The 23-year-old Slovenian boy addressed the accident on the 18th stage of the Tour
Jonas Vingegaard highlighted “the masterpiece” that was the display of Jumbo-Visma in the 18th stage of the Tour de France on bicycle, congratulating himself for having managed to increase the difference to the second in the general, Tadej Pogacar.
“That’s a good way of saying it, it was a masterpiece. The whole team was strong today”, defended the yellow jersey, after crowning himself the winner at the top of Hautacam, with a 1.04-minute lead over the Slovenian from UAE Emirates. .
When he crossed the line after claiming his second stage victory on the Tour, the Dane was “just happy that it’s finally over”.
“[A tirada] it was incredibly tough. Of course I’m really happy to have won the stage. Now, there are two days until Paris, we have to stay focused and face day by day”, he said, preferring, again, not to talk about the final triumph in “Grande Boucle”, which today should have been definitively sentenced.
Vingegaard thanked his teammates, who “were exceptional” in the final mountain stage of the 109th Tour de France.
“Seeing Wout van Aert taking off Pogacar… Sepp Kuss was amazing, everyone was. Thanks to them, I wouldn’t have done this without them”, he said, saying that he was “very happy to still be in yellow” and for having further increased his lead overall, now set at 3.26 minutes ahead of the two-time champion of the race.
The 25-year-old Dane’s journey was also marked by the “fair play” gesture he had on the descent of Spandeles, when he waited for Pogacar, who fell, apparently without consequences.
“He missed the turn, entered the gravel and tried to get the bike out, but it disappeared under him. So, I waited for him”, he limited himself to saying, about an attitude widely praised by the cycling community.
The 23-year-old Slovenian also addressed the accident, devaluing the impact of the fall on the outcome of the journey.
“Of course it’s not good to fall. I was pushing and I fell, it was my fault. I think that, anyway, Jonas was very, very strong in the final climb”, he admitted.
For Pogi, the result of the 18th stage was not bad, as he gave “everything” not to think about winning the draw, but about the yellow jersey.
“In the end, I gave my all on the second climb, I crashed on the descent… second place was the best I could. I think I did everything I could and I can be proud”, he argued.
Despite the “misfortunes”, which left him with only three teammates, the leader of UAE Emirates conceded that “Jonas was the strongest and even if he had seven teammates it would be tough” to dethrone the Jumbo-Visma rider.
The climb to Hautacam also confirmed that, barring a mishap, the experienced Geraint Thomas (INEOS) will be accompanying the “kids” on the Champs Elysées podium, something that the 36-year-old still prefers not to celebrate.
“I’m not going to get ahead of myself. But I’m definitely in a good position”, admitted “G”, defining this Tour as “super tough”.
While the 2018 champion and 2019 runner-up, who is eight minutes behind Vingegaard, doesn’t want to acknowledge that third place is his, the man who succeeds him overall had no problem doing so today.
“My fight was not with Vingegaard, Pogacar or Thomas. My fight was with Nairo [Quintana] and the others […]. At the start of the Tour, he reportedly signed for a fourth-place finish. Some pretend to be difficult, but people don’t realize the intensity of the effort it takes to be fourth in the Tour de France. I’m proud of this classification, not least because it’s the best by a Frenchman since 2017”, highlighted David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ).
The 25-year-old Frenchman is already more than three minutes behind Thomas, but has a 2.30-minute lead over fifth, Colombian Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic), who is also satisfied with his return to good performance in the “Grande Boucle”, in which was runner-up in 2013 and 2015.
“I gave it my all. I didn’t have the best feeling, I was a little bad breathing, but it’s not an excuse. We worked until the end and had a great Tour”, said the 32-year-old rider.
Quintana is now hoping to “make a good time trial” on Saturday to finish in the position he currently holds.