When Tadej Pogacar’s jersey overcame a shocked Primoz Roglic in the final time trial of the 2020 Tour de France to snatch yellow from the Jumbo-Visma team, Jonas Vingaard was in hospital, celebrating the arrival of her first child.
“I had just had my daughter, so I was watching from the hospital,” said this year’s race leader, on the eve of the 2022 Tour’s final “truth race”, after he was told asked if memories of Roglic’s humiliation at the hands of Pogacar still haunted the team.
“I wouldn’t say we talk about it a lot. For me, tomorrow [Saturday] is to do all I can to keep this beautiful [yellow] Jersey. I will give everything I have.
With a lead of three minutes and 26 seconds over Pogacar (United Arab Emirates) heading into the penultimate stage of this Tour, Vingaard can be confident but not complacent.
Right now the omens are good and his team is flying. In Cahors, his French teammate Christophe Laporte won stage 19 after holding off the pursuit peloton in the shade of the plane trees bordering Boulevard Léon Gambetta.
“It’s been an amazing tour for us so far,” Vingaard said. “Five stage wins, we have the green jersey, the yellow, the pea, we just have to do our best tomorrow and hopefully we can bring the yellow jersey to Paris. We’re not there yet.
Laporte joined the last group of breakaways of the stage, including Briton Fred Wright, in the last kilometer. A strong time trial and sprinter, the Frenchman sped up the top three with just 400 meters to go, and although Wright tried he couldn’t stop the 29-year-old from securing the first victory in stage of the Tour of his career. . For Wright, it was his third near-miss, after coming close to a stage victory in Lausanne and Saint-Étienne.
It’s been a torrid and torturous Tour for the sprinters, with just three sprints on the pitch in 19 days of racing. Mark Cavendish, who was not picked up by his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl crew, might now think he had a chance to escape.
Caleb Ewan, last man in the general classification of the race, and Fabio Jakobsen, winner of the second stage in Nyborg, both suffered enormously in these mountain stages of the Tour.
Ewan, who rides for Lotto Soudal and was once tipped to be Cavendish’s successor, is now five-and-a-half hours behind race leader Vingaard and clings to hope he may be able to resume his 2019 victory in Paris on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday. Earlier, the stage was again briefly blocked by climate change local Last Renovation, which brought the peloton to a standstill 160km from the finish. This was the race group’s third protest.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to this sporting event. We are trying to force the government to meet its own commitments,” a statement read.
Meanwhile, the Astana-Qazaqstan team’s completely forgettable Tour was made even worse when news broke that the team’s star rider, Miguel Ángel López, a former Tour stage winner, had been arrested by police after being linked to a drug trafficking case in Spain.
“The news that spread through the media last night took us by surprise, and at this time we have no details,” the team said. Lopez has also won stages in the Vuelta a España and is a former Tour de Suisse and Volta a Catalunya winner.
Lopez was reportedly intercepted at Madrid-Barajas airport by police as part of the investigation. However, his agents, Javier de las Heras and Alfredo Gómez, later denied that Lopez was under investigation and denied all arrest reports, saying he had only been subjected to a routine search. .
“Lopez denies having a relationship/participation in any criminal act related to the distribution of unauthorized drugs or any other products mentioned in the news,” their statement added.
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