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Vingegaard: “I didn’t want to explode”

Vingegaard:

The starting instructions for the Jumbo was clear. Bursting the race based on rhythm, without attacks, as in the past decade towards Ineos, wearing down the members of the peloton one by one so that in the end their leader would go hand in hand with his biggest rival and be able to finish him off. That wasn’t exactly what happened, but the Jumbo made the most of the day. A second, something ephemeral, but that makes Pogacar a tad further from yellow despite having shown himself stronger in the face-to-face. In this aspect, the psychological matters more than that second fruit of the bonuses, both of one and the other, in Joux Plane and in the finish line.

“It was a cockfight and I am very happy to have managed to put a second behind Pogacar. I paced myself when he attacked because he didn’t want to explode. In the end I only managed to get one more second ahead of Tadej, but I’m still in yellow and that’s the most important thing.” said Jonas Vingegaard, with a livelier body image than in previous days. There were 3.7 km left to finish when the man from UAE made his attack, but it seemed like a time trial, each one setting his own pace, until with 1.7 km to go from the top, the Dane linked up with the wheel of his great rival. Then came the fight for the bonus at Joux Plane, and a motorcycle cut off the attack of a Pogacar who downplayed the matter: “It was a bit embarrassing, but it won’t change the final result.”

The last ascent started with 16 riders, including four from the Jumbo and another four from the UAE. Van Aert, who returned to the small group once he stayed, did one last service to “finish off” Majka, but at the moment of truth, there were three riders ahead: two UAE (Adam Yates and Pogacar) and one Jumbo (Vingegaard). Carlos Rodríguez came from behind and left them without a stage victory, although the fight between these two riders is for more prizes.

“We wanted to make the race hard and we did. The work of my colleagues was incredible. I don’t know if there is a moral winner, but I am happy with how things have gone and the moral winner doesn’t matter.” Jonas pointed out. While his rival believes that “the Tour will be said in seconds”, the Dane has a somewhat different thought: “one of the two will give in one day”. In the UAE the feeling was that they had saved the stake that the Jumbo posed, and that at least still, even if it was his great wish, they do not have the yellow jersey that ‘forces’ them to control the race. The good thing for both is that they are well ahead of the rest, because they have Carlos Rodríguez more than four and a half minutes away.

“Today’s stage will be very tough, and then comes time trial, and then Courchevel, and Le Markstein. There are four very demanding days left that could be decisive, and it will be a very close battle… but I face it with confidence”, added Pogacar, accompanied by his partner, the also cyclist Urska Zigart, who suffered a hard fall this month in the Giro d’Italia and who was with his partner, who did not remove his mask, with a bandage on his leg. “I felt very well. It was one of those days when Jumbo had an attack in mind to break me”, concluded Tadej, who cordially greeted his great rival at the finish line in Morzine. A Tour de France in ten seconds.

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