Tim Heemskerk is Jonas Vingegaard's coach. He has transformed the Dane into the best Grand Tour rider in the world today. In an interview with the Dutch magazine Wieler Revue, he gave details of how the Tour de France champion reacts to training, as well as his capabilities during competitions.
Perhaps it's a difficult question, but what makes him so good physiologically? "The greatest quality is that he can also pedal the power he produces during training at the end of the race. This happens even a three-week race. The real 'top' cyclists are distinguished from the 'sub-toppers' by being able to reach their maximum values at the end of the race. He can also do this at altitude or in hot climates."
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If Pogačar and Vingegaard had two weeks to prepare for, say, Paris-Nice, would Vingegaard win? "Hahaha, that's a difficult question. I don't know what Pogačar does, of course. What I do know is that Jonas makes very rapid progress in two weeks. Of all the cyclists I've worked with, Jonas is the one who can get in shape the fastest, if he's given the right incentives."
How unique is Vingegaard in reaching his maximum capabilities at altitude? "First of all, it has to do with his preparation. He was at altitude for more than five weeks before the Tour, and after that, his body continues to adapt. The body has a memory. So if you build up Training Camps at altitude, it will adapt more quickly when it's at altitude. Jonas is someone who adapts quickly when certain types of challenges arise, such as altitude, heat or illness."
"After ten days without training because of Covid, Jonas improved very quickly in two weeks. At this stage of his career, Jonas is simply progressing faster than the other cyclists in the team and the peloton. We're a good pair because we're both reserved. A bit more introverted. Thanks to Jonas, I've learned a lot too," concludes the coach.