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Vingegaard impresses in tricky final of second Tour de France stage

Vingegaard impresses in tricky final of second Tour de France stage

Jonas Vingegaard finished 13th in the second Tour de France stage. The 27-year-old defending champion reached the finish line in an elite group after he followed an earlier attack by Tadej Pogacar on the steep Côte de San Luca. The stage win in Bologna was for Kévin Vauquelin.

With the 200-kilometre stage between Cesenatico and Bologna, another tough stage was on the cards. In the finale, the riders had to climb the steep Côte de San Luca twice. The peloton again allowed a large breakaway group up front. The 11 escapees would fight for the stage win today. The Frenchman Vauquelin eventually rode solo to victory.

At 85 kilometres from the line, Wout van Aert and Matteo Jorgenson were involved in a crash in the peloton. The two Team Visma | Lease a Bike riders were able to continue their way immediately. Both Van Aert and Jorgenson still provided important work for team leader Vingegaard towards the decisive double climb of the Côte de San Luca. 

It was waiting until the second climb of the short but steep slope for a first attack from the classification riders. Pogacar accelerated firmly from the reduced peloton. Only Vingegaard was able to follow the Slovenian. The two then started the descent together. Just before the finish they were joined by Remco Evenepoel and Richard Carapaz. Vingegaard eventually finished thirteenth. The Team Visma | Lease a Bike rider is now third in the general classification, in the same time as Evenepoel, Carapaz and new leader Pogacar.

"A small victory for me that I was able to follow Pogacar"

Jonas Vingegaard

"It's a small victory for me that I was able to follow Pogacar”, Vingegaard responded afterwards. "Beforehand, I thought this stage would be one where I might lose time on the competition. The steep climbs in the final stage were not my specialty, but I felt good. Pogacar and me immediately decided to work together until the finish. The first two stages went better than expected. I doubted myself. It was difficult to predict how I was going to feel after such a short preparation. I am very happy to be able to say that I am at level again. Hopefully this is the start of a great three weeks."

Jorgenson looks back on his leader's performance with pride. "It was impressive how Jonas rode”, the 24-year-old American said. "I am very proud of him. I noticed that his self-belief grew. However, it was a stage that didn't suit him as much on paper. Still, he managed to defend well. It was a good day for the team. It was an unfortunate crash, but I feel fine."

Sports director Grischa Niermann remains calm. "Jonas is showing he is fine, but the Tour is three weeks. Another tough stage awaits the day after tomorrow, so it will be a matter of waiting to see how Jonas digests all those stages. We will see it day by day, but we can certainly be happy with what we saw today. This was one of the best scenarios for us. Beforehand, we feared this stage, given Pogacar's explosiveness. Jonas managed to follow him well. That's a good outcome for us."

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