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Can Vingegaard Retain Tour de France Crown in 2023?

Jonas Vingegaard etched his name in the history of the prestigious Tour de France by claiming the yellow jersey as the outright winner of the 2022 competition. The Dane displayed outstanding levels of consistency over the course of the tournament to edge out his rivals to win the crown for the first time. It was a breakthrough for the 25-year-old after he came so close to claiming the yellow jersey in the 2021 Tour de France.

The Dane was just five minutes off the pace last time out for Team Jumbo–Visma, and although he learned the hard way about the fine margins involved in elite cycling, he was able to return for the 2022 competition to avenge his defeat and close out the win by two minutes ahead of his nearest rival. Vingegaard is now backed in the cycling betting odds at 4/5 to win the Tour de France next year, aiming to join an elite company of riders to have secured back-to-back wins in the competition. However, it will be a challenge given the level of talent that is competing in the tournament across the board.

Consistency Was Key

Vingegaard’s consistency was crucial in allowing him to edge out Geraint Thomas among others for the yellow jersey. The Dane only managed to win two stages out of 21 in his ride to the crown, but he certainly made the most out of his victories. In Stage 11 in the Albertville to Col du Granon section of the Tour de France, he put down an exhilarating pace in the mountainous terrain. Vingegaard put forward a dominant ride in tough conditions and it allowed him to win the stage by 59 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Nairo Quintana and Romain Bardet in third. The victory allowed the Dane to take control of the yellow jersey and he did not relinquish it for the rest of the Tour de France.

Stage 18 was another test of his mettle in the race between Lourdes and Hautacam in 92 miles of action. Vingegaard had to be patient over the course of the stage as he was tested by a tough leading group that provided a firm examination of his speed and resilience under pressure. Although the first half of the stage was fairly flat, the demands of the latter portion of the race on the upslope were a test of his resolve. But, the 25-year-old rose to the occasion whereas his rivals folded, allowing him to take control of the race for the yellow jersey. From that point onwards, the Dane was well on his way to the crown with three stages remaining.

There were further tests, including a near-fall, but he fended off his rivals displaying a strong level of consistency to claim the crown. He will require those skills in abundance in 2023, where his desire will be tested. It is one of thing to reach the top of the Tour de France, but is a different challenge altogether to remain there as others in the field can attest. Vingegaard will now be the hunted rather than the hunter in 2023 and he will have to raise his game further to retain the yellow jersey.




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