Jonas Vingegaard at the start of a stage of the 2024 Tour of the Basque Country.

Vingegaard heads to altitude in latest hint he’s Tour bound

The two-time champion is focusing on 'today and tomorrow' ahead of unspoken race to be able to defend title next month.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 30.05.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The number 1 dossard at the Tour de France is supposed to sit on the back of the previous year’s champion. That’s how it’s meant to work. But with Jonas Vingegaard suffering some of the severest injuries of the Tour GC contenders brought down in the horrible corner crash at April’s Tour of the Basque Country, the Dane’s participation has been up in the air ever since.

Visma-Lease a Bike, asked incessantly since the crash what the prognosis of a third straight Tour de France title was for their rider, have stayed buttoned up. They say that Vingegaard’s recovery is being monitored and decisions will be made late. A broken collarbone, multiple broken ribs, and a pneumothorax is a serious list of ailments.

It took a month for him to start riding outside again post-crash, and now, in a further suggestion that Vingegaard is on-track for the Florence Tour start on June 29, he’s headed off to Tignes in the Alps to ride at altitude for the first time since the crash.

“He spent a lot of time climbing and descending in Mallorca. He really picked up speed again for the first time, but it was mainly about the good climate and enjoying it with his family in addition to the training sessions,” his trainer Tim Heemskerk told Danish outlet BT.

While not on the Critérium du Dauphiné start list alongside main rivals Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel, as well as a whole host of second-rung challengers, the idea is for Vingegaard to join up with the rest of the Tour squad at an altitude camp after the race, which runs the first week of June.

Primož Roglič putting his sunglasses on.
Primož Roglič (above) and Remco Evenepoel will race at next week’s Critérium du Dauphiné, and are the two likeliest to break the Pogačar/Vingegaard Tour de France duopoly.

 “We haven’t made a choice yet,” Heemskerk continued of whether Vingegaard will race the Tour. “The most important thing for Jonas is today and tomorrow.”

While not a confirmation, it’s a good indication that the Dane will at least line up for the Tour de France. Similarly, Wout van Aert, missing from the Giro d’Italia after his spring crash, is currently sleeping in an altitude tent at home in Belgium before also travelling to Tignes for an altitude camp next week, where he and Vingegaard can plot another defenestration of those conspiring to overthrow their Tour de France reign.

The Dauphiné will also be Roglič’s first race back after the Basque Country crash that he emerged from relatively unscathed, while Evenepoel says he still has a lot of work to do at the Dauphiné before a debut Tour where a heft of expectation will once again be placed on his shoulders.

The pink afterglow of Tadej Pogačar’s Giro d’Italia victory will be gradually subsiding, and the Slovenian will re-focus on his chance at a first Giro-Tour double this century.

Every contender currently has a question mark above their head, and the microscopes studying their progressions will only zoom in further the closer we get to the Florence Grand Départ.

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