Lizzie Deignan’s exclusive Tour de France review – Cycle Savvy

Lizzie Deignan's exclusive Tour de France review - Cycle Savvy

The final few days of the Tour de France are upon us, and what a ride it’s been. It’s not over yet, though.

We’ve put together a quick overview of the leading riders in each category, so you’re up to date on who could steal the show.

We also sat down with Lizzie Deignan, world champion track and road racing cyclist and huge supporter of the Tour de France Femmes event, to get her thoughts on this year’s TDF.

Read on for her review of this year’s event and her predictions for the end of the Tour.

Tour de France 2022: what we know ahead of stage 18

General Classification

Tadej Pogacar scraped a victory in stage 17, but Jonas Vingegaard is still hanging onto the yellow jersey.

There are only four stages left, and the tension is rising. There’s no certainty about who will stand victorious.

On the post-race show, Dan Lloyd said, ‘he [Pogacar] has to take more than a minute off tomorrow if he is going to have a chance of winning a third straight Tour.’

As it stands, there are a mere two minutes and fifty-eight seconds between Pogacar and Vingegaard’s overall times:

  • vingaard: 67h 53′ 54”
  • pogacar: 67h 56′ 12”

It’s certainly looking close. Lizzie Deignan gives her expert opinion on who she believes will triumph in our Q&A below.

Points Classification

Wout Van Aert is leading the sprinters’ race to the green jersey.

He’s currently on 416 points, leaving Tadej Pogacar and Jasper Philipsen behind with their respective 202 and 196 points.

Despite losing the yellow jersey at stage 6 in Longwy, he’s already set a score that his opponents are physically unable to match over the next four stages.

Cyclingnews stated: ‘provided Van Aert makes it safely to Paris, he will become the first Belgian winner of the points classification since Tom Boonen in 2007’.

Climber Classification

Only 12 points stand between Simon Geschke and Jonas Vingegaard for the ‘King of the Mountains’ title.

  • Geschke: 64
  • vingaard: 52

It’s looking like the polka-dot jersey is going nowhere for Geschke unless Vingegaard uses everything in his tank to gain a point advantage in stage 18.

Young Rider Rating

As it stands, Tadej Pogacar is dominating this classification with 1.5 hours on runner-up Tom Pidcock.

Could Pogacar bag two jerseys this year? If he manages to beat Pidcock in the race to white and steal back yellow from Vingegaard, it could certainly happen.

After all, he did win three jerseys after his performance in the TDF 2021.

Team Rating

With Pogacar riding for UAE Team Emirates and Vingegaard and Wout Van Aert for Jumbo-Visma, the race to become the winning team is intense.

Here are the top 5 standings ahead of stage 18:

  1. Ineos Grenadiers: 203h 51′ 41”
  2. Groupama – FDJ: 204h 23′ 20”
  3. Jumbo – Visma: 204h 39′ 22”
  4. UAE Team Emirates: 205h 12′ 36”
  5. Bora-hansgrohe: 205h 19′ 48”

Exclusive Q&A with Lizzie Deignan

As one of the most recognizable and respected faces within the world of cycling, we had to get Lizzie’s insights on this year’s TDF event.

She’s a huge inspiration thanks to her achievements and speaking out about sexism in the sport, and there’s no one else we’d rather speak ahead of the final stages this weekend.

How has this Tour been? Can you give us an overview?

This year’s TDF has been brilliantly entertaining so far.

It’s been called the ‘hardest’ event in years, as the racing has been aggressive and tactical since the start in Denmark. It hasn’t followed the formula of GC days and sprint stages like most TDF in recent years.

During the second week, I worked on the ITV coverage and enjoyed being on the other side of the fence. Without being behind the scenes, it’s hard to appreciate just how big the infrastructure behind the TDF is.

There is no other event like it in the world. It’s an incredible spectacle built and taken down in just 24 hours, yet it lasts 21 days.

Have there been any highlights?

When Vingegaard attacked Pogacar and took over the yellow jersey on the Col du Granon, I think it reminded everybody that every rider has bad days. The race isn’t over until Paris.

Similarly, watching the control and dominance of Jumbo Visma only to see them lose two riders shows that anything can happen, and the yellow jersey is only secured once you arrive in Paris.

Are there any breakout stars and ones to watch, and why?

He is far from a breakout star, but the most exciting rider to watch is Wout Van Aert.

He has single handily dominated the green jersey competition whilst being a vital asset and tame for the yellow jersey. It’s incredibly difficult and rare to be able to do both.

What has it been like having the crowds fully back?

The crowds have been sensational, particularly in Denmark for the Grand Depart. It’s exciting for cycling that there is so much appetite and appreciation for our sport.

What are your predictions for the end of the Tour?

I think it will be exceptionally close at the end. I predict Pogacar will take back yellow.

I also predict that Geraint Thomas will complete the podium and close the gap considerably during the 40km individual time trial.

What have the biggest challenges been?

The heat.

I’m sure everybody can appreciate that even going about your daily life during a heat wave is a challenge but racing and trying to recover in record-breaking temperatures is incredibly fatiguing.

Many thanks to Lizzie for her insights on Tour de France 2022!

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