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    The five stages where the French will raise their arms


    You know us, we are not the type to abandon our favorites in the open countryside at the slightest missed appointment. On the contrary, it is a little thanks to this that they managed to impose themselves in our little hearts of stone. But here, you have to get used to the idea. The announcement with great fanfare of Thibaut Pinot’s upcoming triumph definitely belongs to the world before, and if Julian Alaphilippe will have made us vibrate in yellow for the past three years, we should not ask him for the moon either. The general, it will still not be for the French during the 2022 edition, whose route was unveiled this Thursday.

    Some will sell you a potential good surprise with David Gaudu or Guillaume Martin, but don’t be fooled. Too tender to survive for three weeks the Slovenian mopeds and the Dutch (Jumbo) or British (Sky) armies. Be careful, that will not prevent us from gaining a foothold elsewhere. Stage victories with panache also count. As Romain Bardet understood in his second life as a cyclist, you just have to leave the other calculators and atria, and trust yourself to shoot when you feel it. Luckily, there is plenty to do on next year’s track. Because there is no point in waiting any longer, we are announcing where it will smile for French runners.

    • Stage 4: Dunkirk-Calais

    Return to France after three days of having taken the wind in the face in Denmark. Some will find it difficult to get back into it after the transfer day, so it will be the perfect time to start from afar, with a start to the stage in the Flanders Mountains. The rest will not be less hilly in the Boulonnais, with passages through the Gris-Nez and Blanc-Nez caps to make the difference just before going down to Calais.

    Our prediction: Franck Bonnamour

    Why : A taste for risk, a profile of an adventurer who passes the bumps well without being a pure climber either, and very prominent for his first Tour last July. It looks good for Francky.

    What he says about it: “The first thing I saw were the seven rugged stages, so there will be plenty for backpackers like me to do. You will have to choose your stages well to be as efficient as possible on them. “

    • Stage 6: Binche-Longwy

    A long road through the Ardennes, up to the impressive Pulventeux coast (800m at more than 12% average) located 6 terminals from the line. And if that were not enough, the Religious Coast (1.6km at nearly 6%) will end up putting the last resistance fighters in the ditch just after. The perfect land for who you know.

    Our prediction : Julian Alaphilippe

    Why : A start from Binche, as during the famous stage of Epernay where he took the jersey in 2019, and two ramps cut for him. At worst, we will see him again in Mende during the 14th stage (or even before, but hey we can’t put him everywhere).

    What he says about it: “It’s hard to say so soon [si une étape me plaît particulièrement]. The first week will be marked by a lot of things, risks of curbs, the stopwatch, the cobblestones, the arrivals for punchers. It’s a week where a lot can happen. Mende too, it’s a good stage, with a hell of a finish. We’ll see, I’ll study it all (smile). “

    • Stage 8: Dôle-Lausanne

    Nothing very bad despite the passage of the Jura, everything should be played in a sacred steepness just before the line, at the level of the Olympic stadium in Lausanne. A nostalgic moment, this finish is in a way the Madeleine de Proust of Christian Prudhomme, the boss of the Tour, who when he was a kid watched the race through Lausanne just to see Merckx, Ocana or Thévenet fighting on this hill.

    Our prediction: Benoît Cosnefroy

    Why : Not to put Alaph back, already, but above all because Cosnefroy proved at the end of the season that he knew how to resist the best on this type of explosive terrain (victory over Brittany Classic in front of the world champion for example).

    What he says about it: “Christian Prudhomme insisted on these small odds with a strong percentage, I heard it of course (smile). I don’t have the details of all the stages in mind, but there are great things to do for runners like me, that’s for sure. I have never yet managed to have this good feeling on the Tour. It’s up to me to find the solutions to shine on a stage. It’s going to be my goal this year, really, to win one. “

    (Bonus) The director’s opinion: “This finish is designed for punchers. Today we are lucky to have a trio of exceptional punchers, with Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe. We never do a route for a runner, but we do, and I claim it, a route for a type of runner. And in this case for these guys. “

    Benoît Cosnefroy on the 2020 Tour.
    Benoît Cosnefroy on the Tour 2020. – christophe petit tesson / POOL / AFP
    • Stage 11: Albertville-Col du Granon

    The first big step that the favorites will want to take. But with a little imagination, anything is possible. It will start to climb very early, by the laces of Montvernier, before crossing the Col du Télégraphe then the Galibier. After crossing Serre-Chevalier, the finish will be judged at the top of the Col du Granon, a small marvel of over 11 km at 9.2% average. Yum.

    Our prediction: David Gaudu

    Why : And why not ? And if not, because he wants to, loves very high altitude and has proven himself on the Vuelta.

    What he says about it: “This stage, with that of Hautacam perhaps (18th stage), is the one that makes me dream the most. It’s a pass that can suit me, it looks very hard, it’s one of the flagship finishes of this route. I’ve never climbed it, but if I had to pick one it would be this one. “

    • Stage 12: Briançon-Alpe d’Huez

    On July 14 at the top of Alpe, we have to put it on. France’s most famous laces – and not just any – are making a comeback after four years of absence. The runners will have packed themselves before the endless Col de la Croix de Fer (29 uninterrupted climb terminals) and the Galibier. What to give ideas to those who will take the trouble to have them.

    Our prediction: Guillaume Martin

    Why : Because the leader of Cofidis is making progress every year, because the French generally succeed (Rolland, Riblon, Pinot over the past ten years), because the fireworks display, because DO IT FOR FRANCE GUILLAUME.

    What he says about it: “It’s still early days to talk about the goals, but generally speaking, I obviously still want to improve. So far, I have been regular on the Tour, always present, but I have not achieved THE great coup. I hope it will be for next year. There will be traps in this Tour, complicated moments, but there I feel the excitement, the desire to be there, to do battle. I like the layout, and as a general rule, when the Tour goes east, it works out pretty well… ”


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