Vingeaard wins Tour de France – SA’s Meintjes finishes in top ten
The Danish Tour de France champion is part of a new generation of professional riders, who can climb, sprint and do it all. (Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)
- In a Tour de France that saw record temperatures and an epic battle, the new champion is last year’s runner-up, from Denmark.
- The last stage of the Tour de France was won by Jasper Philipsen and did not influence the general classification of the race.
- A superb sprint finish saw Philipsen beat Dylan Groenewegen, with Alexander Kristoff around the podium.
Paris, July 24, 2022 (AFP) – Jonas Vingaard arrived in Paris on Sunday to be officially crowned champion of the Tour de France 2022 after three weeks and 3,350 km of fierce struggle over peaks, plains and through a crushing heat wave.
Jonas Vingaard’s girlfriend and daughter recognized him, as the Dane crossed the Tour de France finish line to claim a famous victory. Vingaard proved his credentials in the Alps, where he tore the head off last year’s Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar.
The 21st and final stage was a largely ceremonial race. He saw the remaining runners sipping champagne as they entered the French capital.
Vinegaard’s Giant Teammates celebrated on Saturday evening in their transit hotel in Limoges, and were in a euphoric mood over breakfast, while rubbing shoulders with their young champion.
“Is it the breakfast of a man who has just won the Tour?” Quipped one of his teammates.
Vingeard and Pogacar were closely linked. Offer an exciting spectacle of the Tour de France. (Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)
A suitable finish
Vingaard insisted he felt “better than ever” ahead of Sunday’s coronation.
The peloton rolls past the Jardin de Luxembourg, through Saint Michel, over the Pont Neuf and past the Louvre before a sprint over eight laps of the Champs Elysées.
A presentation ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe took place at sunset on the 109th edition of the the biggest cycling race in the world. Live broadcast in 60 countries.
Jumbo’s Vingaard finished ahead of two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar, while 2018 winner Geraint Thomas came third.
The Vinegaard, 25 years oldwho was a 2021 runner-up behind Pogacar, said he was already thinking about his 2023 challenge.
“I want to celebrate this win first but of course I want to come back to the Tour to win another,” the reluctant star said. “I haven’t set myself five Tours de France or anything like that. I just want to come back and win.”
Vingaard deprived Pogacar of any chance of a surprise victory in the last individual time trial of the Tour de France on Saturday. (Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)
Take Pogacar’s last chance of victory
The Dane was eight seconds quicker than his arch-rival on Saturday, and Pogacar looked crestfallen at the finish line.
“I’m proud of myself, I did what I could, and at least I have the white jersey (best under 25),” Pogacar said. “I learned a lot, I will leave and analyze it.”
Thomas will also be remembered for his under-the-radar approach that earned him a podium finish at 36.
“I’m delighted to be on the podium, people talk about age, but for me it’s all about mentality. If you eat, train, rest properly, you can achieve a lot,” said said Thomas.
Just three weeks ago, a wall of sound accompanied Vingaard as he embarked on the Tour which started at his home in Copenhagen.
Danish fans turned out in astonishing numbers as the race cut through the leafy Scandinavian nation, passing a sensational crossing of the 20km-long Great Belt Bridge.
On day three, local man Magnus Cort Nielsen received cheers throughout Jutland.
Many stars emerged along the route with Belgian rider Wout van Aert, a Jumbo teammate of Vingaard, who finished third on the opening three stages and then managed a late escape to finally win stage four in Calais then that the race was returning to France.
Defending champion Pogacar did the whole start with his lone wolf mentality, gradually clinging to first place in stage six.
But the stars aligned against Pogacar as he teammates lost to covid and wound.
He is also a famous man hate the heat which has been a major hurdle over the past week as Temperature witness tower above 40 degrees Celsius.
Vinggaard took the yellow jersey from Pogacar on stage 11 and while the man from the United Arab Emirates stubbornly refused to give up, he lost ground again on stage 18.
Pogacar and Vingaard could become one of the most famous rivalries in the Tour de France. (Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)
Their epic fight was captioned by a moving moment of sportsmanship as Pogacar fell at high speed on stage 18, only to have the champion-elect wait for him to catch up in one of the iconic images of the race.
Pogacar’s last chance came in Saturday’s 41km time trial, but Vingaard was too strong even though he nearly fell off his bike in what he described as a ‘heart attack’ moment. . He stabilized to finish second behind van Aert and ensure his coronation in Paris.
Louis Meintjes, far right, rode beautifully to finish in the top ten. (Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez, Pauline Ballet, Jered & Ashley Gruber)
A big comeback for Meintjes
For South African Tour de France fans, Louis Meintjes took terrific form at the event, eventually finishing eighth. After a few quiet seasons, the South African climber rode boldly in the Alps.
In stage 12 he finished in a very impressive second place. Meintjes fully deserved his status as the lead driver of the Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux team, as he entered the top 10 of the classification after stage 14, defending his position until Paris.