A cobbled sector of the 5th leg raises concerns at UAE Team Emirates

Mathieu WARNIER, Media365, published Tuesday, April 05, 2022 at 4:20 PM.

After exploring the cobblestones of the 5th stage of the Tour de France 2022 with Tadej Pogacar, Aart Vierhouten became angry at the state of one of them.

This is one of the small details of the Tour de France 2022. On the occasion of the peloton’s passage in the north of France, the fifth stage between Lille and Arenberg will offer no less than eleven cobblestone sectors, spread over the last 75 kilometers of the track. If four are inherited directly from Paris-Roubaix, there will be many new ones and this is what prompted a certain Tadej Pogacar to take advantage of his visit to the region after the Tour of Flanders to do a first exploration with his team UAE Team Emirates… unless the double winner of the Grande Boucle prepares a surprise participation in “L’Enfer du Nord”, scheduled for April 17th. But on this occasion, the sports director of the Emirati training Aart Vierhouten strongly criticized the Eswars sector in Paillencourt, 1600 meters long. “The second hardened sector surprises me, confided the latter in comments collected by the Dutch-speaking Belgian channel sporza† If I was the race organizer I would never have integrated it into the course. Stressing the fact that this “cobbled sector is downhill”, Aart Vierhouten expressed doubts about the safety of the riders, particularly due to his early positioning in the race.

Vierhouten: “No race is allowed to use this cobbled section”

“There is no alternative path to the right or left of the carriageway. This goes against the security that has been put forth so much lately, he claimed. Between the intermediate sprint and the first cobblestone sector, everyone is still full of adrenaline. On the last sectors we could end up with a group of about forty riders. But on these first sectors we will burn a whole platoon. It’s dangerous. “A cobblestone sector already taken at the 2018 Tour de France, with the last edition offering a stage with the cobblestones of the north. “Fortunately it was dry at the time, Aart Vierhouten recalled, for fear of different weather in July. If it started to rain, it would be totally irresponsible to let the riders pass on this paved descent. It’s sheer madness. The latter added that “no race should be allowed to use this cobbled area”. Tadej Pogacar, meanwhile, calmly understands this move, but does not hide the fact that it could be a turning point. “It can go really bad or really good,” he said. We cannot win the Tour there, but we can lose. He no doubt remembers the 2014 Tour de France, in which the cobbled stage, which was ridden in the rain, saw Chris Froome give up and Vincenzo Nibali assert himself.

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