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From July 1 through July 24, the Tour de France returns this summer as covers its 3,350km route, with two-time champion Tadej Pogacar the hot favorite and COVID-19 continuing to provide a troubling background as the 109th edition of cycling’s greatest test starts in Copenhagen.
Read below for stage-by-stage updates, results, and highlights of each stage.
Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France on Sunday, ending the reign of two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar after a gruelling three weeks and 3,350km of relentless struggle.
The 25-year-old former fish-market worker Vingegaard claimed his first Tour de France a year after his break-out performance when he came second to Pogacar in 2021.
Belgium's Jasper Philipsen won the dash for the line on the cobbled Champs Elysees to take the iconic final stage victory.
The ecstatic Philipsen lifted his bike aloft at the finish line after taking his second win of this Tour, turning the page on his embarrassment at mistakenly celebrating on stage four, when he had in fact finished second.
Vingegaard and his Jumbo-Visma teammates all crossed the line together in a line and cheering wildly.
His Dutch team produced a brilliant collective effort with six stage wins, the green sprint jersey and the red combativity jersey for van Aert and the polka dot mountains jersey for Vingegaard as well as the overall title and yellow jersey.
After a relentless struggle over peaks and plains in a crushing heatwave, Vingegaard assured his win on Saturday's time-trial having taken the lead in the Alps and extended it in the Pyrenees.
Defeated champion Pogacar finished second, won the best under-25s jersey for the third time and leaves this Tour with his reputation intact after attacking Vingegaard to the bitter end.
Geraint Thomas, the 2018 champion, was third after the veteran raced largely at his own pace, silencing doubters who thought that at 36, the affable Welshman was past his best.
Jonas Vingegaard survived a near fall on Saturday's individual time-trial to virtually wrap up the 2022 Tour de France title and now only needs to cross the Champs-Elysees finish line in Paris on Sunday to guarantee the champion's yellow jersey.
Team Jumbo's Vingegaard tops the overall standings 3min 34sec ahead of two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar, while Geraint Thomas of Ineos Grenadiers, the 2018 winner, stands third at 8min 13sec.
Frenchman David Gaudu of FDJ and Aleksandr Vlasov of Bora round out the top five ahead of Sunday's stage to Paris which is traditionally a ceremonial run.
"I'm still proud of myself, I did what I could, and at least I have the white jersey (best under-25s)," Pogacar said at the line.
Saturday's time-trial was won by Wout van Aert ahead of his Danish teammate Vingegaard, meaning Jumbo have six stage wins, the yellow jersey, the green sprint jersey and the polka dot climb jersey.
Van Aert will also be a favourite to win the final day dash around the Champs-Elysees before the jersey winners are crowned on a podium beneath the Arc de Triomphe.
Two years ago, Pogacar famously overturned a 57-second deficit on the penultimate day time-trial on La Planche des Belles Filles to snatch victory from Primoz Roglic.
But on Saturday, Vingegaard flew down the ramp last of the 139 surviving riders and set a relentlessly high pace through the baking country roads meaning a battle of nerves with Pogacar never really emerged.
He did, however, suffer a late wobble, losing his back wheel which slid over gravel into a gutter, but just managed to right himself.
The Dane was eight seconds faster than his great rival on the day, and Pogacar looked downhearted at the finish line.
His never-say-die attitude gave the 109th edition of the Tour a tense edge all the way to the line.
Christophe Laporte became the first Frenchman to win on this year's Tour de France, taking Stage 19 at Cahors on Friday as Jonas Vingegaard maintained the race lead over Tadej Pogacar with just two days left.
Laporte, of Jumbo Visma, managed to close a gap from the main peloton to a stubborn escape group around 1km from the line before edging ahead to easily win this largely flat stage.
This was a fifth stage win for Jumbo on the 2022 Tour, with Vingegaard and Wout van Aert winning two apiece.
Shortly after leaving the cooler high altitudes of the Pyrenees, an escape crept ahead of a weary peloton as it rolled towards Tarn, with the title pretenders keeping a low profile in the flatlands.
The escape was never allowed to build up a convincing lead, but just as the sprint teams looked to have them in their grasp, Laporte leapt across the divide and van Aert dropped behind.
Laporte then hammered over the final 800 meters, holding the closing sprint pack to a 1sec triumph, as Belgian ace Jasper Philipsen took second.
Vingegaard has a 3 minute, 21 second advantage over Pogacar, who clawed back five seconds Friday, ahead of Saturday’s key 41km individual time-trial, which will finally settle what has been an edge-of-the -seat struggle for the 2022 title.
Overall leader Jonas Vingegaard tightened his grip on the Tour de France by winning Stage 18 on the Hautacam mountain on Thursday after dropping defending champion Tadej Pogacar 4km from the finish.
The stage win leaves Denmark’s Vingegaard with an advantage that, barring disaster or a bad fall, should see him ride up the Champs Elysees to win the 2022 title on Sunday.
“I don’t want to talk about winning the Tour yet, let’s talk about it in Paris, there are three days to go,” Vingegaard said at the line.
The pair have been shadowing each other the entire race, with Pogacar winning three stages and taking the overall leader’s yellow jersey by Stage 7, before Vingegaard took it off him in the baking heatwave in the Alps.
Since then Pogacar has relentlessly attacked the Dane in a stubborn effort to close the gap. The loss of four of his UAE teammates to positive Covid tests and falls however hurt those chances.
On Thursday, Vingegaard's Jumbo teammate Wout van Aert acted as a sherpa for his team leader on the final climb, and it was at that moment that Pogacar finally cracked.
Earlier and likely equally as damaging, some 28km from home, Pogacar misjudged a corner and Vingegaard cut inside him, spooking the Slovenian who then wobbled and slipped off into a gutter.
The champion swiftly picked himself up, ignoring the gash on his left hand as he hammered the pedal down in pursuit.
Vingegaard, after at first attacking the opportunity, had a change of heart, waiting for his rival, before the two grasped each other's hand as Pogacar drew up alongside.
“We like each other, we get on and we respect each other,” said the Dane.
The gesture will likely serve Vingegaard's reputation well, within the cycling code of honor, and with the wider public. Vingegaard now leads Pogacar by 3 minutes and 26 seconds, while Ineos veteran Geraint Thomas is still third at 8 minutes back exactly.
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar won Stage 17 of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees on Wednesday, but was once again shadowed over the line by overall leader in Jumbo-Visma's Jonas Vingegaard.
With the bonus seconds for the win, UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar now trails the Dane by 2 minutes and 18 seconds. Ineos leader Geraint Thomas dug deep to retain third place, zig-zagging over the final 16 percent incline and extending his lead on fourth-placed Nairo Quintana to almost three minutes.
This year’s Tour has entered its end-game with one mountain stage and one time-trial, the remaining real battle grounds to settle the debate for the yellow jersey.
The relentlessly attack-minded Pogacar, 23, was led up the final climb by his sherpa Brandon McNulty, while willowy 25-year-old Vingegaard remained stone-faced in his slipstream most of the day.
In the battle for third place veteran Thomas, 2018’s champion, again proved doubters wrong has he dug deep after being dropped by the younger leading pair as his teammates Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock dropped away badly.
The top three looks settled, but the order remains to be seen with Thursday's massive mountain slog to Hautacam and Saturday's 41km time-trial likely to wreak damage on someone.
Canadian rider Hugo Houle cried after winning Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, dedicating the triumph to his brother who was killed a decade ago after being hit by a drunk driver while out running.
Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo retained the overall lead from defending champion Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas of Ineos as the Tour entered the Pyrenees.
As he had promised, the 23-year-old Slovenian Pogacar attacked relentlessly, but the Dane Vingegaard skipped up and rode on his tailwind every time.
It was a great day for Colombian veteran Nairo Quintana, who climbed to fourth. Conversely French rider Romain Bardet wilted, as did Ineos rider Adam Yates three years after his twin brother won a stage ending at Foix.
Shortly after leaving the baking stone citadel at Carcassonne, the 149 remaining riders from the 172 that embarked from Copenhagen began to climb into cooler territory with the stage reaching an altitude of 1,600m.
A group of eight riders broke away, passing a Canadian Mountie in full dress uniform, boding well for IST rider Houle, who slipped his rivals on the 25km swoop downhill to a baking finish line at Foix on the banks of the Ariege river.
