Tour de France: Jonas Vingegaard wants to defend his title despite injuries

Two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard will take part in this year’s Tour de France after overcoming serious injuries sustained earlier this season.

The 27-year-old Dane has not competed since breaking his collarbone and ribs and suffering a collapsed lung in 2012. Tour through the Basque Country Early April.

“The last few months have not always been easy, but I would like to thank my family and the Visma-Lease a Bike team for their unwavering support,” said Vingegaard.

The Tour de France begins on June 29th in the Italian city of Florence.

Vingegaard is supported by nine-time stage winner and former green jersey wearer Wout van Aert, who was originally supposed to ride the Giro d’Italia and then prepare for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

But an accident at high speed, at a one-day race in Belgiumhas changed these plans.

Under normal circumstances, Vingegaard would be considered the clear favorite to keep the yellow jersey he won in 2022 and 2023.

But given the break in training and preparation he has missed, doubts remain about his form and his readiness to compete in cycling’s biggest race for three weeks, especially given the presence of his great rival Tadej Pogacar, who convincingly won the Giro in May.

“He is recovering from a serious injury. In recent weeks he has shown what a champion he is, both mentally and physically,” said Vingegaard’s sports director at Team Visma, Merijn Zeeman.

“Of course, we don’t yet know how far he can go. We are cautious because he hasn’t been able to take part in any races and his preparation has been, to say the least, anything but optimal. But he will be there, healthy and motivated.”

American riders Matteo Jorgenson and Sepp Kuss are also part of a strong eight-man Visma Lease a Bike line-up for the Tour, along with Christophe Laporte, Tiesj Benoot, Wilco Kelderman and Jan Tratnik.

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