BETTING À DAY
DUNKERQUE | Long before coming to the Tour de France 2022, Quebecer Guillaume Boivin had already targeted the fifth stage with sectors cobblestones on which he nearly did the impossible last year.
Already during the first day of rest on Monday, part of the Israel-Premier Tech team had in mind tomorrow's stage where the dangers are many, but the chances of shining too.
Under the rain, Boivin had taken ninth place in the Paris-Roubaix monument, despite falling in the last 20 kilometers in 2021.
It was then the best result for a Canadian since second place by Steve Bauer in the early 1990s. The images were as striking as they were fatalistic when Boivin was so close to a coup that could mark the imagination.
With the mud and the pain, the unexpected podium was then so close and so far at the same time.
Before thinking of redemption, Boivin would first like to experience a special day where everything is permitted. Tomorrow, the organization of the Tour has bet on a route that includes eleven cobbled sectors, but not necessarily the most famous that make the reputation of the Hell of the North.
“I can't wait. It is the stage of the Tour that excites me the most and the one where I can have the most impact. There are discussions about putting similar cobblestones on a stage, but you can't put five-star cobblestones either. the Carrefour de l'Arbre, which are key sectors of the Paris-Roubaix cycling race, are not on the programme.
Without wanting to create too many expectations, Boivin succeeds very well in situating his objectives personal.
“When I ride here, I have a feelingthat I don't have elsewhere. Riders have fears, but I'm excited to have that at the Tour. The plan is to race ahead and try to get there for the stage win. I expect a different dynamic from a one-day race,” adds the Quebecer.
For him, a successful day would be to finish in the first group, while a perfect day would be to fight for victory.
“It is clear that it is a day that animates Guillaume, so if I can help him, I will do my best. I know that he is motivated and that he wants to do well,” added Hugo Houle.
He believes besides, such a stage has its place in a grand tour.
“ It's part of bicycle racing and it benefits the guys who are going to race in Belgium. I agree with that 100%.”
On Tuesday, the Grande Boucle will return to France with a fourth stage between Dunkirk and Calais, 171.5 km long. Despite some additional difficulties, the finish seems once again reserved for sprinters.
In the notebook…
After leaving Denmark, the peloton set foot in Dunkirk, Francem before visiting Nord–Pas-de-Calais and Bergues, which became famous in particular with the film Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, directed by Dany Boon in 2008.
Nearby is also the Channel Tunnelto England. With an underwater section of nearly 38 km, the structure is made up of three tunnels, each 50 km long, drilled 40 meters below the bottom of the English Channel.
To Dunkirk, we are told about the local hockey team, the Corsairs, with which several Quebecers play.
Near the magnificent beach of Dunkirk, and its few terraces, we find the Irish pub Le Dyck, which delivers poutine at home.
1 . Wout van Aert, Jumbo-Visma
2. Yves Lampaert, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 7 s
3. Tadej Pogacar, UAE, at 14 s
4. Mads Pedersen, Trek-Segafredo, at 18 s
5. Mathieu Van der Poel, Alpecin-Fenix, at 20 s
6. Jonas Vingegaard, Jumbo-Visms, at 22  ;s