“It sounds incredible, but I know my brother helped me,” said Houle. “I went full gas. I was supposed to open the way for Michael Woods,” he said of his teammate and compatriot.
Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen edged a mass bunch sprint to win Stage 15 of the Tour de France on Sunday as Jonas Vingegaard kept hold of the yellow jersey but lost two key teammates.
Vingegaard still leads defending champion Tadej Pogacar by more than two minutes, as Primoz Roglic pulled out of the stage while Steven Kruijswijk fell during the proceedings at the same moment as protesters briefly blocked the road.
Overall leader Jonas Vingegaard tracked Tadej Pogacar’s attack all the way to the Tour de France Stage 14 finish line as the defending champion tried but failed to put time into his Danish rival.
Australia’s Michael Matthews won the stage on a sizzling 192km run from Saint-Etienne after a seesaw struggle with Italian rider Alberto Bettiol up the final hill in the heatwave.
Earlier, Pogacar had tried an attack near the start of the stage before Vingegaard’s Jumbo team reeled the Slovenian UAE rider.
After the peloton settled down as it raced along narrow, roads packed with rowdy fans in otherwise empty countryside, Matthews and 20 other riders broke away.
The first time the 31-year-old Matthews tried to shake off his companions, he was reeled in and overtaken by Bettiol. The Australian rallied and left Bettiol trailing to take a fourth Tour de France stage win.
Some 10 minutes back down the road, Pogacar went again with his trademark kick on a steep climb 5km from the finish, but Vingegaard skipped up behind with ease and held on all the way to the line at the Mende Aerodrome.
Ineos pair Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates both dropped 20 seconds but remain third and fifth respectively. Frenchman Romain Bardet ended the day fourth overall in his home region, where banners bearing his name hung from buildings, walls and trees.
Mads Pedersen became the third Dane to win a stage on this year’s Tour de France when an escape group beat the peloton to Saint-Etienne on a baking dash across the Rhone Valley to clinch Stage 13.
His countryman Jonas Vingegaard retained the overall lead, which he claimed by winning Stage 11, while Magnus Cort Nielsen won Stage 10 in a Tour de France that started with three days in Denmark.
A bunch sprint had been expected on this 193km Stage 13 run from the foot of the Alps, but as the heavier built riders, who dominate the sprints, began to struggle in the searing temperatures, a seven-rider break began to dream of a stage win.
Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan fell when he appeared to lose focus and braked hard into a corner, tumbling alone near the head of the peloton. Quick-Step sprinter Fabio Jakobsen was also dropped as the pack chased the escape.
The peloton then gave up the game 25km from Saint-Etienne.
Pedersen is clearly a man for the extremes as he won the 2019 world championship road race in freezing Yorkshire rain. On Friday, he dealt with a heatwave, whipping his rivals Hugo Houle and Fred Wright in the home straight.
Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas, the top three in the overall standings, all cruised over the line together.
British rookie Tom Pidcock, riding for Ineos, showed world class skills as he won Stage 12 of the Tour de France on the Bastille Day holiday on Thursday.
A daredevil descent lit the fuse for the 22-year-old’s win while an explosive acceleration on the final ascent of the Alpe d’Huez finished the job.
Jonas Vingegaard maintained his overall lead with defending champion Tadej Pogacar on his wheel.
Jonas Vingegaard climbed into the Tour de France overall lead in a mountain stage for the ages Wednesday as defending champion Tadej Pogacar wilted and then cracked in the heat and the heights.
Vingegaard, 25, finished 59 seconds ahead of Colombian climber Nairo Quintana as Frenchman Romain Bardet was third atop the Col du Granon, at 2,413 meters in altitude.
An exhausted Pogacar looked broken as he crossed the line seventh, nearly 3 minutes adrift at the summit of the 9.2 percent, 11.5km final climb in the southern Alps.
Vingegaard leads Bardet by 2 minutes, 16 seconds in the overall standings, while UAE Team Emirates’s Pogacar dropped to third at 2 minutes, 22 seconds.
The 2018 champion Geraint Thomas also flew past Pogacar ,and the Welshman is fourth in the overall standings just four seconds off the Slovenian while Quintana is fifth.
Vingegaard began a series of lacerating attacks on two-time defending champion Pogacar on the penultimate mountain Col du Galibier, but it was not until the final ascent that he cracked.
