Tour de France twice winner Vingegaard optimistic after winning start-Xinhua

Tour de France twice winner Vingegaard optimistic after winning start

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-27 19:39:30

MADRID, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard has started the 2024 season in ominous form, by winning the O Gran Camino cycle race in the north-west Spanish region of Galicia in wet and windy conditions on Tuesday.

Although it was the Dane's first competitive race of the season, Vingegaard showed some impressive form and also claimed the mountains' jersey, as he told Spanish sports paper, Marca, there was more to come.

"I'm very happy with the form I'm in, but I feel like I haven't hit my ceiling," he said.

"I sincerely believe I can still improve a little towards the next challenges, facing the Tour de France for example. By summer I think I will surely be better," commented the rider.

Vingegaard's Visma-Lease Bike team was untouchable in the Grand Tours in 2023, with Primoz Rogilic winning the Giro de Italia and Sepp Kuss the Vuelta a Espana, but they have been weakened by Roglic's decision to switch to the Bora-Hansgrohe team.

"It's a big loss," admitted Vingegaard, who will lose a rider who has been a huge help on long mountain stages.

"It would have been better for him to have stayed within the team, of course, but he decided to leave. We will have to do our best in the races to see if we can still win. I am convinced that we are going to have a good team and we are going to achieve important objectives," he said.

Vingegaard will also be without Wout van Aert, who will ride the Giro and miss the Tour de France to focus on the Olympic Games, with the Belgian another strong ally in the Visma line-up.

"I think we will be able to respond to the rest of the teams because we have a very good level within Visma. The Tour will be difficult without Van Aert and with Roglic as a rival," he admitted, although the Danish rider said he was happy with the route for this year's Tour as he looks for a third consecutive win.

"It's a great route: It looks very hard and I am happy with how it has been designed," he said, adding that he wasn't certain if the three-week race would be decided in the mountains or in the time-trial.

"I will have to train hard at both," he joked.