Tour de France: Jonas Vingegaard set to win Tour as Wout van Aert clinches time trial | Cycling News

Geraint Thomas finished fourth on the stage to seal a third-place finish overall, behind last year’s Tour winner Tadej Pogacar, who enters Sunday’s finale stage three minutes and 34 seconds behind Vingegaard.

Last Updated: 23/07/22 5:44pm

Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard celebrates after crossing the line on Saturday

Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard celebrates after crossing the line on Saturday

Jonas Vingegaard is set to win the Tour de France after finishing second to his Jumbo-Visma team-mate Wout van Aert in the stage 20 time trial to Rocamadour.

Van Aert won the 40.7km time trial from Lacapelle-Marival in a time of 47 minutes 59.86 seconds, 19 seconds faster than Vingegaard, who needed only to ride defensively given his sizable cushion over Tadej Pogacar, but instead attacked the stage and was fastest over the first half.

He then faded, almost running wide on a descent late on, but his second place was enough to confirm him in yellow ahead of Sunday’s ride into Paris, his advantage over Pogacar now three minutes and 34 seconds.

Geraint Thomas finished fourth on the stage, behind Pogacar in third, to confirm his third place overall, ensuring the podium was rounded out by two former Tour winners.

Vingegaard wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey as he celebrates on the podium after the 20th stage of the Tour de France

Vingegaard wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey as he celebrates on the podium after the 20th stage of the Tour de France

It is a first overall Tour crown for the 25-year-old Vingegaard, coming in an edition of the race that set out from his home nation of Denmark three weeks ago.

Vingegaard, second to Pogacar last year, wrestled the yellow jersey off the Slovenian when the UAE Team Emirates man suffered a crisis on the Col du Granon in the second week of the race, and successfully defended it through the Pyrenees as he was able to mark every move Pogacar made.

Vingegaard could not hold back the tears after being greeted at the finish line by his girlfriend and daughter, and welled up again during his post-race interview.

“It means everything, it’s really incredible,” he said. “It’s the biggest thing within cycling and we did it.

“Having my two girls on the finish line means even more to me. Since last year I always believed I could do it and now it’s happened. It’s really incredible. It’s both a relief and I’m just so happy and proud.”

Asked about his aggressive approach, Vingegaard pointed to 2020, when team-mate Primoz Roglic saw his advantage in yellow disappear on a stage 20 time trial, allowing Pogacar to come through and take his first title.

“Of course I think about what happened two years ago,” he said. “We all were thinking about it. I wouldn’t say we were afraid of it but we had it in our heads and didn’t want it to happen again. I just wanted to go for it today and go for as good a result as possible.”

It means that Jumbo-Visma, who lost one of the pre-race favourites – Roglic – in the second week and have only five riders left, head to Paris boasting the yellow, green and polka-dot jerseys.

Van Aert – who became the first man to win a Tour time trial in the green jersey since Bernard Hinault in 1979 – cannot be caught in the points classification, while Vingegaard is top of both the general classification and the king of the mountains competition.

This was a third stage win of the Tour for Van Aert, who has taken victory from a breakaway, an uphill sprint and now a time trial, as well as excelling in the mountains to help Vingegaard to victory.

“I’m emotional,” the Belgian said. “Winning this Tour de France as a team is really special. The day was like a dream scenario. Jonas is such a strong guy but also a good guy. I want to thank all my team-mates and the whole team for this special three weeks. It’s unbelievable.

“I’m super tired after the three weeks. I gave it all today. I want to win races and today I hoped to take the stage and also to see Jonas secure his yellow. He’s got such a big heart and he’s done that. It’s special.”

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