To witness this epic stage there were camper vans galore, flaming barbecues, and countless amateur cyclists who had taken on the legendary ascent in the morning, giving the action packed stage the audience it deserved with the Alps providing a stunning panorama.
Magnus Cort Nielsen won Stage 10 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, after a nail-biting cat-and-mouse struggle up the final section of the culminating 20km climb.
Nick Schultz of Bike Exchange was second and Luis Leon Sanchez was third after the 148km run through sinuous Haut Savoie roads that avoided the major mountains in the region.
Nielsen, a Dane who rides for EF, wore the polka dot mountain points jersey for several days after claiming it on stage two.
Tadej Pogacar led the main peloton across the line almost nine minutes later.
German Lennard Kamna leapt from 21st to second after escaping with the breakaway. Although he could not keep up on the final climb, the Bora rider still gained more than eight minutes on the race leaders and is just 11 seconds adrift of Pogacar.
Pogacar earlier lost a second teammate to COVID, while his key lieutenant Rafal Majka also tested positive but was cleared to race by the UCI as he is considered not infectious.
Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels powered to victory in Stage 9 of the Tour de France on Sunday, holding off Thibaut Pinot to cross the line alone after a 192km race through Switzerland to the French border.
Slovenian Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates made a late burst for the line to gain a few seconds on some rivals as the two-time defending champion further tightened his grip on the overall lead with a fifth-place finish.
“This is one of the most beautiful days of my career,” said Jungels a day after one of his AG2R teammates pulled out with COVID-19. “I went down that last hill at top speed, and that made the difference.”
Andy Schleck was the last man from Luxembourg to win a Tour de France stage 11 years ago.
On a hot day with over 40km ascent as the peloton rolled into the Alps, past Charlie Chaplin’s long-time residence at Vevey on the north shore of Lake Geneva, the stage was a prelude for three up-coming mountain slogs.
Jungels raced a full 62km on his own after going solo from an early breakaway as the riders rolled out of Aigle over three relatively challenging climbs.
Some 20km from the finish line at the ski resort of La Port de Soleil on the French border, Frenchman Pinot chased after him, gradually eating into a two-minute lead but never getting closer than 20 seconds adrift before giving up.
Ineos Grenadiers’s Jonathan Castroviejo eventually finished second with Carlos Verona of Movistar third and Pinot fourth.
Belgian rider Wout van Aert sprinted to victory in Stage 8 of the Tour de France at Lausanne on Saturday with defending champion Tadej Pogacar holding the leader’s yellow jersey.
Van Aert, of the Jumbo team, won on a late incline ahead of Australia’s prestage favorite Michael Matthews, with Slovenian Pogacar finishing in third position.
This was a second stage win for van Aert, who also came second three times during the opening stages in Denmark, and extends his lead in the sprint points standings.
Already wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, defending champion Tadej Pogacar overtook the last of a breakaway and his key rival Jonas Vingegaard in a last gasp burst atop a steep mountain ascent on Friday.
Pogacar punished all his key rivals except Vingegaard, with Geraint Thomas losing 14 seconds and Adam Yates losing 29, as some riders dismounted and pushed up the punishing finale.
Having taken the lead Thursday, Pogacar had warned his adversaries of his intention to win this stage, and the 23-year-old led the peloton in the hunt to reel in the escapees.
The 7km-long, 9-percent gradient up La Super Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges was the first mountain on the Tour and provided a pulsating finish. Vingegaard attacked first, overtaking Lennard Kamna within 50 meters of the line as Pogacar followed, timing his final kick to perfection.
The finish line was also the scene of Pogacar’s first Tour de France triumph where he beat Primoz Roglic on the final-day time trial.
Pogacar’s family and girlfriend were waiting at the finish line as stewards attended to the exhausted Vingegaard, guiding his bike out of the way of the following riders.
Defending champion Tadej Pogacar of the UAE Emirates team launched a blistering attack on a late climb to win Stage 6 of the Tour de France and reclaim the overall leader’s yellow jersey on Thursday.
Pogacar attacked on a steep climb 500 meters from the finish and was a class above his key rivals Jonas Vingegaard and Adam Yates.
“It feels like the first time I had it, I wasn’t expecting it today, it was a real battle,” Pogacar said.
