A simple gesture of the arm to celebrate his success alone in the Jura streets of Salins-les-Bains. Just because the Dauphiné is not a goal but a passage time for Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). Then, very quickly, the Dane did not have the heart to chain the smiles on the podium where he put on the yellow jersey of leader (with 1′10′' ahead of the 2nd Ben O'Connor and 1′23′' on Julian Alaphilippe).
He had just called his wife, as he does after every race. And the latter then announced to him the drama that had just taken place the same morning in Annecy. "Of course, I'm happy to win but with what happened today in Annecy, cycling doesn't matter much," he said, spending his summer holidays in the Alps as a child. It touches me a lot and I think especially of families. »
Read alsoVingegaard, from camping to paradise: caravan, grills and climbs... summers in the Alps of little Jonas
But since sport has the virtue of moving away, sometimes, for a few moments from the tragedies around, there was a beautiful cycling race between Ain and Jura. And on this one, Jonas Vingegaard announced the color of the next summer. It should be bright yellow. The winner of the Tour de France 2022 has already impressed his world ahead of the next Grande Boucle, which will start on 1 July in Bilbao.
In a normal and classic scenario, his takeover of the Critérium du Dauphiné was rather expected this Friday with the first episode of the Alpine triptych that awaits the peloton. But Vingegaard may still be thin and puny, but he is still hungry for offense. In the second category hill of Thésy, fifteen kilometers from the line, the Dane found himself almost by chance alone in front. "I didn't necessarily want to attack today, just defend myself," he said. But when Richard Carapaz attacked I followed. Then I worked with him but he couldn't follow me. There you go. »
"He throws himself into the fight and the others to respond, he is strong and he shows it"
How simple is cycling told like this. It just takes legs of fire and titanium lungs to let go of its competitors like you smoke a pipe. With such superiority, we already know that, barring an accident, the winner of the 75th Critérium du Dauphiné will be the little Dane. And that his preparation for the Tour is perfectly on track. Last year, Vingegaard voluntarily remained in the shadow of his teammate Primoz Roglic and played the team's game by ensuring a nice double at the finish. On the last day, he offered himself just his first stage on the event by winning on the Solaison plateau. But he was only dolphin on the Dauphiné. A year later, he runs like a king. If Tadej Pogacar, who is preparing for his part in the unknown after his broken wrist in April in Liège, is not fully recovered, then the scenario of the next Tour looks quite obvious.
The strong emotion of Jonas Vingegaard when evoking the knife attack that occurred in #Annecy today... pic.twitter.com/ebjMmk3EIs
— Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) June 8, 2023
We can have fun scaring for him and think that one of his main lieutenants last year, Steven Kruijswijk, 3rd in the Tour 2019, will be forfeited this year after his fracture of the collarbone and pelvis during the second stage of the Criterium. "Of course, it's hard to lose a guy like Steven," Vingegaard said. But someone like Tiesj Benoot or even Wout van Aert knows how to climb. I have no worries about the value of the team on the Tour. »
Close to him, Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal - Quick Step) was hanging. He really wanted this stage and was not consoled by his second place 31 seconds behind Vingegaard. "We had a plan today on this step but we didn't get much help," he says. Following Vingegaard was impossible. I have no regrets because he is so unplayable. Besides, I am happy to have been able to limit the damage even if it was not the objective of the day. He was on top. »
Philippe Mauduit, the sporting director of Groupama-FDJ, where David Gaudu still took a shine and lost a minute, recognizes the superiority of Vingegaard. "I'm not surprised by the way he runs," he says. It's like the Tour of the Basque Country at the beginning of the season: he wins two stages and the general by attacking from afar. This has been the pattern of cycling for two three years. There is a generation of riders, of which he is a part, who are not afraid to attack from afar. He throws himself into the fight and the others to answer. That's the beauty of our sport: he's strong and he shows it. »