Categories: Sports News

“The best won”

Jonas Vingegaard definitely tipped the Tour de France 2022 in his favor after an 18th stage from which he emerged victorious at the top of Hautacam after breaking Tadej Pogacar. Discover the reactions of the main actors of the race.

Jonas Vingegaard (DAN / Jumbo-Visma) – Stage winner and yellow jersey

“You could say it’s a masterpiece, but then it’s that of a whole team. I have to thank them all for what they did today (Thursday). Tadej Pogacar’s attacks were very strong today (Thursday). It was only from the moment when Wout Van Aert carried the acceleration which dropped Tadej Pogacar that I really gained confidence for the stage victory. At this stage, I too was at the limit. But when we got a gap, then it was much better. I have increased my advantage in the general classification, but I don’t want to think about the final victory yet. I continue to take the race day by day. You have to stay focused, because things can always happen on tomorrow’s stage (Friday), and then there’s a serious time to fight. Saturday night, I can talk about it. »

Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE Team Emirates) – 2nd and white jersey

“There couldn’t be a better way to lose the Tour de France. I gave everything, thinking about the general classification, and I can leave the race without regrets. There is only one stage left that I can win until Paris, and I will do everything for it. Jumbo-Visma did a perfect job on this Tour de France. I take my hat off to them. And today (Thursday), the best won, Jonas Vingegaard was stronger than me. I started pushing hard on the penultimate climb, but I thought I still had strength left for the final climb. Unfortunately, I fell and this fall cost me energy. I tried to follow the Jumbo-Visma until the end, but they were too strong. I have nothing but respect for Jonas Vingegaard, and I think we respect each other. When he waited for me, he was in a position to do so since he had teammates at all levels of the race. I wanted to attack on the descent, but I went a bit too far and fell. »

Wout Van Aert (BEL / Jumbo-Visma) – 3rd and green jersey

“I am above all proud of everything that the team did today (Thursday), and personally proud to have been able to contribute to it. When I heard in my headset that Tadej Pogacar was let go, I told myself that I had to give all that was left of energy in my body. That’s what I did, and then Jonas Vingegaard was able to continue alone for three kilometers. We wanted to attack today, because the signal that was sent in yesterday’s stage by the UAE Team Emirates required us to stay very focused and take the race on our own. That’s why I attacked from kilometer zero. In any case it was crazy… One of the most incredible days of my career. I couldn’t do more, when I let go I was at my limit. I finish third and maybe it was a good test to see if I can one day aim for the yellow jersey. But I was able to do it in one day, whereas yesterday (Wednesday) I lost twenty minutes. Doing it for the duration of the Tour is another thing. I realize at the finish that I could also have had the polka dot jersey… If I had known, I would have sprinted at Aubisque! »

Geraint Thomas (GBR/Ineos Grenadiers) – 4eme

“I feel relieved that it’s over. I felt I went through some ups and downs today (Thursday) but I felt pretty good. When the attacks started, I led my own pace. In the last climb, I wanted to stay with Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar until the steep part. Then I got a little stuck. I had a puncture which didn’t help, but I felt a lot better afterwards. We have tomorrow’s stage (Friday) with side winds all day. Then there is the time trial, I hope to recover well for that. »

David Gaudu (FRA/Groupama-FDJ) – 5th and 1st French

“My fight of the day was not Tadej Pogacar, Jonas Vingegaard and Geraint Thomas, but Nairo Quintana and the others. I stayed with them, I could count on a very great Valentin Madouas and a very great Thibaut Pinot up front. The hardest part was letting go of Nairo Quintana, and after that it was well pinned. I came back to Valentin Madouas, who rode, then to Thibaut Pinot, who also rode, and then I just had to let go of the end of my forces. There are days like this when everything goes well. I would have signed to be fourth overall. Many say that doing four, five or sixth in the Tour, who cares, it’s useless, but they don’t realize the effort you have to put in and the level you have to have. I am proud to be currently fourth overall. The front three are stronger than me, there is nothing to be ashamed of finishing behind these guys. »

Thibaut Pinot (FRA/Groupama-FDJ) – 10th

“I was a little better than yesterday (Wednesday) so I’m still happy to finish the mountain on a not too bad note. When I saw Wout Van Aert doing the train on the penultimate pass, I understood that he was in for a very, very, very long day. And seeing that at the top, there were only three of us left, it shows that there were only strong people. It was a great day, I was already happy to switch with him at the top of the Spandelles pass, I knew that I could then serve as a support point for David Gaudu to help him. I did what I could. »

Nairo Quintana (COL / Arkéa-Samsic) – 13th of the stage

“I gave it my all, I didn’t have the best feelings. I was a little out of breath, that’s no excuse, we worked well until the end and we did a great Tour de France. I think we will finish in a good position in the general classification. I hope to do a decent time trial on Saturday and finish in fifth place. It gives a lot of confidence, we are going to go to the World Tour. The work is well executed, the dynamic is improving. We will continue to work. »

Romain Bardet (FRA/DSM) – 17th

“When I told you that I was not sure about my level at the start of the Tour, it was not to kick into touch. I took a hot shot in the Col de Spandelles and I roasted. When I’m burnt out, I can’t stand the heat. Already with an ideal preparation it’s not easy, but then without… As long as it goes well, we always hope that we will get through. I felt like I was fine, I wanted to attack in the Aspin but I told myself that with my good legs I was going to wait, and I took a heat stroke at the foot of Spandelles. I should have listened to myself and taken a step ahead. I recovered on the last climb, I fought, that’s what I owed to the team. But when you’re in cars, it’s not very funny. Finally, the Col du Granon will have been the only satisfaction of this Tour, it’s a bit annoying to cycle in the second curtain. »

Sources: official Tour de France website, Cyclism’Actu, AFP

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