It's really weird to me what happened on stage 1. I thought he was tired from long spring + MTB + Tour de Suisse. But then he was dominating Mur de Bretagne and then pulling from 2.5k to 1k on stage 3. And then the absurd time trial yesterday. He is obviously on excellent form (as ever). don't understand how he could barely close the gap to JA on first stage.I don't dislike him anymore, but his performances during this Tour when he said he had prepared on this mountain bike... and adjusted his position in the night before... one wonders why others take the time with the wind tunnel and the many hours of special training and everything, when van der Poel can just climb on his tt bike and beat Asgreen and only lose 11 seconds to Küng...
What I don't really get is why he wasn't up there with Ala on the first stage. Did he just have a bad day?
Maybe he just realised he couldn't win so saved a bit for the following day.
Anyway yesterday was a radioactive ride but overshadowed by the glow from Pogacar. VDP was not preparing for time trials, yet matched WVA, who is maybe the most dialled in time-trialist in the race, who spent so many hours in the TT bike. As others pointed out, VDP is not even as aero as he could be, his equipment could be better.