The Slovenian took the yellow ahead of EF’s American rider Neilson Powless thanks to the 10 bonus seconds on offer for the stage winner. The 23-year-old celebrated by repeatedly punching the air and is in prime position in his bid to win a third consecutive Tour de France.
He beat Australian Michael Matthews into second on the day while David Gaudu of FDJ was third and Briton Tom Pidcock took fourth.
Simon Clarke of Israel Premier Tech won Stage 5 of the Tour de France on Wednesday in a photo finish after a 157km run from Lille to Arenberg featuring 20km of cobbled mining roads.
Belgium's Wout van Aert of Jumbo retained his overall leader’s yellow jersey despite a nasty fall, but his teammate Primoz Roglic lost around two minutes to defending champion and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.
Clarke used a bike throw on the line in a razor thin victory over Taco van der Hoorn after American Neilson Powless launched a sprint in a bid for the yellow jersey but fell just short.
Van Aert fell early and hurt a shoulder and was almost run over by his own team car, but rallied to cling on to his overall lead by 13 seconds.
Defending champion Pogacar did the best of the pretenders to the 2022 title when he finished seventh, 51 seconds off the lead.
Ineos trio Adam Yates, Tom Pidcock, and Geraint Thomas all hung in and trail Pogacar by 28, 29 and 30 seconds, respectively.
The treacherous stage raced over cobbles that sent clouds of dust billowing making it tough to breath and easy to slip. Eleven cobbled sections totaling almost 20km of bone shaking mining roads caused much of the chaos, but not all of it.
Belgian Wout van Aert made a late solo break to win Stage 4 of the Tour de France and extend his overall lead on Tuesday.
After coming second on each of the first three stages in Denmark, the Jumbo-Visma rider crossed the finish line in Calais eight seconds ahead of the fast-closing peloton.
Van Aert’s feat was a rare act of brilliance that will live long in the memory, and makes up for the disappointment of his three narrow misses. After 160km dominated by two escapees, Van Aert’s Jumbo team and Adam Yates’s INEOS launched a blistering attack on a short, steep climb.
Van Aert crossed the summit first and then powered over the final 8km at over 55km/h, waving his arms in mock flight at the finish line.
Behind him, Alpecin rider Jasper Philipsen won a bunch sprint for second and celebrated, apparently believing he had won the stage.
Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen showed his ability on the first day in France after he emerged as the hero of the Danish Grand Depart taking the climb points jersey. He again won most of the climbing points and stays top of the King of the Mountains standings.
Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen snatched victory in Stage 3 of the Tour de France on Sunday, edging Wout van Aert on the line—but the Belgian retained the overall race leader’s yellow jersey.
BikeExchange rider Groenewegen ensured Jumbo’s van Aert finished second for the third time after the 182km stage, the last in Denmark before the race returns to France, with large crowds lining the route in the Jutland region.
Sprinter Fabio Jakobsen won stage two of the Tour de France on Saturday, vindicating his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team’s decision to select him ahead of Mark Cavendish.
Jakobsen edged Jumbo-Visma's Wout van Aert, who took the overall leader’s yellow jersey after the 202.2km run from Roskilde to Nyborg in Denmark that included a treacherous crossing of the 18km-long Great Belt Bridge.
Dutch rider Jakobsen’s win means Quick-Step have two victories in as many days, after they chose against picking veteran Cavendish, a 34-time stage winner on the race.
Denmark’s Mads Pederson was third to give local fans double reason to celebrate as another Dane, Magnus Cort Nielsen, sporting a handlebar mustache, won the climber’s points jersey along the way.
Fans braved the rain and packed downtown Copenhagen as the Tour de France got underway Friday, with Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik watching from in front of the royal palace as riders set off gingerly on the rain-slick roads.
Belgian Yves Lampaert won the first stage time trial, gate-crashing the opening day in the rain along the 13.2km route in downtown Copenhagen.
Quick-Step rider Lampaert suffered less from the rain with his later start than prerace favorites Wout van Aert and Filippo Ganna, while defending champion Tadej Pogacar produced a technical masterclass timing faster than his overall title rivals.
Lampaert was overwhelmed with emotion when he realized he will wear the overall leader’s yellow jersey on Saturday's second stage.
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