Tour de France: Jonas Vingegaard taking confidence from Mont Ventoux that Tadej Pogačar can be beaten in future years

Jumbo-Visma look set to finish second in the Tour to Pogačar for the second year in a row

Jonas Vingegaard
(Image credit: Getty)

Jonas Vingegaard’s performances in the last two weeks of the Tour de France have encouraged him to believe that Tadej Pogačar isn’t as superior as the results look.

The race’s forays into the mountains are now behind the peloton, and with just stage 20’s 30km time trial left to reorder the final order in the general classification, Pogačar is on course to win his second consecutive yellow jersey.

His dominance in the first week set him up for a successful defence of his title and thwarted any hope of an exciting battle for the race lead.

Pogačar further cemented his probable victory with wins on stages 17 and 18, but Vingeggard has been able to keep pace with him in the Pyrenees and looks set to finish second.

The Dane even dropped Pogačar on stage 11’s double ascent of Mont Ventoux, and asked by Cycling Weekly whether he feels his gap of 5-45 is representative of the actual difference between the duo, the Jumbo-Visma rider said it wasn’t based on the past fortnight.

“In the second and third week I have been up there with him every time,” the 24-year-old, riding his first Tour, said.

“He was the best in the first week, and that’s when he took five-and-a-half-minutes out of me, but it’s only from then that he has the five-minute lead.

“I think on the Mont Ventoux stage I gained a lot of confidence when I dropped him. That day I got the confidence that basically nobody can drop me anymore.

“But he is super strong and he deserved to win yesterday and I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Eddy Merckx, winner of five Tours, indicated at the start of stage 19 that Pogačar could eclipse his number of Tour victories.

At only 22, the UAE Team Emirates rider looks imperious against all other GC riders, and while Vingeggard doesn’t subscribe to the view that no rider can overcome him, he confessed that his rival deserves his second Tour title.

“I don’t know about that,” he said in response to being asked if Pogačar was unbeatable. “I dropped him one time.

“But then on the other days he has been the strongest one so on those days he wasn’t beatable, at least for me.”