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Marc Madiot: ‘The Tour will be over in 3 or 4 days’

Marc Madiot: ‘The Tour will be over in 3 or 4 days’

Everyone knows that Tadej Pogačar is the overwhelming favourite for the Tour de France – but could he make it a non-contest in the first week? Groupama-FDJ’s Marc Madiot thinks so.

“Pogačar will break things apart and blow out Vingegaard. In his place, that’s what I’d do to be sure Vingegaard doesn’t get back in top fitness,” the former winner of Paris-Roubaix said in an interview with L’Équipe. “So by the third week of the Tour, just like in the Giro d’Italia where Pogačar took the early lead, the team will be handing out ‘exit gift vouchers.’” By that he means attempts for opportunists to take stages in breakaways.

The dominance of Pogi

The Slovenian dominated the Giro, putting ten minutes into the second-placed rider on G.C., Daniel Martinez of BORA-hansgrohe. His chief rival, the Dane Vingegaard and defending champion, has had far from the best prep for the Tour.

On June 20, his Visma-Lease a Bike team announced that the 27-year-old would be riding in the Tour, after months of speculation.

He, along with teammate Wout van Aert, were sidelined in early season crashes. The spring was going well for Vingegaard, with several dominant performances in stage races, until disaster struck at the Tour of the Basque Country.

The mystery of Jonas Vingegaard’s form

Following a lengthy hospital stay, the Visma-Lease a Bike rider underwent extensive rehabilitation before resuming training. He started with base miles in his native Denmark, then headed to Mallorca. After increasing his training volume, he joined his teammates in the French Alps for more intensive preparation. He was joined by van Aert, who crashed at Dwars door Vlaanderen and fractured his collarbone and ribs.

Van Aert, as opposed to Vingegaard, had the luxury of doing some races to get his speed back. He raced in the Tour of Norway, where he podiumed in a stage, and finished 5th at the Belgian national championships on Sunday.

The next French hope?

Madiot also spoke of rising French star, Lenny Martinez. Martinez, son of former world MTB champion and WorldTour rider, Miguel, has also impressed in 2024. The 20-year-old took a win at the Classic Var, the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes, Trofeo Laigueglia, Classic Grand Besançon Doubs, and Tour du Doubs. He also finished second overall at the O Gran Camiño – The Historical Route, won by Vingegaard himself.

Still, Madiot won’t be expecting Martinez to target the overall; rather, he thinks he should go for…

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