"Jonas Vingegaard is the favourite for the Tour de France” insists UAE's Joxean Matxin

Many would consider Tadej Pogacar the hot favourite to get the third Maillot Jaune of his career at the upcoming Tour de France. According to the Slovenian's UAE Team Emirates boss Joxean Matxin however, that status remains with Jonas Vingegaard.

Whether or not the two-time, back-to-back Tour de France-winning Dane will even make it to the race this year remains unconfirmed however, after a nasty crash at the Itzulia Basque Country saw Vingegaard suffer a fractured collarbone, fractured rib(s) and a pneumothorax. According to Matxin though, there is little doubt about Vingegaard defending his Tour de France crown and the UAE Team Emirates boss is expecting the 27-year-old not just be at the startline but to be very much fighting fit.

“That Vingegaard had a serious crash in the Itzulia Basque Country? Last year, Tadej crashed three weeks later in April and was in Vingegaard's slipstream until the Tour de France's time trial," Matxin recalls in conversation with Sporza, explaining his viewpoint. "Vingegaard will also have been on almost constant altitude training for this Tour and he is the leader of the team that won the three Grand Tours last year. Jonas Vingegaard is the top favourite for the Tour de France.”

It's not just Vingegaard that Matxin sees as a viable threat to his Giro d'Italia winning team leader either. “I will certainly also take Primoz Roglic, Aleksandr Vlasov and Remco Evenepoel into account,” Matxin notes, although the immense strength of UAE Team Emirates lineup around their leader is a massive benefit. “We certainly have a great team for the Tour (including Juan Ayuso, João Almeida, Adam Yates, Pavel Sivakov, Marc Soler, Nils Politt and Tim Wellens ed.). Tadej is our only leader. But there are still teams with a strong leader.”

Finally, Matxin also took time to address the rumours of a potential Vuelta a Espana appearance for Pogacar if the Tour de France joins the Giro d'Italia on his list of successes for 2024. “Winning the three Grand Tours in the same year is great for the history books, but that is not the case this year," Matxin concludes, echoing the thoughts of Pogacar himself. "The Vuelta was never on Pogacar's schedule.”

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments