Jonas Vingegaard has said that he doubts he will be picked for the Paris Olympic Games road race, but expects to ride the more suitable, brutally tough course at the UCI Road World Championships in Zürich, Switzerland.
The end of the 2023 road season confirmed Denmark as one of the five teams to earn four spots in the men’s road race at Paris 2024, with Vingegaard the top Danish points scorer.
Despite this, it’s looking less likely he will be chosen given the Classics-style parcours that lacks a tough enough climb for the two-time Tour de France winner to be suited.
“I hope that I will be selected, but it will not surprise me if I am not. It may well be that the national coach chooses four others instead,” said Vingegaard to Danish news agency Ritzau.
“I have told Anders [Lund] that I am interested in riding. But he explained to me that it is not certain that I will be selected, even if I want to. I also understand that well.”
Despite the 2,800 metres of elevation gain that on paper could seem suited to Vingegaard, that is split up across repeated short efforts on steep ramps in the centre of Paris.
It appears perfectly drawn up for those who compete at the Tour of Flanders, Mathieu van der Poel, Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert and Vingegaard’s compatriot, the former world champion Mads Pedersen, who will likely lead the Danes come August.
“I still have a dream of riding the Olympics at some point, but I don’t think the route suits me particularly well,” said Vingegaard. “There are so many good riders in Denmark, and when there are only four places, nothing is certain.”
Alongside Pedersen, former Tour of Flanders winner Kasper Asgreen would be shoo-in if in good shape, as would Søren Kragh Andersen, with the fourth spot being contested by a number of strong riders.
Vingegaard’s likely competition for the final place would be Andreas Kron, Magnus Cort, Mikkel Bjerg and Mattias Skjelmose, with the more traditional climber Vingegaard seeming the least suited to a Classics-style route.
The proximity to the Tour de France will also be a factor, despite Vingegaard’s desire to compete for an Olympic medal, with the men’s road race coming around three weeks after the climax of the Tour in Nice.
This is making a proper run at the World Championships seem all the more likely for Vingegaard, especially with the ideal parcours in Switzerland. Brutal laps around an incredibly difficult circuit in Zürich total up to 4,470 metres of…