Cycling News

Jonas Vingegaard: ‘Today was a very good day for me’

Vingegaard question of stamina

Two months ago, you’d never predict that the Tadej Pogačar vs. Jonas Vingegaard battle would be back at the 2024 Tour de France. It’s game on, it seems—the question of the Dane’s form has been answered—for now. After an attack involving Vingegaard, Remco Evenepoel caught up at the last second, and Pogačar took the yellow jersey from Romain Bardet.

On his Tour debut, Arkea-B & B Hotels’ Kévin Vauquelin secured France’s second consecutive victory. Hugo Houle was in the day’s breakaway and finished ninth. Pogačar, Vingegaard, Evenepoel, and Richard Carapaz are all on the same time. Egan Bernal, Tom Pidcock, Carlos Rodriguez, Primož Roglič, Enric Mas, Mikel Landa, Adam and Simon Yates, and João Almeida are all +0:21. Derek Gee is 28th, +1:22. “Today was a very good day for me,” Vingegaard said. “It was one of the days where I expected to lose some time on Pogačar, so to be able to follow him feels like a victory.”

Visma sets tempo

Vingegaard relied on his Visma – Lease a Bike teammate, Tiesj Benoot, to increase the pace at the base of the San Luca climb, ensuring he stayed safely at the front of the peloton.

“We rode at a fast pace from the start of the climb and UAE Emirates took over. When Pogačar attacked, I was able to follow him. At the top, I decided to ride with him,” the defending champion said.

Reminders of the crash in Spain

He may be feeling better, but the memory of his crash at the Tour of the Basque Country in March is still with him. “My pedal hit the ground somewhere along the way and I thought back to the injuries,” the 27-year-old said. “But I won’t say I’m afraid when descending the descents.” For Vingegaard, Stage 2 is a relief.

“It’s difficult to start a race when you don’t know how good you are. I trained for a month and a half, so it was very difficult to say where I would be,” he said. “I also doubted myself, that’s not a lie. But now I can say that I’m back and I hope we have three good weeks here.” Still, there are three weeks of racing left.

The question of stamina in a Grand Tour still looms

When Pogačar broke his wrist in the spring of 2023, the Slovenian only raced two races leading up to the Tour. And although he was seemingly on form in the beginning of the Tour, the Team UAE – Emirates rider cracked spectacularly, saying, “I’m gone, I’m dead.” He would lose six minutes to Vingegaard, and concede the Tour.

Still, it was an impressive ride by the…

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