Cycling News

Tiesj Benoot: ‘No one dares to bet money on Jonas making the Tour podium’

Tiesj Benoot: 'No one dares to bet money on Jonas making the Tour podium'

Tiesj Benoot has been at the high-altitude training camp with Visma-Lease a Bike, so he is one of the few people how well Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert are prepared for the Tour de France. “If I had prepared like those two did, I would never have made the selection for the team.”

Vingegaard was only supposed to go if he were in top form and could defend his crown. But has the Belgian revealed the truth about his form? (Also, nice teammate? Or is this all some sort of bizarre ruse to let Team UAE Emirates’ guard down?)

Benoot  on van Aert and Vingegaard

“My teammate Wout has definitely made progress in recent weeks, but he is not at the level of 2023 and certainly not at the level of 2022,” Benoot said in an interview to Het Laatste Nieuws. “I find it very hard to assess them myself. When we train together at altitude, it is not the same as racing during a mountain stage in the Tour. We do not test each other to see who is the best.” Benoot joined Vingegaard and Van Aert after the Criterium du Dauphiné. Meanwhile, Vingegaard and Van Aert had spent three weeks training at high altitude in Tignes, working to regain as much fitness as possible ahead of the Tour.

The question on every cycling fan’s mind was answered on Thursday, when his team announced Vingegaard will be in Florence on June 29 to defend his Tour de France crown.

After a severe crash in Spain at the Tour of the Basque Country and 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.

“If you say you are the underdog and the favourites are riding elsewhere, they think you are playing mind games. You don’t believe that we as a team would deliberately mislead, do you?” Benoot said. “Furthermore, when Jonas does an interval of three times ten minutes at full speed, I do not see him doing it. I know what they look like, but I dare not predict how good they are. And to be honest, neither do Wout and Jonas themselves. Every athlete who comes back from an injury is uncertain. Only after the first weekend will we be able to assess how fit they are.”

The Tour de France starts on June 29 in Florence. You can watch it on

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…