Tour de France 2022
Bonjour Le Tour! It’s that time of the year again: the world’s biggest annual sporting event – the Tour de France – is about to begin. The 109th edition of the Tour de France will begin on 1 July in the Danish capital Copenhagen, which is reputed as being one of Europe’s bicycle-friendliest cities. We can therefore expect to see plenty of red and white during the first three stages of this cycling event in Denmark. The winner will be crowned on the Champs-Elysées in Paris (3328 km later) as has been the tradition since 1975.
BORA – hansgrohe / Bettiniphoto
BORA – hansgrohe / Sprintcycling
BORA – hansgrohe
The Tour de France was first staged in 1903 as a promotional campaign for the newspaper ‘L’Auto’, the precursor publication to today’s paper ‘L’Equipe’. Riders in this first race had to conquer six stages, spanning a total of 2,428 km, in 19 days. In 1919 Henri Desgranges, who was race director at the time, decided that the race leader should wear a yellow jersey so that spectators could easily keep track of the race, and race leaders have worn a yellow jersey ever since. The mountains classification was created in 1933, and the best climbers have been awarded the polka dot jersey since 1975. The green jersey for the leader in the points classification was introduced in 1953.
With its 21 stages, the route can be described as a classic. Six mountain stages (all of which involve mountain finishes), seven moderately difficult legs, six flat stages and two time trials (13 km and 41 km) are what the cyclists have to focus on. The Tour will kick off in Copenhagen for the first stage, before continuing across Denmark for the second and third stages. The fourth stage will begin in the north of France, after a rest day. On the following day, the race will cover sections of the legendary Paris-Roubaix cobbles, which will be an initial endurance test for both the riders and their equipment. The Tour will then continue clockwise around France, heading through the Vosges Mountains with a tricky arrival in Super Planche des Belles Filles, followed by the Alps with the highlight in Alpe d’Huez on Bastille Day, and finally the Pyrenees, before the winner can be sure of his success after the final time trial on the penultimate day.
The BORA – hansgrohe line-up
Thirty professional cyclists from 14 different countries in one team. After all: teamwork makes the dream work in cycling. Even though only one of them can be the first over the finish line, winning is a success for the whole team because you can’t win in cycling without domestiques who provide slipstreams, grab water bottles, keep the competition at bay and lead out the sprinters in the sprint.
Teamwork is a top priority in the BORA – hansgrohe team; it’s how the team has constantly developed, improved and become more successful. The team started in the third division in 2010, still under the NetApp team name, and was evolving and getting better all the time until it was promoted to the first division in 2017. Just two years later and with a total of 47 victories under its belt, the team advanced to the second-best team in the WorldTour division. The idea that the team will rest on their laurels is unthinkable; they have lots of plans for the future. The squad was reshuffled, with 11 new riders joining, giving the team an even more international profile. The team is evolving to focus its skills more on stage races and consequently on general classification specialists. BORA – hansgrohe will once again field a strong team in the Classics, one-day races and sprint stages.
This year, 22 teams with 8 riders each will start at the Tour de France. There are sprinting specialists, strong climbers and great all-rounders. Aleksandr Vlasov will be on the start line for the overall classification. For the sprints, we are counting on Danny van Poppel, supported by Marco Haller. Our line-up also features other strong riders, such as Maximilian Schachmann, Nils Politt and Patrick Konrad, who have already proven that they can snatch stage wins at the highest level.
The 27-year-old has been on the team since 2018 and is a proven mountain and overall classification specialist. Felix chalked up his first big win in 2019 when he won one stage and topped the overall standings at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey. It wasn’t just his victory, it was also the first overall win at a large international tour for the BORA – hansgrohe team. A noteworthy 9th and 10th place at the Vuelta a España in 2020 and 2021 also earned Felix international recognition. Felix is open to other sports: he relaxes by playing golf and likes to ski in winter.
This likeable cyclist from the Austrian state of Carinthia joined the team in 2022 and is an all-rounder in the Band of Brothers. Whether during sprint finishes or tough classics, Marco puts on an impressive and selfless performance in almost every terrain. He was absolutely delighted to claim his first victory in seven years at the Tour of Norway in May 2022! With his open and inspiring nature, his dedication and passion for cycling and his numerous other interests (ice hockey, football, golf, cuisine, dogs, music, travelling) he fits in perfectly with the Band of Brothers.
Born in Lower Austria, he joined BORA – hansgrohe’s predecessors as a stagiaire (‘test rider’) in August 2014. He’s come on in leaps and bounds since then and consistently snatches a top ten spot in the tours. His invaluable climbing skills have been brought into action at three Tours de France to date. But the keen amateur chef with a love of Austrian cuisine has shown that he can do more by coming 7th, 8th and 13th in the overall classification at the Giro d’Italia and by soloing to victory on stage 16 of the Tour de France in 2021. This should be Koni’s declared goal once again this year, as well as supporting team captain Aleksandr Vlasov.
The 25-year-old from the far north of Germany started to make a name for himself early in his career. In particular it was his skills as a time trial rider battling against the clock that were remarkable, making him junior time trial world champion and under-23s European time trial champion. At just 20 years old, he won the world team time trial championships alongside his teammates and cycling stars Tom Dumoulin and Michael Matthews, to name a couple. But it was his stage win at the 2020 Tour de France and the grandiose Giro d’Italia 2022 with his stage win and his textbook-like assistance with Jai Hindley’s triumphant attack that grabbed the cycling world’s attention, and not just in Germany. Lennard’s racing style is always bold and pro-active, especially during the mountain stages. So it’s just a question of time before this pancake fan goes all in again at the Tour de France.
Nils joined the team in the 2021 season and above all specialises in the hard spring classics. The 27-year-old from Cologne, who previously finished in second and seventh place on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix, is a powerful force on the pedals and, with the exception of hill climber, can take on many different roles. The 2022 edition of the ‘Big Loop’ will be his sixth Tour de France in a row. At 192 cm tall and known as ‘Giraffe’ in the training group because of his long legs, Politt will ride into the wind for BORA – hansgrohe, but might also try his luck in the breakaway groups.
Max has been on the starting line with team BORA – hansgrohe since 2019. The 28-year-old cyclist from Berlin had no trouble settling in, claiming six victories in his first year and bagging the title of German national champion. His second year started even more successfully: he achieved a stage and an overall win at the prestigious Paris–Nice ‘Race to the Sun’. And during his third year, he defended his title at Paris–Nice and repeated his success as German champion, as well as achieving top results at the Tour de Suisse and at the challenging Tokyo road race. This boosted his confidence no end and brought him to the attention of cycling elites.
Danny van Poppel
As designated lead-out man for Sam Bennett in 2022, this Dutchman whose parents were also professional cyclists and who competes in the WorldTour just like his brother and cousin, is picking up exactly where he left off in 2021. Whether leading out a sprint or carrying out one of his own, Danny has secured countless top-ten positions in sprints and classic races. This Australophile who constantly takes on new challenges, including in the kitchen, first competed in the Tour de France at the tender age of 19, and this will be his fourth ‘Big Loop’.
Aleks, who already tried his hand at judo and football before becoming a cyclist, joined the Band of Brothers in 2022, immediately showing what he’s capable of in the first half of the season. As well as securing stage wins and claiming overall victory at both the Tour de Romandie and the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, he also performed very well at the Ardennes classics. This 26-year-old, who likes to chill out by walking his dog or cooking, particularly loves the passion and emotions of cycling. For his first Tour de France he is heading for the start line as captain for BORA – hansgrohe, only narrowly missing a podium finish at the Giro 2021.
Watch our video to find out how our boys have prepped themselves for the Tour with food: