Jonas Vingegaard and the winning formula

(Paris) We don’t change a formula that wins: after a studious winter, Jonas Vingegaard, double winner of the Tour de France, makes his return to the Gran Camino on Thursday, a stage race in Spain that he flew over last year .

A pure general classification rider, the discreet Dane has built an almost identical start to the season compared to 2023 where he successfully defended his crown in the Tour de France. Apart from Paris-Nice, which he finished third and which he replaced by Tirreno-Adriatico in March, the orbiting will follow the same trajectory with the Tour of the Basque Country in April and the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, two races of which he is the outgoing winner.

And the shooting range is once again located in Galicia, for the third edition of the Gran Camino, which took over from the historic Tour of Galicia and which, thanks in particular to its presence, is gaining in thickness over the years .

Only six World Tour teams (1D division) have made the trip, but there will be a lot of people at the start of the initial 14 km time trial in La Coruña including Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz, just coming off the Tour of Colombia, the Spaniard Carlos Rodriguez , fifth in the last Tour de France, as well as the French David Gaudu and Lenny Martinez.

“We loved this event last year. The organization is excellent, the stages are demanding and there is a time trial, an essential exercise for the rest of the season knowing that the Tour de France will end with a time trial in Nice this year,” underlines Robert Wagner , sports director at Visma-Lease a bike, Vingegaard’s team.

“Can’t wait to start again”

Last year, the Dane won everything in Galicia: the three stages contested – the first was stopped due to snow – and the general.

Accompanied this time by the young Belgian Cian Uijtdebroeks, he announced that “the objective is clear: defend my title”.

“In recent months I have spent a lot of time in training camps. It went very well, especially in Tenerife where we put the final touches to the preparation for the season. Now I can’t wait to resume competition,” adds, on his team’s website, the double winner of the Tour who has not raced since his second place at the Vuelta in September.

He is the second of the “fantastic four” to resume this season after the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, winner last Sunday of the Tour of the Algarve. His former teammate, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who joined the German team Bora-Hansgrohe this winter, should make his return to Paris-Nice (March 3-10) while Tadej Pogacar is expected on March 2 at Strade Bianche .

If all goes well, these four riders will meet this summer on the roads of the Tour de France (June 29-July 21) for a battle of the leaders that will make you salivate in anticipation.

For Vingegaard, who will want to “write sporting history” by joining Louison Bobet, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain and Chris Froome with a third consecutive coronation on the Grande Boucle, the conquest begins on Thursday in La Coruna.

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