Vingegaard Expresses Emotional Thrill as Denmark’s Hopes Take Pole Position in the Tour de France Early Stages

Tour de France Kicks Off with Neutralized Sections in Florence, Italy

The 2023 Tour de France began on Saturday with 16 kilometers of neutralized sections, passing through the iconic Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy. A unique setting in which Jonas Vingegaard, the Danish leader of Visma, donned his bib again after overcoming a serious fall during the Itzulia.

"It’s very positive to be here. Taking the start and competing again is really very emotional for me," Vingegaard commented through tears, reflecting on his return to the competition.

As the leader of Visma, Vingegaard acknowledged that there would be no mercy from the start of the stage, with rivals likely to put pressure on him from the get-go. "I’m sure it’s going to be a very, very hard day. It’s very hot, so yes, it’s going to be a really tough stage. And we’ll have to do our best to overcome it. I’m sure they’re already putting pressure on us," he said.

For the first time in history, the Tour de France began in Italy, with a historic first stage spanning 206 kilometers and featuring 3600 meters of altitude difference from Florence to Rimini. Prior to the neutralization, Soudal runner Jan Hirt suffered a fall during the signature control, resulting in a broken tooth and three teeth after an incident with a spectator’s backpack.

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