supersonic in the time trial, Jonas Vingegaard creates an unexpected gap that will force Tadej Pogacar to be offensive

Jonas Vingegaard relegated Tadej Pogacar to one minute and forty-eight seconds off first place in the Tour de France general classification on Tuesday.

“What? Already a minute away? Really a minute? I really wasn’t expecting that.” Interviewed at the finish line in Combloux (Haute Savoie) by Alberto Contador, the British Tom Pidcock (Ineos-Grenadiers), who had not followed the departures of Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard, was taken aback when he learned of the gap already created by the Dane on the Slovenian in the third intermediate. A gap that further widened in the final kilometres, as the yellow jersey won by one minute and thirty-eight seconds ahead of the white jersey, during the time trial on Tuesday 18 July. Relegated to one minute and forty-eight seconds overall, Tadej Pogacar will have to be very offensive and very strong during the third week if he is to still grab the first place in the general standings in Paris.

“No one expected such a difference”summarizes Marc Madiot, manager of Groupama-FDJ, who followed the end of the stage in the midst of journalists, on the televisions installed near the finish line, confirming the impressions gathered by both the clan of Jonas Vingegaard and that of Tadej Pogacar. “Bravo to Jonas Vingegaard, because he did something extraordinary”recognizes Mauro Gianetti, the manager of the UAE-Team Emirates team. “With a gap of 1’38” we can only congratulate the winner”admits, good player, Matxin Fernandez, sports director of the Emirates team.

Jonas Vingegaard surprised by his power data

And if this gap was difficult to imagine at the start of the stage, the difference between the two riders immediately made itself felt. “Right from the start, when Vingegaard was fifteen seconds ahead of the first intermediate, we immediately understood that it was going to be really difficult”says Mauro Gianetti. “Just had a great day on the bike, I felt it right away when I set off, explains the Danish. We wanted to go fast and try to keep a little under the pedal before the final climb, but I was sending out very high watts even when I had to save myself, and I even thought my power meter wasn’t working properly.

Informed observer, Marc Madiot immediately understood that Tadej Pogacar was not quite on his feet. “He didn’t have an airy, fluid ride, not the liveliness we usually know from him. In fact, I think Vingegaard achieved one of the best moments of his life, if not the best”assures the manager of Groupama-FDJ. “During half the time trial I wasn’t in the best mood.“, confirms the Slovenian.

The frame change made by the UAE-Team Emirates team for Tadej Pogacar at the foot of the Domancy coast, to swap his time trial bike for a lighter road bike, changed nothing. Mauro Gianetti hoped before the start that this strategy could save his leader up to five seconds, but the damage was already done three kilometers from the finish. “For me it was a good decision, I’m better installed on the road bike, it could have made a difference of a few seconds not more. I didn’t expect such a gap and in the end I couldn’t do more.”recognizes the white shirt. “Tadej still puts Wout van Aert a minute and a half after all, so that means he had a good time”tempers his manager.

A Tour de France already sealed?

With one minute and forty-eight seconds behind in the general classification, Tadej Pogacar will be forced to attack in the next mountain stages, and from Wednesday, with two first category passes, one second category pass and one out of category to climb, between Saint- Gervais Mont-Blanc and Courchevel. “Pogacar’s moves are expected in the next few days. He won’t stop trying until he’s on the bus to go back to Slovenia”smiles Richard Plugge, head of the Jumbo-Visma team, who also promises attacks from his training. “If my name is Vingegaard, I’ll hold on to the wheel and wait for it to happen. Pogacar will inevitably try to move, but he can’t make it too far because in my opinion the Jumbo is stronger than UAE”analyzes Marc Madiot.

“The Tour Isn’t Over”we hammer on the side of the Emirati team. “Our team’s DNA is to win, so finishing second and third isn’t enough for us. It will certainly be complicated, but we won’t give up until Paris”assures Matxin Fernandez. “We will try, but we must remain realistic”moderate, less enthusiastic, Mauro Gianetti.

Add a Comment