Cycling News

Hinault on Vingegaard: ‘If he wins, I don’t understand anything’

Derek Gee showed us why the Giro and the Tour need to bring something very special back

Jonas Vingegaard, the two-time consecutive Tour de France champion, is hoping to defend his yellow jersey. However, his path back to yellow has been marked by significant challenges. In April, a serious crash during the Tour of the Basque Country race left the Team Visma | Lease a Bike leader hospitalized with multiple fractures, including a punctured lung. With limited race preparation since then, questions linger about Vingegaard’s form heading into the Tour de France.

Meanwhile, his number one rival, Tadej Pogacar, has been in exceptional form, dominating the recent Giro d’Italia with a commanding victory margin of almost ten minutes. As Pogačar approaches the Tour at his peak, the focus on Vingegaard’s comeback narrative is coming to a head. Bernard Hinault, with five Tour de France victories to his name, including two consecutive wins twice, is weighing in on Vingegaard’s prospects.

Visma nutritionist: ‘Pogačar’s team isn’t close to our system’

Discussing Vingegaard’s recovery and preparation, Hinault has expressed skepticism about the Dane’s chances this year. “After his crash at the Itzulia Basque Country and subsequent challenges, if he manages to win the Tour de France again, it would defy expectations,” Hinault said to Het Nieuwsblad. Hinault also noted Pogacar’s disrupted preparation for the 2023 Tour.

Following a severe crash during the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain and an extended hospitalization, the Visma – Lease a Bike rider embarked on a rigorous rehabilitation journey before resuming training. His recovery began with foundational miles in Denmark, followed by intensive conditioning sessions in Mallorca. Subsequently, he reunited with his teammates in the French Alps for focused and demanding training sessions.

The Tour de France begins in Florence on Saturday. The first week is hardly easy, with Stage 1 featuring hills and Stage 4 being even hillier. With no rest for the riders, it’s possible that decisive moments will come early in the race—or perhaps not, as bike racing is often unpredictable despite seeming otherwise.

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