Vingegaard to defend Tour de France title

Cycling
Jonas Vingegaard riding at the Tour de FranceGetty Images

Two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard will compete in this year’s Tour de France after overcoming serious injuries sustained earlier this season.

The 27-year-old Dane has not raced since suffering a broken collarbone and ribs and a collapsed lung in the Tour of the Basque Country at the start of April.

“The last few months have not always been easy, but I thank my family and Team Visma-Lease a Bike for their unwavering support,” Vingegaard, said.

The Tour de France begins in the Italian city of Florence, on 29 June.

Vingegaard will be supported by nine-time stage winner and former green jersey holder Wout van Aert, who was originally scheduled to ride the Giro d’Italia and then spend July preparing for the Olympic Games in Paris.

However, a high-speed crash of his own, in a one-day race in Belgium, altered those plans.

Under normal circumstances Vingegaard would be considered a strong favourite to maintain his hold on the yellow jersey, which he won in 2022 and 2023.

Yet given the block of training and preparation that he has missed, doubts will remain over his form and readiness to compete over three weeks in cycling’s greatest race, particularly given the presence of his great rival Tadej Pogacar, who convincingly won the Giro in May.

“He is coming back from a serious injury. In the last few weeks, he has shown what a champion he is, both mentally and physically,” said Vingegaard’s Team Visma sporting director Merijn Zeeman.

“Of course, we don’t know how far he can go yet. We are being cautious because he has not been able to race, and his preparation has been less than ideal, to say the least. But he will be there, healthy and motivated.”

American riders Matteo Jorgenson and Sepp Kuss are also part of a strong eight-man Visma-Lease a Bike line-up for the Tour along with Christophe Laporte, Tiesj Benoot, Wilco Kelderman and Jan Tratnik.

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