Dane Jonas Vingegaard set to claim first Tour de France title as Wout van Aert wins stage 20


It is a first overall Tour crown for 25-year-old Vingegaard, in an edition that set out from his native Denmark three weeks ago.

Support crew: Vingegaard’s girlfriend and daughter greeted him at the end of the time-trial

“It means everything, it’s really incredible,” he said as he wiped away tears. “It’s the biggest thing within cycling and we did it.

“Since last year I always believed I could do it and now it’s happened. It’s really incredible. It’s both a relief and I’m just so happy and proud.”

Asked about his aggressive approach, Vingegaard pointed to 2020, when teammate Primoz Roglic saw his advantage in yellow disappear on a stage 20 time-trial, allowing Pogacar to take his first title.

“We all were thinking about it,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we were afraid of it but we had it in our heads and didn’t want it to happen again.”

Jumbo-Visma, who have only five riders left, head to Paris boasting the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys. Van Aert cannot be caught in the points classification, while Vingegaard is top of both the general classification and the mountains competition. The team also has six stage wins out of 20.

When Pogacar took yellow on stage six into Longwy the 23-year-old seemed set to secure his third consecutive Tour victory in only his third attempt. Thomas spoke of Pogacar potentially dominating for years to come, but this Tour proved things are rarely so simple.

End of his reign: Pogacar will make do with the best young rider’s white jersey

Vingegaard, second to Pogacar a year ago, rode into yellow when Pogacar suffered a crisis on the Col du Granon in the second week, then successfully defended it through the Pyrenees as cycling fans watched the birth of a new rivalry in a Tour that is set to go down as the fastest in history.

While Vingegaard gets the glory, Van Aert has been the man to light things up for his team. This was a third stage win of the Tour for the Belgian, who has taken victory from a breakaway, an uphill sprint and now a time-trial, as well as excelling in the mountains to help Vingegaard to victory.

“I’m emotional,” he said. “Winning this Tour de France as a team is really special. The day was like a dream scenario.

“I’m super tired after the three weeks. I gave it all today. I want to win races and today I hoped to take the stage and also to see Jonas secure his yellow. He’s got such a big heart and he’s done that. It’s special.”

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Thomas, second in 2019 after his victory the year before, could only manage 41st in the Tour last season but has proven his critics wrong this summer.

“To turn it around from last year, I didn’t know where I would be,” he said. “I knew I could get into good shape again. It’s really satisfying to be on the podium and it’s going to be really special.”

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