"I am sure Jonas Vingegaard will be at the start of the Tour. In top form" - Joxean Matxin laughs off Visma's talk of 50/50 chance

According to the most recent news from camp Team Visma | Lease a Bike surrounding the Tour de France is that two-time, back to back, defending Maillot Jaune winner Jonas Vingegaard has a 50/50 chance of making the Grand Depart in Florence later this month.

Speaking to Het Nieuwsblad, UAE Team Emirates boss Joxean Matxin has laughed off these claims of Team Visma | Lease a Bike. "Meanwhile he is on altitude training and I catch everywhere that he has been working very hard for weeks," Matxin details knowingly. "No, I am sure Jonas will be at the start of the Tour. In top form. And even if he is only 95 per cent ready at the start, that doesn't say much. Jonas is the type that grows at the Tour. Especially in this Tour, with that leaden final week, that is not insurmountable. Just give me those duels of last year again!"

Twelve months ago, it was Matxin's team leader, Tadej Pogacar who was facing a race against time to recover from injury ahead of the Tour de France. In the end, despite the Slovenian's best efforts, 2nd behind Vingegaard was the best Pogacar could manage. "We all know the story of last year: his fall in Liège, his fracture on the wrist... The level in cycling is so high that anyone who cannot finish his preparation one hundred per cent pays a price," Matxin recalls. "Then Tadej was not in perfect form. He is going to be now."

"This is the best Pogacar I have ever seen," Matxin continues, confidently backing his man to claim a third career Tour de France triumph. "Last year was a special year, with that crash, but since then he has grown again. Which is not illogical. He has yet to turn 26. You can see that in his data too. Not that they are gigantically better compared to past years, but they are still improving."

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