"People may have underestimated me a little bit" - Jonas Vingegaard's unspoken card for Tour de France success

The Tour de France is where Jonas Vingegaard has had the big breakthrough in his career in 2021, and in 2022 he's had a rise of similar level as he captured the yellow jersey on a very complicated race where defending champion Tadej Pogacar was constantly on the attack.

“I actually always think people may have underestimated me a little bit," Vingegaard said in an interview with DR.dk, talking about this year's Grand Boucle. "This was also the case for the Tour de France this year. Especially in the media, I would say, and I have no problem with that. And I don’t think I have any problem the other way either."

Entering the race alongside Primoz Roglic, the Dutch team had two weapons. Although many already had suspicions that the Dane would lead, that became apparent already in the first summit finish to La Planche des Belles Filles, and in no situation did Pogacar get caught off guard by Vingegaard. Nevertheless, the team depth was crucial in dealing a decisive blow on stage 11.

Asked if he would like to go back to the Tour, where he's thrived over the last two seasons, he responds: “I would like to, but whether it will be next year or the year after, we will have to see. I have to talk to the team about it, and then we have to find a solution together.”

“It’s been absolutely fantastic, but also really overwhelming. When I think of the Tour de France, I think that it is the best riders in the world who win it. And then I think it just feels strange that it’s suddenly me who’s won it," he commented. Next year's plans are still undecided, but it is expected that he will try to defend his title.

“I would say that I am among the best in the world, but I would not say that I am generally the best, no. If you look at it overall, I have only performed in stage races. I haven’t really managed to perform in a one-day race yet." After the Tour he travelled back home and only returned to competition late in the year, but has his main priorities set in 2023 for a long time already.

“I haven’t avoided the media as such, but I haven’t sought it out either. I’ve just been relaxing and enjoying life and being at home," he explained. "I still think winning the Tour is so big that it is somehow difficult to deal with. I always dreamed of riding the Tour de France, but of course I never dreamed of winning the Tour de France when I was little. Then I suddenly… well, it went so fast.”

“I think that the storm has subsided a bit now. So there’s no big deal with people wanting selfies and autographs anymore. It was more the first period right after,” Vingegaard continued. “If I go out and shop over there, it is of course different. And of course you won the Tour de France, but again, I’m still the same.”

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