Vingegaard wants to 'return and win another Tour de France'

·3-min read

Jonas Vingegaard said he wants to "return and win another Tour de France" after virtually wrapping up the 2022 title on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Dane overhauled two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar on stage 11, and went into Saturday's 41km time-trial with a lead of over three minutes.

He finished second on the stage in the small clifftop village of Rocamadour in south-central France and extended his lead to 3min 34sec over Pogacar, while Geraint Thomas, the 2018 winner, stands third at 8min 13sec.

Sunday will see him guaranteed the yellow jersey on the Champs Elysees at the end of the traditionally ceremonial final run into Paris.

Vingegaard, who was runner-up to Pogacar last year, admitted that he wants to back up his title in 2023 but will not obsess over targets.

"I want to celebrate this victory first but of course I want to come back to the Tour to win another one," he said.

"But I didn't set myself five Tours de France or anything like that. I just want to come back and win."

His status as champion-elect, however, almost suffered an embarrassing end on Saturday.

Late in the stage, he lost his balance and came perilously close to a gutter.

"I nearly had a heart attack on that corner, my wheel went and I just about survived," said the Team Jumbo rider.

Vingegaard said his slip on Saturday had not been his worst moment on the 2022 Tour.

"On the cobbled stage I was in difficulty. I panicked a bit and changed bike four or five times. It was the only day it didn't go perfectly well," he said in reference to a chaotic fifth stage.

- 'Totally clean' -

"Every day has been quick, fast, it's been rough. There has been a lot of attacking. It must have looked good on television."

"It's all very emotional to win the Tour de France. To be on the finish line today with my girlfriend was wonderful," added the Dane.

Vingegaard said he was a more complete rider with more experience than during his rookie ride last year.

"I believe more in myself, I'm more mature and more grown up, yes, I kind of grew up."

He also looked back to the opening teams' presentation in Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens three weeks ago, where he received a rapturous reception.

"All the way through Denmark was wonderful, and when all those people showed up at Tivoli it was such a wonderful moment," he said.

Vingegaard said his rivalry with the defeated champion Pogacar, who came second overall, was one of respect.

"We don't really speak to each other out of racing, but we get along. He's one of the best riders in the world and I respect him, we respect each other," he said.

Vingegaard also hit back at some media who questioned how one team could capture the yellow jersey, polka-dot mountains jersey, green sprint jersey and six stage wins.

"We are the first Dutch team to do this in 43 years and I'm proud of every rider in the team," he said.

"We are all totally clean, I can say that for every one of us. I can tell you that straight.

"We do altitude camps, we have good food, the best training, we do everything the best and that's why my team won."

Vingegaard said he hoped to continue his quiet life with his partner and daughter who he described as "my two girls".

"I don't know how much my quiet life is going to change, but I guess it will," he said.

dmc/dj/jc

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting