trade winds that hit the North Sea knocking over small fishing boats and stealing tourists’ hats will be a real torment for the 176 cyclists. It will have, just in case, three passes through fourth-category mountain passes, with the fans breaking the platoon’s armor at all times, and that brave murmur of the sea always at its back, pulling the pack, carrying it on nervous waves to the finish line in Nyborg.

To venture to insinuate any favorite would be risky since anyone could chase victory in the middle of a day full of nerves. And it is that, when there are fans, there are also falls, and withdrawals, and none of the perfumed, nor their gregarious, wants to be left out of the Grande Bouclé in the second stage, and when the Grand Depart still has two days left, before moving to France.

A tough stage awaits the riders in the Tour, one of those unforgettable fractions, like attacks and betrayals under the sparkling sea that saw Erik, ‘The Bloodthirsty’, and Hakon, ‘The Good’ battle. Colombians Daniel Martínez, Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Urán hope to be focused and strong in the battle

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