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Tour de France 2022

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The Tour de France (2022) is now well past its halfway point, some interesting facts

With approximately 4,500 dedicated enthusiasts following this mobile village of a race. Comprising 22 teams, each with nine riders covering over 3,000 kilometers, it can only mean one thing: the Tour de France is upon us once again. As the race has advanced beyond the Alps, and the riders basked in their well-deserved third rest day, the distant allure of Paris now seems a bit closer. What insights have we gleaned from the past three weeks, and what are some noteworthy tidbits? We present these observations for your consideration.

Dominance of the Jumbo-Visma Team

It became evident before the Tour that Jumbo-Visma would field a formidable lineup. With a choice between their two potential leaders, Roglic and Vingegaard, and the undeniable ambitions of Wout Van Aert to claim the green jersey, the first weeks proved highly successful for Jumbo-Visma. Van Aert, in particular, achieved remarkable feats with two first-place finishes and four second-place finishes in various stages. Moreover, Vingegaard distinguished himself on the iconic Col du Granon, outclassing all other contenders and firmly securing the yellow jersey. Speaking of the yellow jersey, Jumbo-Visma has held this prestigious title for a total of 9 days. Additionally, they have maintained a strong presence in the green jersey competition since day 2 (when Jacobsen wore it due to Van Aert's temporary possession of the yellow jersey).

To illustrate Jumbo-Visma's outstanding performance, consider their prize money earnings. In this department as well, the team comfortably leads the pack, with an estimated prize fund of 111,350 euros, compared to the second-placed Ineos Grenadiers' 50,970 euros.

An interesting tidbit is that Wout Van Aert alone would account for 62,930 euros. Truly exceptional.

A Surge in Viewership

During the 2022 Tour, an average of 554,000 Flemish viewers were glued to their screens to watch the race unfold live on "één." When comparing this preliminary figure to the average viewership of the 2021 edition, which stood at 435,000 viewers, we observe an increase of nearly 120,000 daily viewers. This increase can undoubtedly be attributed in part to the successes of Wout Van Aert, who consistently garnered news attention and attracted more viewers.

The highest peaks in viewership were witnessed during the queen stage at Alpe d'Huez, with viewers reaching up to 651,550, and the highest (preliminary) peak occurred during stage 15, won by Jasper Philipsen, with viewers peaking at 674,129.

What Lies Ahead in the Tour?

There are still several enticing stages to come in this Tour, including those in the Pyrenees and the classic finale on the Champs-Élysées, followed by the closing award ceremony. Given the tight competition between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar, the Pyrenees stages promise to provide ample excitement, likely leading to higher viewership figures.

After emerging from the second and final mountain range of this 109th edition of the Tour de France, a few flatter stages will roll out the red carpet, allowing for a calm approach to the final sprint in Paris.

A few things remain on the horizon: Wout Van Aert is currently on course to break the all-time highest points record, currently held at 477 points by Peter Sagan.

The conclusion of this Tour de France promises to be a captivating and engrossing spectacle.

Sources: Sporza, Het Nieuwsblad

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