Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert on training camp

There it is, Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert officially announced for Tour de France 2024

The defending champion will be on the start line in Florence, after recovering from serious injury.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 20.06.2024 Photography by
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The news everyone expected is now official: both Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert will race the 2024 Tour de France.

Following Jonas Vingegaard’s serious crash at the Tour of the Basque Country, Visma-Lease a Bike have been cautious in their messaging, sensibly maintaining that the discussion concerning the defending champion’s participation was an ongoing internal conversation over the past few months.

Yet, when the Dane arrived and in Tignes at the end of May for a training camp, and then remained in the Alps for a number of weeks, the assumption grew that Vingegaard would make the trip to Florence to defend his yellow jersey.

“I am excited to start the Tour,” Vingegaard said in a press release announcing his Tour participation. “The last few months have not always been easy, but I thank my family and Team Visma-Lease a Bike for their unwavering support. We have worked together to get to this moment, and of course, I am very excited to see where I stand. I feel good and very motivated.”

Vingegaard has not raced since he crashed out of the Tour of the Basque Country on stage 4, where he suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured collarbone and multiple broken ribs. At the 2023 Tour de France, the wrist Tadej Pogačar fractured at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in part thwarted his attempt to dethrone Vingegaard. With the roles reversed, Visma-Lease a Bike are still cautious on their leader’s ability to go the distance and win a third, straight yellow jersey but believe him to have “recovered enough from his crash in the Tour of the Basque Country to fight for a good result.”

Jonas Vingegaard at training camp in Tignes.

“I am very proud of Jonas and the coaching team. He is coming back from a serious injury. In the last few weeks, he has shown what a champion he is, both mentally and physically,” sports director Merijn Zeeman said. “Of course, we don’t know how far he can go yet. We are being cautious because he has not been able to race, and his preparation has been less than ideal, to say the least. But he will be there, healthy and motivated.”

After another Classics campaign gone begging for Wout van Aert following his crash at Dwars door Vlaanderen, as well as a thwarted Giro d’Italia participation, the 2022 green jersey winner will once again turn his attention to the Tour, combining his own stage-hunting goals with a role as one of the most valuable domestiques in the peloton.

“Just like Jonas, Wout has had to deal with a considerable physical and mental blow,” Zeeman continued. “But once again, Wout has shown himself to be a rock-solid champion. His class as an athlete and leadership qualities add value to our team. We are happy to have Jonas and Wout at the start, together with an excellent team. And also in this unique Renaissance jersey that was unveiled today.”

Wout van Aert at training camp in Tignes.

Swapping out their usual yellow strip for a Tour special jersey is customary for the Dutch team, the latest being Renaissance-themed given the Tour’s start in Italy next week.

Alongside Vingegaard and Van Aert is a strong supporting cast: this year’s Paris-Nice winner Matteo Jorgenson and fellow American Sepp Kuss, Christophe Laporte, Jan Tratnik, Tiesj Benoot and Wilco Kelderman.

Dylan van Baarle and Steven Kruijswijk were both meant to race the Tour but crashed out of the recent Critérium du Dauphiné in what has been an injury-marred year for the team that swept all three Grand Tours in 2023.

Visma-Lease a Bike at training camp in Tignes.

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