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Jonas Vingegaard, everything according to plans


Just four days ago, when Jonas Vingegaard didn’t quite shine in the opening time trial of the Tirreno-Adriatico 2024, conceding a few seconds too many to a dangerous rival such as Juan Ayuso, everyone knew that it would only be a matter of time before the Dane would try to ride his way back to his favourite position: the one where he looks down on everyone.

The chance came today on the steepest section of the San Giacomo climb, the first real test for the GC men, whose summit was located around 24 km before the finish. The 27-year-old Visma-Lease A Bike rider finished the 144-kilometre stage over a minute ahead of the chasing pack led by Juan Ayuso and snatched the lead from Jonathan Milan. Jonas had been kicking for a few days, waiting for the right moment to show his prowess. From the very first ramps he put his team-mate Attila Valter in the lead to set the pace, and shortly afterwards the “hornets” launched their attack. Ben Tulett’s forcing split the peloton and Vingegaard sped away on the steep 11% section, looking behind him once before steering ahead and almost out of sight.

In 5 km Jonas extended his advantage to one minute on the ascent and kept increasing it on the descent thanks to some masterful trajectories, showing the world that he has no weak points at the moment and establishing what is likely to be an unassailable lead. Vingegaard now has the chance to extend it on the next mountainous stage and secure the trident trophy.

In the last two years, Vingegaard has won all but two of the stage races he has competed in: last year’s Paris-Nice, in which he was beaten by Tadej Pogačar, and the Vuelta a España, which he “left” to team-mate Sepp Kuss. In between, he won a Tour of the Basque Country, a Tour of the Dauphiné, a Tour de France and twice the O Gran Camiño. And in Spain, a couple of weeks ago, he played the cannibal, winning three out of four stages and the general classification, leaving his rivals in the dust.

This is precisely why we have little faith in the assumption that he will merely control the situation tomorrow. In the Queen Stage, atop Monte Petrano, we can bet he will want his Maglia Azzurra to shine even brighter. Rivals are warned.

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