Lack of guts? “Racing intelligence,” replies Vingegaard

Lack of guts? “Racing intelligence,” replies Vingegaard
Lack of guts? “Racing intelligence,” replies Vingegaard

Accused by his rivals of lacking guts or even more, Jonas Vingegaard defended his “intelligent way of racing” in the Tour de France on Monday.

The Dane approaches the sequel with serenity but also uncertainties about his true level.

The day before, Tadej Pogacar and Remco Evenepoel had harshly criticized the passivity of the double winner during the stage of the white paths in Troyes. “Sometimes, you have to have balls and he seemed to lack them”, even accused the Belgian, while Vingegaard was content to follow his attacks and those of “Pogi” without ever relaying them.

“Rather than a lack of balls, I would rather talk about racing intelligence,” Vingegaard replied with a smile during a press conference on Monday during the rest day in Orleans.

“If I start with the two of them 70 km from the finish and they then drop me in the last section of white roads, I lose the Tour yesterday,” insisted the Dane, third overall 1’15 behind Pogacar. “My goal was to follow. Our goal was not to lose time and we succeeded. Maybe people don’t understand but that’s their problem.”

For the rest, Jonas Vingegaard was delighted with these first nine days on the Tour, which he started without any preparation race following his heavy fall at the Tour of the Basque Country at the beginning of April (fractures to the collarbone and sides, pneumothorax).

“I feel very good and even better and better. I have found a very high level, much higher than I could have imagined,” he said.

“I hope I can improve”

But the Dane insisted it was impossible to assess his form exactly, “maybe a little bit worse than last year” when he won the Tour by 7’35” over Pogacar. “We’ve only had one mountain stage so far. I hope I can improve further but I don’t know how my body will react in the third week, it’s a real unknown.”

Same thing regarding Pogacar’s level. “We haven’t been pushed to our limits yet. On the Galibier, there was a headwind and he stayed in the wheels before sprinting to the top, which he also did last year.”

Vingegaard especially emphasized his serenity. “My accident has changed my way of seeing things. I still have ambition, but I know that life goes on, whether I win or lose. It’s not a bad thing, on the contrary. I feel less pressure. I’m happy to be here and simply to still be alive.”

ats, afp



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