Mathilde L'Azou

Published on : 07/24/2022

During the fastest Tour de France in history, the Nordic team resisted everything and showed a great sense of commitment and teamwork. The battle to keep the polka dot jersey, Benjamin Thomas' solo attempt in Carcassonne, Anthony Perez's fighting spirit... A look back at these 21 high-flying stages.

Simon Geschke and the polka dot jersey, the symbol of a well-functioning team

For nine stages, Simon Geschke was leader of the mountain classification. During these nine stages, the German rider was able to benefit from the solidarity and the collective sense of his team-mates - Anthony Pérez, Pierre-Luc Périchon, Ion Izagirre - to keep it, first in the Alps and then in the descent to the South until the Pyrenees. He thus became the German who has worn this distinctive jersey the most in the history of the Tour de France. It was only after the last mountain stage to Hautacam that he lost the lead in this classification. But there is no need to regret it: the strong man of this Tour de France, Jonas Vingegaard, was ahead of him. As a consolation, Simon was able to wear this tunic until the Champs-Élysées, the Danish rider also having the yellow jersey. 

Benjamin Thomas, so close to the goal

A finish in Carcassonne, in the heat of the day, and the end of a day where the sprinters' teams wanted to show themselves. But Benjamin Thomas decided to play his own game. With 48 kilometres to go, he made an attack, not far from his family in the Tarn, escaped for a while with another rider and then held on alone. The kilometres went by, he passed the red flame... Still alone. The hope grows but the body suffers, Benjamin gives everything. He ends up being caught 400 metres from the finish line after having given it his all. A week earlier, in Lausanne, he had already taken 7th place in a finish between strong riders. He was already one of the great animators of this Tour de France, even if it was his first participation. 


Anthony Perez, the beautiful breakaways

Anthony Pérez is used to raids at the front of the race. He has shown it once between Dunkerque and Calais (5th stage, 171,5 km) where he initiated the breakaway before it was caught again with around 10 km to go. The rider from Toulouse won the combativity award, the first podium for a Cofidis rider in this Tour de France.  Eight stages later, on a bank holiday, 'Antho' is still on the attack. He takes the lead on the mythical Galibier pass and helps to protect the polka dot jersey of Simon Geschke (see elsewhere).

A ruthless Tour de France

The resurgence of Covid-19 cases did not spare the peloton, nor the Cofidis team. Even before the start, Bryan Coquard, a major card to compete in the sprints, had to leave the Tour de France. In Lausanne, it was the team leader Guillaume Martin, who was contaminated when he was 14th in the general classification. Then in Carcassonne, Max Walscheid was unable to start for the same reasons. 

Throughout the Grande Boucle, the Cofidis team has endeavoured to increase the density of its sanitary measures and to protect the physical integrity of its riders and, consequently, of their colleagues in the peloton. It also had to deplore the abandonment of Victor Lafay who was making his debut on the Tour de France and who landed between Bourg d'Oisans and Saint-Étienne. These four riders have already resumed their training. They will do everything to succeed in the second part of the season and offer the team some great sporting emotions.

A prestigious and majestic final stage

To conclude this Tour de France, the riders set off from La Défense Arena. Thousands of people cheered on the peloton before it set off. The Cofidis riders took advantage of this before setting off. Symbolically, Simon Geschke won the last point in the mountain classification, as if to confirm his 2nd place among the best climbers behind the untouchable Jonas Vingegaard.

Women's Tour de France with Zwift, a historic first day

Sunday will long be remembered as the day when women's cycling entered a new dimension. At the beginning of the afternoon, 144 riders set off for this prestigious first stage between the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées. A great first and a great moment for the Cofidis team, which was formed at the beginning of the season. This day was a mixed one, with Alana Castrique crashing and retiring. On the other hand, Victoire Berteau took 20th place in the sprint and is now ranked 1st French rider. The 2nd stage, tomorrow, between Meaux and Provins (135 km) should also end in a sprint.

Ethias Tour de Wallonie - Stage 2 / Jesús Herrada and Guillaume Martin win

Since yesterday, Cofidis is engaged on a third front: the Ethias Tour de Wallonie. During the stage of the day, between Verviers and Herve (176,8 km), there were seven climbs to climb. A tough stage where the riders of the Nordic team have shown themselves. Jesús Herrada took 3rd place in the stage, behind Oier Lazkano and Loic Vljegen. On his side, Guillaume Martin, who is racing in his comeback race after having to leave the Tour de France, is getting stronger. The Norman rider took 12th place in this stage. There are three more stages to go, including the one between Durbuy and Couvin on Tuesday, which will also be favourable for climbers.