Lampaert wins first Tour de France stage in the rain


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Although Belgian rider Yves Lampaert prompted a shock by winning the Tour de France opening stage, two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar wouldn’t have been bothered at ending third on Friday.

His precedence was screening his race legs and placing ahead of his Slovenian countryman and main rival Primoz Roglic, the 2020 runner-up, who was eighth in the time trial.

“I’m feeling self-confident, pleased, even though it was tense and restricted for me,” Pogacar stated. “It’s nonetheless one of my most effective Tour starts.”

Lampaert is a previous entire world champion in team time demo but this was his initially phase earn at the three-7 days Tour. He clocked 15 minutes, 17 seconds on the 13-kilometer (8-mile) route all over Copenhagen.

The Swift-Step Alpha Vinyl rider was five seconds forward of countryman Wout van Aert — Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma teammate — and 7 forward of Pogacar, who leads UAE Group Emirates. Pogacar was a measly nine seconds clear of Roglic.

Lampaert could scarcely imagine it when he recognized he won, wiping absent tears and putting his fingers on his mouth.

He couldn’t believe that one more thing, either, beating Van Aert — a 3-time cyclo-cross world champion, multiple one-day classics winner and two-time nationwide time trial champ.

“I conquer the excellent Van Aert! It’s unbelievable for me, I never ever assumed about wearing the yellow jersey. My head’s exploding,” Lampaert claimed. “I was expecting to complete in the top 10. That would have been incredibly superior, and now I have beaten all the most effective.”

The rain was teeming when Roglic concluded below grey skies soon immediately after 4:30 p.m., and continue to lashing when Pogacar set off all-around 40 minutes later on. Even although he is a expert in the wet, Pogacar seemed cautious taking the initial convert.

It could possibly have cost him victory.

Riders set off to loud cheers.

“There was so a great deal sound you could rarely listen to anything in the earpiece,” French rider David Gaudu reported.

The sounds degree went up all over again when nearby rider Jonas Vingegaard — Roglic’s teammate and the Tour runner-up past calendar year — rolled down the commence ramp. He put seventh, one particular next ahead of Roglic.

Big components of the Danish cash ended up shut down. The moist roads created the route treacherous — in particular the part across the sq. of Amalienborg Palace, the main home of Denmark’s royal spouse and children, which is paved with cobblestones.

Swiss rider Stefan Bissegger fell off 2 times, but ongoing.

The phase went earlier the city’s other greatest regarded landmarks, which includes the Minor Mermaid statue, sitting on her perch at the entrance of the harbor.

Amid the hundreds of supporters, some waving the purple-and-white Danish flag, was Primary Minister Mette Frederiksen.

“I grew up with my dad currently being glued to the tv screen to check out Tour de France,” Frederiksen explained.

Before, Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik rode the route.

“It is terrific to see the wonderful assist for the Tour at property,” explained the 54-calendar year-aged Frederik, sporting a helmet, shorts and a T-shirt. The palace also revealed Instagram vintage pics of Danish royals driving bicycles, such as Frederik’s wonderful grandfather, King Christian X and the existing Queen Margrethe.

There are two additional phases in Denmark this weekend, which include crossing the Wonderful Belt Bridge that links the Zealand island, where Copenhagen sits, and the central isle of Funen.

The 1st get started in Denmark — but the 24th time the race has started off outside the house of France — was intended to be held in 2021 but postponed a calendar year simply because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After the Danish stages, the riders journey to France with a phase amongst Dunkerque and Calais.

The race finishes in Paris on July 24.

In the meantime, police have been closely investigating the Bahrain Victorious staff and seized far more than 450 capsules of unknown substances at a household in Slovenia through raids across Europe, the European agency Eurojust mentioned Friday.

Riders and staff had their properties raided and the team’s lodge in Denmark was searched this week.





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