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Jonas Vingegaard speaks about his crash for the first time

2024 Tour de France teams presented in Florence

On Thursday, Jonas Vingegaard spoke for the first time about the brutal crash he suffered at the Tour of the Basque Country. In an interview before the Tour de France with Danish broadcaster TV 2, he shared details about one of the worst days in his life.

“I was in a lot of pain—not just in my ribs but inside my body. I could feel it was from my lung, and when I coughed up blood, I knew it wasn’t good. From there, I was taken to the hospital, where they first checked my collapsed lung,” he said. “They put in a drain that evening, and I think I had the drain in my lung for eight days. In addition to that, I had broken several bones.”

The long road back to training

After the fall in Spain and a prolonged hospital stay, the Visma – Lease a Bike rider underwent extensive rehabilitation before resuming training. Starting with base miles in his native Denmark, he then headed to Mallorca. After increasing his training volume, he joined his teammates in the French Alps for more intensive preparation.

The 2024 Tour de France: Preview and how to watch

At the team presentation in Florence, the 27-year-old was in good spirits. But during his recovery, he doubted he’d actually be at the 2024 Tour de France.

Never thought he’d be at the Tour de France

“I think it wasn’t until the end of the 12 days in the hospital that I thought I might be here,” he said. “I don’t think I thought about riding a bike again in the first 12 days. So I was just happy to be alive. So, it was probably only after 11-12 days that I started thinking I might make it to the Tour de France. Of course, I was still in a lot of pain at that time and in all the bones I had broken.”

In terms of his chances at repeating, he is cagey. Although he’s put in a lot of miles since the crash, he didn’t do any of the crucial lead-up races before the Tour.

Riding the Tour is a victory in itself

“We’ll have to see how it goes,” Vingegaard said. “I know I haven’t had the same preparation as in other years—far from it, to be honest. Half of the period has been spent on rehabilitation rather than training, so we’ll have to see how the next three weeks go. As I said before, just being here is a victory for me, and everything from here is a bonus.”

The Tour de France begins on Saturday. Canadian Cycling Magazine will have daily reports and features during the biggest race in the world.

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