Vingegaard: I have a good chance of winning the Tour de France
'Both myself and Roglic were strongest' says Jumbo-Visma rider after Dauphiné dominance
Primož Roglič won the Critérium du Dauphiné as a whole, but Jonas Vingegaard was the day’s winner and arguably ends the race having made the bigger statement.
That statement, as he told the media afterwards, was that he believes he can win the Tour de France next month.
“I do think I have a good chance,” he said in his stage winner’s press conference.
“What really started the belief was that I was able to drop [Tadej] Pogačar on Mont Ventoux last year. Then with the development I’ve had this year and how it’s going so far. A lot of things can happen in the Tour. I’ll just do my best, the team will do their best, and we’ll see what the result will be.”
For all of Roglič’s hampered preparations in recent weeks, he remains a three-time Grand Tour winner with precious little to prove. Vingegaard, meanwhile, burst onto the scene with second place at last year’s Tour but is still relatively inexperienced.
The 25-year-old being given equal leadership status for this year’s Tour might have come as a surprise, but at the Dauphiné he well and truly backed it up.
“I can take a lot of confidence from this win,” he said. “I’m super happy.”
But it wasn’t just the fact he’d claimed the seventh win of his young career. It was the manner of it.
Vingegaard crossed the line at the top of the Plateau de Solaison on the final stage arm-in-arm with Roglič, having ridden ridden as a duo for the final 5km of the hors-catégorie climb. It was a staggering display of collective superiority capped with the perfectly choreographed finish, a one-two on the stage and GC.
“Primož told me that I could get the stage, and I’m happy about that. He also won the GC also. We have to be very happy about how everything went,” Vingegaard said.
And yet, for all the collective celebration, the events of Sunday afternoon naturally kick-started the age old consequence of a team having two top riders: a leadership debate. In the absence of a true contest, the real intrigue that emerged on the Solaison was which rider in the Jumbo two-up was looking stronger, and which might stand the best chance at the Tour.
Despite Roglič winning the overall, Vingegaard looked equally strong on the climbs and possibly, some would say, stronger. Roglič, who also made gains in the mid-race time trial, skipped clear at Vaujany but Vingegaard had done the work to shred the GC group and set up the attack, before apparently riding within himself in the wheel of Ben O’Connor. At Solaison, he looked on the cusp of distancing Roglič on two occasions, the first when he made his first big acceleration after Steven Kruijswijk finished the groundwork, and then further up when Roglič had to struggle out of the saddle to remain in contact.
“I don’t know,” Vingegaard said when it was suggested he looked the stronger of the two. Both of us were the strongest today. We just rode everything we could to the finish line, so yeah.”
It was even suggested to him that his initial acceleration on Sunday was less a ramping up of a mountain train and more like a full-on sprint.
“I wouldn’t call it a sprint,” he countered, playing down any suggestion he was looking to get away alone. “But we made an attack. That was the plan. When Steven pulled off I’d attack and Primož would follow me to see if we could drop everyone. We succeeded with this.”
Vingegaard went on to discuss his relationship with Roglič, insisting the pair were close and that any tension would be highly unlikely.
“Me and Primož are great friends. We really like each other’s company - both with our families and us two together. We just have a great time together.
“We also care about each other. When Primož wins, I’m also super happy, and the other way around. There are no hard feelings if one of us wins. We’re both super good teammates that way. We are really happy when the other is doing great.”
Both of them won on Sunday, but it would have been fascinating to see how things would have played out if the pair had been racing against each other on the upper reaches of Solaison.
“I guess we’ll never know,” Vingegaard concluded with a smile.
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Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.