Mark Cavendish has suggested that sprinters won't have many opportunities to win at the 2022 Tour de France, after the full route was revealed today.
Cavendish, who earlier this year matched Eddy Merckx's record of 34 Tour de France stage victories, could become the most successful Tour de France stage rider ever if he wins again in 2022. However, while the 36-year-old highlights the nostalgia of starting in Copenhagen following his 2011 World Championship win, the Briton understands that the entire route makes it difficult for fast men to grab a win.
“It’s going to be a very hard Tour de France," Cavendish said. "Of course, starting from Copenhagen, where I became World Champion, brings back a lot of great memories, but those first days after the time trial could be really hectic.
"There aren’t as many chances for the fast men as in the past, so you’ll need to try to make the most out of every opportunity.”
Despite winning four stages at the 2021 Tour de France, Cavendish shared that the Tour, which features the Grand Départ in Denmark, a cobbled stage, and an Alpe d'Huez summit finish, might prove difficult in producing another stage win.
Cavendish's Deceuninck-Quick-Step team-mate and world champion Julian Alaphilippe is also expecting a tough race, though the Frenchman is clearly looking forward to the event.
“I can’t wait to discover the parcours," said Alaphilippe, "and I'm already excited for the recon of some of the stages, as there are a couple of opportunities for the puncheurs.
"What I can already tell you is that the echelons and cobblestones will make for a nice and spectacular first week. I have a special relationship with the Tour de France and I’m happy to be back at the start with the rainbow jersey on my shoulders. I want to honour it again, give my best and get to enjoy another beautiful Tour de France with the team.”
The Frenchman became the first rider from his country to win stages at four consecutive Tour de France editions in more than three decades, and is clearly relishing the opportunity to add to his tally. Kasper Asgreen, also of Deceuninck-Quick-Step, is also excited at the prospect of the 2022 Tour, especially starting in Denmark.
“I’m super excited to be starting from Denmark," said Asgreen. "I knew the route there a bit and I’m looking forward to the ITT on stage one. Stage three will pass just 100 meters from my front door and this alone makes me happy.
"Once we move to France, we’ll have some hard stages, with hills and the cobbles of Roubaix. Overall, it’s a tough course, but I can’t wait for it."
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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