Wearing the polka dot jersey for nine days, Simon Geschke was stripped of his tunic by Jonas Vingegaard on the very last mountain stage. A heartbreak for the German climber.
And suddenly, his dream flew away. Simon Geschke still had the polka dot jersey on his shoulders when he crossed the finish line of the 18th stage of the Tour de France, but it was a decoy. In fact, the German had already given up his tunic to Jonas Vingegaard, winner at Hautacam and arrived 35 minutes before him. The Dane had even had time to go on the podium to recover this polka dot jersey which he puts on almost by accident.
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Geschke sat down on the ground and couldn’t hold back his tears. The Cofidis rider must give up this jersey he has been wearing for nine days, and the Châtel stage, and for which he has fought during practically every mountain stage to try to take the right breakaway.
— Bas Tietema (@BasTietema) July 21, 2022
Thursday, Geschke knew that he would still have to be in front to resist Vingegaard’s irremediable comeback, but he no longer had enough strength. “The team did a wonderful job of staying close to the big group that broke free just before Aubisque, and if I had the legs I could have made the connection, but it just wasn’t destined to be the case. Now I’m second, which isn’t too bad for a guy like me either. The polka dot jersey is for the best climber on the Tour, and I guess the good guy is wearing it now. »
Geschke suspected that Vingegaard would take big points at the finish in Hautacam, so his only objective was to take the lead over the Aubisque, the first non-category pass of the day. « I knew I had to score points on the Aubisque and it didn’t happen and from there it was practically impossible to keep the jersey. We were expecting the guys in the general classification to play the stage today, not a breakaway, so it was pretty much over on the Aubisque”summarized the German with VeloNews.
Since Ciccone, Pinot and even Van Aert also threatened him, Geschke understood long before Hautacam that he would need a miracle to keep his jersey. It was therefore a small ordeal that he experienced, forced to climb the last passes of this Tour de France far from the best, knowing full well that his dream was about to fly away.
The worst part of all this is that Geschke will have to continue wearing this polka dot jersey by default, because Vingegaard should stay in yellow until Paris. “It’s not pleasant, and if I had the choice, I would go to the start with my normal outfit tomorrow but, unfortunately, I still have to wear the jersey until Paris, confided Geschke, annoyed. It’s a nice jersey and I’ve been wearing it for the past few days, but now I’m just the guy wearing the jersey and not top of the leaderboard. It’s not the most pleasant feeling, but it’s the Tour. »
At 36, Geschke, stage winner on the Tour in 2015, will still have been one of the leaders of this Grande Boucle. « Oh, it was wonderful, he sums up. This is the distinctive jersey that I like the most. For me, the last nine days have been a dream. » The memories will stay…
Thanks for the overwhelming support from Germany and everywhere my friends ❤️
Bit of a heartbreak to lose the jersey on the very last mountainstage but that’s sport. Thanks everyone @TeamCOFIDIS for the support as well. At least we died trying! https://t.co/9PWjxhGpu3
— Simon Geschke (@simongeschke) July 21, 2022
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