Jonas Vingegaard in tears after comeback victory at Tour de France: "I would've never been able to do this without my family"

A day for the books, many will say. The 2024 Tour de France is only in it's second day in the mountains and in the space of 11 days we have already had so much action. Today was one of the greatest ever battles between Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar, but the Team Visma | Lease a Bike rider managed to match the brave attack from the race leader and was emotional with the surprising stage win taken in Le Lioran.

"It's of course very emotional for me. Coming back from the crash... It means a lot. All the things I went through in the last three months. It makes you think of that, I would've never been able to do this without my family," Vingegaard said in a post-race interview. It was very clearly a very emotional interview, with the Dane in tears from start to finish after a journey into the Tour that was different from all other riders. After sustaining injuries that had him fear for his life in the Basque Country three months ago, he was able to show his very best level today at the Tour.

"I'm just happy to be here, it means so much to win a stage, specially to win it for my family. They were there supporting me the whole time," he says. UAE Team Emirates worked all day long and launched Pogacar into an attack with 31 kilometers to go. Vingegaard was dropped and forced to chase together with Primoz Roglic. But in the penultimate climb of the day he put in an incredible time to close the gap to the Slovenian completely.

"I couldn't follow the attack he had. It was very strong, I just had to fight and actually I didn't think that I would be able to make it back but I kept fighting," Vingegaard explains. The two then worked into the finale of the stage, consolidating their gains on the rest of the competition. What followed then was another big surprise as despite it being uphill, Vingegaard had the legs to beat Tadej Pogacar to the line. "But I made it back, started relaying. Bit surprised I managed to beat him in the sprint but of course it means so much to me I'm so happy about the victory today. I wouldve never thought of this three months ago".

It was a physical but also psychological victory over the Slovenian, who was expected to be better on this terrain, and had his team working all day long so that at the line he would lose time to his rival. But Vingegaard was not focused on this psychological warfare that has marked the past few days of the race. "I didn't even think about that, I was just thinking about doing my own pace, and then doing my pace".

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