Tour de la Provence 2022 – Stage 1

What looks to be a boring sprint stage should be more than entertaining as we are likely to get more early-season echelons.

A ride from Istres to Arles, before the get close to the sea. It is a pancake-flat area and with the wind blowing, some teams will look to exploit it. I think we will see something happen just south of Arles on their way to Albaron to the west, but more about this is the weather section.

The finale

It is pretty straight forward the way to the finish line. A little bend in the road with 100 meters to go. I’m glad some organizers create safe finishes. It should be a mighty fast sprint with a tailwind.


As mentioned a few times by now, we have wind blowing from the north. 9 m/s is quite a lot, with windgusts up to 13-15 m/s. It should be around 13 degrees Celcius with no rain.


From around 90 k – 70 k left. Crosswind.

From 70k – 57k left. Cross-tailwind.

On the circuit, they do twice. Cross-tailwind.


It will me an interesting day for the GC but in the end, it is likely to come down to a sprint between some of the sprinters.

Demare has a strong team with him here in France. Armirail, Ludvigson and the veteran Roux are a strong trio to protect the French sprinter. I do hope to see Storer surviving the crosswinds too.

Viviani and INEOS rarely miss these chances. Ganna, Puccio and Rowe will be protecting the others. I have a feeling they might want to give bonus seconds to Hayter in order to get him bonus seconds. If not, and they are riding for Viviani, he should have a good shot at victory.

Hayter to be the first or second option for INEOS? My mind says Hayter but I doubt he is quicker than Viviani in a flat sprint.

Coquard does not have the strongest echelons team here in Provence, but he is a good rider given his stature. I think he will be in the mix tomorrow, but I doubt he can win. A podium should be a good result for him.

Barbier has a solid team around him. Bevin, Wurtz, Vanmarcke and Asbroeck are a few riders you would like to have around you in these winds. I think he will do very well tomorrow.

Who will win?


I do not know which shape he is in, but something tells me he will be fresher at the finish line than Viviani. I think that will make the difference.

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