The 2022 Tour de France - HighlightsPublished on 05/13/2023 · 15 min readCycling Expert Andrea C. breaks down each stage of the Tour, so you can get caught up on all of the amazing cycling that happened in the 2022 Tour de France.
Photo by Konstantin Kleine courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The 2022 Tour de France was one of the most entertaining Tours the public has seen in years. It was bursting with suspense, excitement, teamwork, fair play, and speed. The peloton was at full gas from kilometer zero, and the 109th edition of the Tour de France goes down in history as the fastest ever recorded!
Here’s a stage-by-stage look at the past three weeks of international competition that brought the peloton 3349.8 km (2,093.62 miles) from Copenhagen, Denmark through parts of Belgium, Switzerland, and France.
Stage One, July 1: Copenhagen-Copenhagen, Denmark - 13.2km
The 109th edition of the Tour de France started in Copenhagen, Denmark with a traditional time trial prologue under cloudy skies which eventually brought rain and wet conditions to the course. The stage ended in a surprise victory for the Belgian rider Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), beating out fellow countryman Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma). Lampart’s victory time of 15’22’ made him the first Belgian since 2018 to take the Maillot Jaune (Yellow Jersey) in the prologue time trial.
For the stage, the sprinter’s Green and leader’s Yellow Jerseys go to Lampaert; and the White Jersey for the best young rider to the Slovenian two-time Tour victor, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates).
Stage Two, July 2: Roskilde to Nyborg, Denmark - 202.5km
Stage Two took the riders over the world’s third longest suspension bridge. Local Dane Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education-Easypost) took all the points in the mountain competition, putting him in the first Polka Dot Jersey. The race was riddled with accidents along the pinch points—including one involving the Yellow Jersey on the bridge.
Belgian Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), in his first Tour de France, took the second win in a row for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. He beat out van Aert in the sprint who started the day in Green but moved into Yellow by one second after the stage. Pogačar finished third and kept the White Jersey.
Stage Three, July 3: Vejle to Sønderborg - 182km
Wearing his Polka Dot Jersey with pride, local Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen made the most of the Tour’s last day in Denmark by going on a breakaway from the starting flag. He was in his element and basked in the limelight of the innumerable Danish fans that lined the route during his 130km solo breakaway.
The race within the race was for the Green Jersey at the intermediate sprint with first place points going to van Aert. Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen (Team Bike Exchange-Jayco) took the final sprint on the line in a tight photo finish between himself, van Aert, Jasper Philipsen, and Peter Sagan. Van Aert stayed in the Yellow and the Green Jerseys—finishing second in the first three stages, matching the 1940 record of Italian Alfredo Binda.
Stage Four, July 5: Dunkerque to Calais - 171.5km
Magnus Cort Nielsen took the first KOM (King of the Mountain) points on the stage in a battle against his breakaway rider, the Frenchman Anthony Perez (Cofidis). Magnus Cort continued to claim KOM points to seal the Polka Dot Jersey through Stage Seven.
The intermediate sprint points went to Fabio Jakobsen. Perez attacked Magnus Cort Nielsen with 44km remaining. On the last climb of the day, Jumbo-Visma showed fantastic teamwork and moved to the front to take control. Van Aert took the mountain points in Yellow and continued alone, holding off the pack with a furious attack and winning the stage.
Stage Five, July 6: Lille Métropole to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut - 157km
Labeled as the Paris-Roubaix stage, Stage Five shared several infamous cobbled sections with the Spring Classics. Fortunately, the weather was dry and van Aert took a 59-point lead over Jakobsen for the Green Jersey after the day’s intermediate sprint. There was a high level of nerves today as the Yellow Jersey was involved in a crash a mere 10km before the start of the first section of pavé.
The day was won by Australia’s Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) with a photo finish on the line in a sprint against the Dutch rider Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux). The victory marked the first-ever Grand Tour win by Team Israel-Premier Tech. It’s a fairy tale ending for Clarke who had no professional team contract going into 2022.
Stage Six, July 7: Binche to Longwy - 220km
Stage Six, the longest of the Tour, started with several breakaway attempts involving a handful of riders including Wout van Aert who took the intermediate sprint points. After 80km, a breakaway finally formed that included van Aert and opened a small one-minute gap. Van Aert dropped his chain but got back on to the other breakaway riders.
The peloton chased down the breakaway, now down to two men, van Aert and the young American Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo). With 30km to go, van Aert dropped Simmons and went it alone.
Stage Six was the first time Team UAE was out front and working hard as a unit. Van der Poel continued to struggle to find his form in this Tour. The breakaway was finally caught by the peloton with 11km to go, and Pojačar showed his dominance by winning the group sprint and moving into Yellow.
Stage Seven, July 8: Tomblaine to La Super Planche des Belles Filles - 176.5km
La Super Planche des Belles Filles has a special meaning for Pogačar. It’s where he took his first Tour de France title against fellow Slovak Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in 2020. Team UAE worked hard to protect Pogačar’s jersey, and he attacked near the final straight on 24% gradients.
Jonas Vingegaard responded, showing he had the fitness necessary to stay with Pogačar. Despite Vingegaard’s strength, Pogačar came around him in the last meters to take his second victory.
Stage Eight, July 9: Dole to Lausanne - 186.5km
Wout van Aert claimed his second victory as he beat Australian Michael Matthews (Team Bike Exchange-Jayco) and Tadej Pogačar on the incline on the final sprint toward the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, Switzerland. Van Aert extended his lead in the Green Jersey points competition.
Magnus Cort Nielsen kept the Polka Dot Jersey, and Pogačar gained a four-second bonus thanks to his second-place finish on the stage.
Stage Nine, July 10: Aigle to Châtel Les Portes du Soleil - 192.9km
The Tour passed by the home of the overall governing body of cycling, the Union Cycliste International (UCI). Sixty kilometers from the finish line, Luxembourger Bob Jungels (AG2R-Citroën) kicked off a daring descent on the Col de la Croix. And by the bottom, he had opened up a two-minute lead on the peloton. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (Française des Jeux) went on the hunt for Jungels but ran out of steam before the finish.
Jungels won a well-deserved solo victory becoming the first Luxembourger to win a Tour stage since Andy Schleck on the Galibier in 2011. He marked his return with panache after three years of health issues. German rider Simon Geschke (Cofidis) took over the KOM jersey, and with Pogačar in Yellow, Britain’s Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) wore White. Van Aert continued to increase his lead in the Green points competition.
Stage Ten, July 12: Morzines Les Portes du Soleil to Megève - 148.5km
Mandatory COVID testing claims ten riders from the peloton, including two riders from UAE Team Emirates. This was bad timing for Pogačar as the Tour headed into the big mountains. It was another day of breakaways, and a climate change protest demonstration caused a disruption in the course.
Racing resumed after the peloton was neutralized, and more attacks followed. Four breakaway riders were caught by the pack on the approach to the Megève and Magnus Cort Nielsen, who had been vying for a stage win from the beginning of the Tour, saw his chance and sprinted for the line. He won the stage—decided by a photo finish—with a perfect bike throw against Australian Nick Schultz (Team Bike Exchange-Jayco).
Stage Eleven, July 13: Albertville to Col du Granon Serre Chevalier - 152km
The Tour hadn’t raced the Col du Granon Serre Chevalier since 1986. It’s the highest mountain pass in the French department of the Hautes-Alpes (High Alps) which meant a big day for climbers in the peloton. Wout van Aert and Van der Poel (VDP) broke away from the gun. VDP got dropped and abandoned the Tour. Van Aert continued up the road after being joined by a few other riders that made the bridge.
Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) attacked on the descent of the Telegraphe. Vingegaard joined Roglič, and the two took turns attacking Pogačar. Pogačar, without teammates, had no choice but to respond to each attack. Roglič was eventually distanced but Pogačar and Vingegaard continued. Smart planning put van Aert up the road, waiting for Vingegaard to help him to the last climb of the day.
