Cycling News

Visma – LAB on Jonas Vingegaard and the Tour: ‘Difficult, but not impossible’

Additional Jonas Vingegaard injury update: Tour de France defence may be in doubt

Time is running out for Jonas Vingegaard to get ready for the Tour, but it’s not impossible, according to his team, Visma – Lease a Bike. He was released from hospital on April 16, 12 days after his horrible crash at the Tour of the Basque Country.

Vingegaard gave a thumbs-up signal as he left hospital after his crash April 4. The Dane has been recovering in Spain since the crash took out several riders, including Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič. Evenepoel sustained a fractured collarbone, while Roglič had significant road rash. The Dane fared the worst, requiring hospitalization where he was diagnosed with rib and collarbone fractures, as well as lung damage.

Still not able to ride

Well, two weeks have passed and he still isn’t riding, which further complicates his preparation for the Tour de France, which is only two months away.

However, the folks at Visma-Lease a Bike remain optimistic that the two-time Tour winner can still begin the race in excellent form, according to directeur sportif Merijn Zeeman in a report in Wielerflits.

“It’s going to be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible,” Zeeman said. “He is busy with his rehabilitation every day under the guidance of our medical staff and physiotherapists. We are certainly keeping open the possibility that he will make it to the Tour start. Jonas is extremely talented and we know that he also rehabilitates extremely quickly.”

Missing key lead-up races like the Critérium du Dauphiné

The clock is ticking. The Tour team’s altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada next weekend and it’s too early for him to join. As is the Dauphiné, which begins on June 2.

“But after his heavy fall, that was never really an option,” Zeeman said. “He doesn’t necessarily need that race. I am convinced that Jonas can also be at the start with a good training block in that period.”
Strangely, Vingegaard’s season has a parallel to his rival, Tadej Pogačar’s 2023 season.

Vingegaard vs. Pogačar

In 2023, he also suffered setbacks with his preparation. After crashing out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he was later diagnosed with a broken wrist. This significantly disrupted his preparation for the race. It meant several weeks off from riding, he missed his usual preparation races, and definitely affected his fitness. Although he began the Tour well and seemed to be on equal footing as the Dane, he cracked on Stage 17. “I’m gone, I’m dead,” he famously said. He lost…

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