He hasn’t even finished the Tour de France yet, but news emerged on Sunday morning before his coronation on the Champs-Élysées that Jonas Vingegaard will follow up his yellow jersey victory with the Vuelta a España next month.
With 33 days to rest in between, Jumbo-Visma confirmed to Spanish newspaper AS that the Danish rider will be on the start line for the team time trial in Barcelona on Saturday August 26.
That team time trial is 14km-long and flat, while stage 10 features a 25km individual time trial in Valladolid, also flat apart from a 0.6km-long 6.5 per cent climb near the start.
Vingegaard’s time trialling proved to be on another level in the uphill race against the clock at the Tour, while La Vuelta will see him line up against defending champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers).
It will be the first time Vingegaard and Evenepoel have faced each other in a Grand Tour, and comes amid speculation that the Belgian world champion is looking to leave his team, with many suitors lining up in the belief that he is a potential remedy to the Vingegaard/Tadej Pogačar Tour de France duopoly.
Most intriguingly, however, is the fact that Primož Roglič will also likely be at the Vuelta and the two are expected to be co-leaders at the race.
Roglič is currently training in his favoured spot of Tignes in the Alps, alongside the Hungarian Attila Valter, Robert Gesink and Brit Thomas Gloag. The rest of the squad long list includes current time trial world champion Tobias Foss, Milan Vader, Wilco Kelderman, Koen Bouwman and Milan Vader. Sepp Kuss is unlikely to line up for what would be his third Grand Tour of the year, Escape Collective understands.
Should the American be included it would be a chance for him to be a part of three Grand Tour-winning squads in a single season, with Jumbo-Visma going for the grand slam through the two riders who have so far delivered them a Giro d’Italia and Tour in 2023.
Meanwhile, UAE Team Emirates confirmed to Escape Collective that Vingegaard’s inclusion on the start list has not yet tempted Pogačar to change his plans and book a flight for Barcelona in late August.
The last Tour winner to go on to contest the Vuelta was Chris Froome, who won both races back-to-back in 2017. The year before, he won the Tour before finishing second in Spain to Nairo Quintana.
If Foss makes the final eight-man squad selection, the Norwegian, Vingegaard and Roglič could have the race wrapped up for Jumbo-Visma as early as the opening team time trial. More seriously, the Vuelta just got that bit more enticing a prospect.
What did you think of this story?