Jumbo-Visma’s Jonas Vingegaard continues to impress at the Tour de France, leading the overall race with a significant 7:35 over the former two-time winner, Tadej Pogacar. Despite questions about doping, Vingegaard remains unwavering, expressing his commitment to clean racing, emphasizing that he wouldn’t take anything he wouldn’t give to his own daughter.
Preparation is key
The 26-year-old rider attributes much of his success to the performance team’s well-planned strategies, which were finalized in December and continuously refined leading up to the challenging Alpine stages. Initially, Vingegaard was not enthusiastic about the Tour route but was proven wrong as the mountainous stages proved to be some of the toughest.
The 2023 Tour has been an incredible battle between Vingegaard and Pogacar, with the mountain stages ultimately determining the outcome. Vingegaard’s performance in the time trial allowed him to gain a crucial advantage over Pogacar, almost locking in his chances for the win. Stage 17 from Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc to Courchevel proved to be the ultimate killshot, as Pogacar struggled to keep up with Vingegaard’s pace.
With only a few stages to go, it seems unlikely for Pog to make a comeback unless a major disaster strikes Vingegaard.
Vingegaard understands skepticism
Meanwhile, the Dane’s performances are raising many eyes in a sport that has had a long history of cheating. “It’s hard to tell what more I can say. I understand that it’s hard to trust in cycling with the past there has been. Nowadays, everyone is different than it was 20 years ago,” the 2022 TdF champ said.
“I can tell from my heart that I don’t take anything. I don’t take anything I would not give to my daughter, and I would definitely not give her any drugs.”
The French daily sports paper, L’Équipe even weighed in, posting a cheeky headline: “D’une autre planète.” That is the same headline that was used when Lance Armstrong began his miraculous comeback, going from a one-day rider (and cancer survivor) to the winner of the 1999 Tour de France.
— ?ntoine VAYER ??️ (@festinaboy) July 19, 2023