'The whole year has been hard' says Jonas Vingegaard ahead of racing return

The Dane has enjoyed some time off since winning the Tour de France

Jonas Vingegaard in a car in yellow jersey tour de france
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jonas Vingagaard will take the start line at the six-stage CRO Race in Croatia today, putting an end to his two-month absence from racing. 

In an interview with Danish news outlet Ekstra Bladet, the 25-year-old explained his struggle coping with the media attention after winning July's Tour de France, the last race he competed in.  

“I have been allowed to relax and build up again,” Vingegaard told Ekstra Bladet on Monday. “I think I needed to relax after the Tour. It's been a good time, and it's not often you get to have two months without racing, but the team allowed me to, and I'm really happy about that.”

Last month, the Jumbo-Visma rider decided to miss his home stage race, the Tour of Denmark. He also chose not to take part in the World Championships, which took place in Wollongong, Australia last week. 

“I really think that the whole year, the whole run-up and the whole Tour de France has been hard,” Vingegaard continued. “In that way, it has actually been nice to get some peace and get away from the media spotlight.

“The whole year you prepare for the Tour de France, and all of a sudden it's over, and then it's like... I don't want to say empty, but on the one hand, it's a bit of a funny feeling, but on the on the other hand, it's also just nice to be allowed to relax.  

“I really think I needed that,” he added.

Vingegaard arrived home to Denmark in July to a parade in Copenhagen’s main square, where thousands of fans gathered to celebrate his victory. Speaking on Danish television last month, the 25-year-old described his Tour de France win and the aftermath as “a kind of mental explosion".

“It’s very difficult to talk to the media and fans every day,” he added. “It’s great, but also very tiring.”

Vingegaard will line up against former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) at the CRO Race, which runs until 2 October. The Dane explained that he is using the race as a means of regaining form ahead of Il Lombardia, the final Monument of the season, scheduled for 8 October. 

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