Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar ‘above the lot’, greets French Cycling Federation president

Michel Callot, president of the French cycling federation, reacted to Jonas Vingagaard’s victory in the Tour de France, which ended on Sunday 23 July.

Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar “I am above others, that is undeniable”greeted Michel Callot, the president of the French cycling federation (FFC), on Sunday 23 July on franceinfo, after the victory of the Danish Jonas Vingegaard, who won his second consecutive Tour de France, ahead of the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

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Michel Callot also assures us that there was “great efforts” indeed to combat doping. Even the president of the FFC shares his “disappointment” disappointing results from the French but remains optimistic for years to come.

franceinfo: Did you like this Tour de France in its intensity and in this fight between the top two in the general classification?

Michael Callot: Yes, I think it’s like many races in recent years. We have seen, with the campaign of the classics, very busy, very spectacular races. The fight between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar is of this level. I’m really above the lot, that’s undeniable.

But I think the duel they fought brought a lot of passion to the Tour de France. Of course there were all the other running moves that were interesting. But that was above the lot.

There was a climate of suspicion immediately after Jonas Vingegaard’s landslide victory in the Combloux time trial. Are there controls in cycling and is everything done to try to believe as much as possible in the probity of the riders?

Yes, I think the efforts that the International Cycling Union are enormous, also on the part of the system, be it French or international, have been making for several years to combat doping. These elements are very important to ensure fairness in sport and in cycling in particular.

But we have to stop putting this suspicion above all on cycling. Why not have suspicions for other exploits in other sports at the time? I simply think that we must respect the athletes while having – and this is the concern of the institutions – always having the concern to do the maximum to try to control and avoid cheating.

There has only been one victory for the French clan in this Tour de France. In the general standings, the French are more than 20 minutes away. Was this round more difficult for the Habs?

Yes, it’s a disappointment not to have had more results when we had so many Frenchmen in attack, very regular in good breakaways, but unfortunately struggling all the same to be able to finish with victories. So it’s still a bit disappointing, that’s for sure, on the scale of French cycling.

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But I think the temperament of our riders on the roads of the Tour de France should encourage us that the next few years will be better. And then the generations will keep renewing themselves and there’s no reason why you can’t find French riders very quickly who are both stage winners and at the top of the general classification.

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