The Tour de France leaves Denmark via two-hour flights and 900 km journeys
There may have been no race at the Tour de France on Monday, although it was not a usual Grand Tour rest day with riders, staff and organizers facing the longest transfer of the history of the race as the race moved south from Denmark through Germany. , and Belgium to the north of France.
The riders had it relatively easy, with each team making six chartered flights to Lille and Calais on Sunday evening after Stage 3. While the majority of teams took the flights offered by race organizers ASO, Israel-Premier Tech treated himself to the luxury of a private jet.
“It’s pretty easy,” said AG2R Citroën driver Oliver Naesen. Het Nieuwsblad. “After the stage, you take a shower, you are picked up by a bus and taken on the plane and you watch a film about the flight.
“The only thing you need with you is your passport, helmet and shoes to be able to train the next day. I thought we would fly out on Monday but we are already there on Sunday night. As far as I know concerns, we could have raced on Monday – it’s a free rest day.”
The trip did not go smoothly, however, as one of the three planes carrying the runners broke down before departure. Those affected were quickly dispatched to three smaller planes – taking the place of the organization members.
Three staff members from each team accompanied the riders on the charter trip, while teams also had to plan ahead to ensure riders had a leader and – in DSM’s case – bikes on Monday. The rest of the team’s sporting directors, trainers, mechanics and press officers were forced to go the long way.
Back in the 1998 Tour, the flight of the Great departure in Ireland to Brittany arrived at around 300km, around 100km less as the crow flies than Sunday’s flights. In 1998, the team equipment and the racing caravan were transported by night ferry from Cork to Roscoff. This time, the bulk of the teams – and their equipment – made a road trip of more than 900 km.
Those driving the team’s buses, cars and vans spent 10 hours or more behind the wheel before reaching France, although race organizers ASO slept in hotels in Bremen, Germany on Sunday evening.
“We have been working on it for months,” said Vincent Lavenu, director of AG2R. The Team. “It’s not ideal, but you get used to it. You know how to deal with it.”
Finally, five hours after the riders’ flight departed for France, the Tour journalists made a direct chartered flight organized by ASO, but departing at midnight and arriving in Lille two hours later.
After the big move, teams were able to complete practice outings on Monday, although some later than others. The DSM team was even able to take part in a reconnaissance of Wednesday’s cobbled stage.
“They will be less tired after the first week of racing,” said Tour technical director Thierry Gouvenou. “The regulations oblige us – because of the remoteness of the Great departure – to add the extra rest day. The riders will therefore have some respite after three rather nervous days.
“Now they can rest and start again with a six-day cycle. They will be less tired when they get to the mountains.”
🇩🇰 ➡️ 🇫🇷 After 3 stages in Denmark, the riders will continue to write the history of #TDF2022 in France🇩🇰 ➡️ 🇫🇷 After 3 stages in Denmark, the riders are meeting in France to continue writing the history of this #TDF2022 pic.twitter.com/hFislnoSS8July 4, 2022