Vingegaard attacked on the Col du Granon Serre Chevalier, but Pogačar wasn’t able to stick to the wheel of his teammate, Polish rider, Rafał Majka (UAE Team Emirates), and dropped back. Vingegaard saw his chance and doubled his efforts, eventually catching Frenchman Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Colombian Nairo Quintana (Team Arkea-Samsic) who were up the road.
Vingegaard took his first Tour de France stage victory and claimed Yellow after putting 2’53’ between him and Pogačar. Pogačar moved into second place with the White Jersey and Romain Bardet into third.
Stage Twelve, July 14: Briançon to Alpe d’Huez - 165.5km
Bastille Day in France went without French victory as the day was marked by the British Olympic Mountain Bike Champion, Tom Pidcock. 22-year-old Pidcock, in his first Tour de France, claimed the stage victory on the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d’Huez.
He became the youngest Alpe d’Huez winner and only the second British victor in Tour history behind Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) who won the climb in 2018. Another British rider, and four-time Tour winner, Chris Froome showed he was back by finishing third on the stage. Vingegaard remained in Yellow despite repeated attacks by Pogačar.
Stage Thirteen, July 15: Le Bourg d’Oisans to Saint-Etienne - 193km
On a day marked by extremely high temperatures and repeated breakaways, Danish rider and former 2019 World Champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) escaped from the peloton with three other riders and beat them in the sprint by a few bike lengths.
As the rest of the peloton arrived in the final meters, Pogačar was glued to the wheel of Vingegaard to avoid any time splits. Van Aert continued to increase his lead in the Green Jersey points competition, and Simon Geschke (Cofidis) held a minor four-point lead for the Polka Dot Jersey.
Stage Fourteen, July 16: Saint-Etienne to Mende - 192.5km
Five years after his first Tour de France victory, Australian Michael Matthews (Team Bike Exchange-Jayco) became this Tour’s second Australian victor. He finished the stage on a solo break after a back-and-forth battle with Italian Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Easypost) on the slopes to Mende. Pogačar tried to attack Vingegaard but to no avail. The two finished the stage at the same time.
Stage Fifteen, July 17: Rodez to Carcassonne - 202.5km
Scorching temperatures continued to affect the riders on Stage 15 as 104°F was forecasted in Carcassonne. Injuries suffered on Stage Five forced Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) out of the Tour, a severe blow to Vingegaard’s support in the coming mountains.
After Roglič, bad luck struck again as Jumbo-Visma lost Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) to a shoulder injury after an accident that included Wout van Aert. Disaster continued to strike for Jumbo-Visma as the Yellow Jersey went down in an accident, but Vingegaard was unharmed, changed bikes, and returned to the peloton.
On the last climb, two French riders went clear, and the peloton waited until the last kilometers to chase them down. The breakaway finally got caught with 400 meters remaining, and victory on the line went to Belgian Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) with Wout van Aert in a close second.
Stage Sixteen, July 19: Carcassonne to Foix - 178.5km
Stage 16 was a day for Canadian cycling fans as Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) soloed to victory with fellow Canadian teammate Michael Woods close behind in third place. Houle became only the second Canadian after Steve Bauer in 1988, and the first rider from Quebec, to win a Tour stage. His victory marked the second stage win for Israel-Premier Tech.
In the race behind, Pogačar launched a ferocious attack on three separate occasions with 48km to go, but Vingegaard responded at every reprise. UAE rider, Spaniard Marc Soler, missed the time cut bringing Pogačar’s teammates down to five before the two final mountain stages.
Stage Seventeen, July 20: Saint Gaudens to Peyragudes -130 km
UAE suffered yet another blow as Pogačar’s lieutenant, Rafal Majka suffered a torn muscle in Stage 16 which prevented him from making the start. UAE Team Emirates was now down to four riders as the Tour headed into the Pyrenees.
Four climbs on the day meant lots of attacks, but no gaps before the Col d’Aspin. UAE worked hard to reel in two riders who managed to break away. The pace was furious and caused a lot of damage—including the American Jumbo-Visma rider Sep Kuss and Wout van Aert who dropped back, leaving Vingegaard alone.
