Defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard is as determined as ever to take a second straight title in the world’s biggest bike race, but the Danish star says that when it comes to fighting for the victory this July in France, he feels he is under less pressure than in 2022.
Second in the 2021 Tour de France prior to defeating Tadej Pogačar in 2022 and claiming his first Grand Tour victory, Vingegaard is convinced he has every chance of repeating his triumph this summer.
The 26-year-old is currently putting the last pieces in the jigsaw of his preparation into place, including a recon on Friday of the Tour de France’s stage 9 at the Puy de Dôme, where he crossed paths with Enric Mas (Movistar) and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers). Both Mas and Bernal will likely be key rivals come July as well as taking part, like Vingegaard, in the Critérium du Dauphiné, which starts Sunday in the nearby town of Chambon-sur-Lac.
But as the Jumbo-Visma racer told a small group of reporters in an interview prior to his return to racing after a two-month break, the morale boost he gained thanks to his 2022 Tour triumph will help spur him on against whichever opponent he has to face in four weeks time: including Pogačar.
“I think winning the Tour gives me a lot of confidence, and I believe I can do it again. A lot of things can happen, and I’ll have to be at my best level, but I think I can do it,” Vingegaard said.
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