Heading into the 2022 Tour de France, the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team made the controversial decision to leave reigning points winner Mark Cavendish at home and instead bringing sprinter Fabio Jakobsen. Despite an early stage win, communication issues between Jakobsen and veteran lead-out rider Michael Morkov could ruin Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s chances at any of the jerseys.
The Decision to Leave Cavendish Behind
Quick-Step shocked the cycling world when they announced that they were leaving Mark Cavendish off their Tour de France roster. After Cavendish won 4 stages at the 2021 race, Cavendish found himself tied with Eddy Merckx the most all-time Tour de France stage wins. It was very clear to anyone watching the race that Cavendish and his lead-out man, Michael Morkov, were working in-sync with one another.
Instead, the team chose Fabio Jakobsen, who was in excellent form and won the 2021 Vuelta Espana points classification, as he returned from a horrific crash during the 2020 season. Early in the Tour de France, it looked like Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl made the right decision as Jakobsen raced to a win on Stage 2.
After the stage win, some communication problems have started to arise between Jakobsen and his lead out man Michael Morkov. Starting with the very next stage, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl seemed poised for a potential repeat with Jakobsen on the wheel of Morkov as the headed around the last corner.
However, instead of following Morkov, Jakobsen drifted into the corner and was boxed-in by the other riders, leaving him out of the race as his chief rival Dylan Groenewegen took the stage. Meanwhile, Michael Morkov slammed his hands down in frustration as his strong lead out was wasted.
Communication issues were apparent again today during Stage 7s intermediate spring. Again with Morkov leading him, Jakobsen left his lead-out man in an attempt at a solo-break. The move ended up being a mistake as Jakobsen left too early and eventually saw a handful of other riders, led by Mads Pedersen, beat him to the line.
With the second weekend of the 2022 Tour de France approaching, Fabio Jakobsen and Michael Morkov need to be on the same page if Alpha-Vinyl want to repeat as the points champion.
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