Pogačar attacked at the summit of the Col de Val Louron-Azet, but Vingegaard went with him. Pogačar’s teammate, the American Brandon McNulty, continued to set a blistering pace at the front, showing an impressive amount of power. 300m from the finish line, Pogačar attacked again, only to be matched by Vingegaard.
Vingegaard launched his own attack, and he and Pogačar went mano-a-mano, with Pogačar finally overtaking him in the final meters for the win. Victory goes to Pogačar, his third of the Tour, but no time was lost by Vingegaard. 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas confirmed his third place in the general classification ahead of Nairo Quintana.
Stage Eighteen, July 21: Lourdes to Hautacam - 143.4km
Stage 18 was the Tour’s final day in the mountains and Pogačar’s last chance to take back the Yellow Jersey from Vingegaard. Thirty riders managed to break away, including van Aert and Belgian teammate Tiesj Benoot. Jumbo-Visma didn’t want Vingegaard to be isolated again as he was on Stage 17.
With 39km to go, Pogačar attacked Vingegaard several times, trying to take him long and put him under pressure. Vingegaard almost crashed on his own on a blistering descent in pursuit of Pogačar on the Col des Spandelles. A few kilometers later, Pogačar was the victim of his own strategy and crashed on some gravel coming out of a hairpin turn.
Vingegaard could have attacked, but he waited for Pogačar in a sign of true sportsmanship. The two shook hands and continued toward the last climb of the day, the Hautacam. Vingegaard joined van Aert and Tiesj Benoot who were up the road and waiting to ride and work for him.
Wout van Aert attacked on the slopes of the Hautacam with Vingegaard in tow and an isolated Pogačar on his wheel. Pogačar wasn’t able to hang on and got distanced by Vingegaard who rode to solo victory. It was his second in the Tour and put more time into Pogačar. Jumbo-Visma performed exceptionally as a team on the stage.
The Polka Dot and Yellow Jerseys were now on the shoulders of Vingegaard.
Stage Nineteen, July 22: Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors -188.5km
Stage 19 was yet another impressive day for team Jumbo-Visma as Frenchman and teammate Christophe Laporte stole victory from the top sprinters in the peloton in the final two kilometers. Laporte’s surprise victory was the first for France in this year’s Tour de France and his first ever.
A working domestique for Jumbo-Visma, once Vingegaard was safely within the last three kilometers of the stage, Laporte got the green light to attempt the stage win. He accomplished his goal; a worthy reward for his hard work and loyalty.
Stage Twenty, July 23: Lacapelle-Marival to Rocamadour - 40.7km
Victory didn’t sleep for Jumbo-Visma as Wout van Aert won the final individual time trial the day before the final stage in Paris. Vingegaard finished second and Pogačar was third for the day. Wout van Aert's performance was impressive, beating the current World Time Trial Champion, the Italian Filippo Ganna (Ineos-Grenadiers) by 42 seconds.
Stage Twenty One, July 24: Paris La Défense Arena to Paris Champs-Elysées - 116km
It was a traditional final processional stage to Paris when no more general classification battles were fought. The prize of the day typically goes to the sprinters, and today was no exception. A clear victory went to Belgian Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), his second of the Tour after Stage 15.
Wout van Aert didn’t contest the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées, opting to cross the line with the entire Jumbo-Visma team as a group. Jonas Vingegaard became only the second Danish Tour winner since Bjarne Riis in 1996. Second place on the podium went to Tadej Pogačar, and third to Geraint Thomas.
Wout van Aert held the Green Jersey from start to finish and was named the Tour’s most aggressive rider. As Vingegaard ended with the most KOM points, he also came away with the Polka Dot Jersey on his shoulders. Pogačar kept the White Jersey for the best young rider, almost a full hour ahead of his closest rival, Tom Pidcock. And Ineos-Grenadier took home the team competition.
The 2022 Tour de France was entertaining to the end. If you can watch the replay of the entire race or just a favorite stage above, you won’t regret it.