Vingegaard loses key allies as Tour de France hits boiling point

As temperatures hit 40-degrees, Vingegaard overcame a fall to keep hold of his lead.

Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey.
Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey.
Image: Daniel Cole

JONAS VINGEGAARD KEPT hold of the leader’s yellow jersey at the Tour de France on Sunday but only after surviving a fall and losing two key Jumbo-Visma teammates to injury which weakened his defences in a tense struggle for the 2022 title with defending champion Tadej Pogacar

The stage itself was won by Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen who edged a mass bunch sprint ahead of Wout van Aert and Mads Pederson.

The sprinters caught Frenchman Benjamin Thomas around 250m from the line of the stage from Rodez to the Carcassonne citadel, as the home nation’s run without a win stretches to 35 stages.

In the struggle for supremacy in the general rankings, Vingegaard saw his team reduced to six riders, which leaves him level on teammates with Pogacar with six stages to go, three of them Pyrenean mountain slogs.

Vingegaard, who fell around 55km from the finish, still leads Pogacar by 2min 22sec, with Geraint Thomas third, another 21sec adrift.

“It was so hot, over 40C, I’m so happy about the day off tomorrow,” said Pogacar ahead of Monday’s rest day.

Vingegaard, however, arguably lost his two strongest helpers as three-time Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic was a non-starter.

But when Steven Kruijswijk fell just after environmental campaigners staged a second roadblock protest at this year’s race, Pogacar’s team will have been heartened.

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“It’s never nice to see someone fall,” said Pogacar.

“But if I hadn’t lost my two teammates it would be different. Now we go in to the last week an even match.”

In temperatures over 40 degrees the peloton rolled at a slow pace, and many have decided not to train on Monday’s rest day.

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