No rain blame from Van Aert after near miss in Tour de France opener

Jumbo-Visma team's Belgian rider Wout van Aert competes in the 1st stage of the 109th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 132 km individual time trial stage in Copenhagen on July 1 2022 Denmark OUT Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen Ritzau Scanpix AFP Denmark OUT Photo by MADS CLAUS RASMUSSENRitzau ScanpixAFP via Getty Images
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) on the twisting 13.2km course in Copenhagen and finished with a time that gave him second place (Image credit: MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN Ritzau Scanpix AFP via Getty Images)

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) might have expected to finish second in the opening time trial of the Tour de France. He has, after all, been consigned to a string of near misses at the hands of World Champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers).

But Van Aert went five seconds quicker than Ganna in Copenhagen on Friday. He was two seconds quicker than two-time Tour champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). He was eight quicker than his old rival Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck), and around 10 seconds quicker than his own team leaders, Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard.

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Patrick Fletcher

Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist, and former deputy editor of Cyclingnews, who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.