‘Incredible’ Vingegaard wins Tour de France

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard won the Tour de France on Sunday, ending the reign of two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar after a gruelling three weeks and 3,350km of relentless struggle.

The 25-year-old former fish-market worker claimed his first Tour de France title, a year after his break-out performance when he came second to Pogacar.

“There are so many people I want to thank but I don’t know where to start,” he added, reserving particular praise for organisers who started the race in his native Denmark.

“We had a plan and we followed it to the letter, all my teammates outdid themselves,” added the champion.

“Without them, I couldn’t have done this.”

He was thanked by Vingegaard for this “formidable battle”.

“We all dream when we are children of one day being on the Tour de France, of becoming a professional cyclist.

Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen won the dash for the line on the cobbled Champs Elysees to take the iconic final stage victory, his second of this Tour, turning the page on his embarrassment at mistakenly celebrating on stage four, when he had in fact finished second.

Jumbo-Visma produced a brilliant collective effort with six stage wins, the green sprint jersey and the red combativity jersey for van Aert and the polka dot mountains jersey for Vingegaard as well as the overall title and yellow jersey.

Geraint Thomas, the 2018 champion, was third after the veteran raced largely at his own pace, silencing doubters who thought that at 36, the affable Welshman was past his best.

The 21st stage was a largely ceremonial run as Vingegaard and others sipped champagne while rolling past sights of Paris including the Jardin du Luxembourg, through Saint Michel and past the Louvre before a sprint over eight laps of the Champs Elysees.

Vingegaard survived the “heart attack” of a near fall on Saturday’s individual time-trial to virtually wrap up the Tour.

Pogacar made all the early running with his lone wolf attacking mentality, gradually clawing his way into top spot on stage six with an air of invincibility.

Vingegaard took the yellow jersey from Pogacar on stage 11 and while the UAE man refused stubbornly to give up, he lost further ground on stage 18.

dmc/dj/jc

Originally published as ‘Incredible’ Vingegaard wins Tour de France


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