Jonas Vingegaard ignoring Tadej Pogacar’s ‘mind games’ ahead of Tour de France title defence

Jonas Vingegaard is set to not fall for any thoughts video games coming from the camp of Tadej Pogacar because the Dane prepares to defend his Tour de France title.

The shape of Pogacar, winner of the Tour in each 2020 and 2021, is basically unknown given he has raced solely as soon as – cruising to the Slovenian nationwide title final weekend – since breaking his wrist at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

On Wednesday, UAE Group Emirates Mauro Gianetti declared Lancastrian Adam Yates to be co-leader of the staff alongside Pogacar as a result of uncertainty. Pogacar adopted up as he labelled Vingegaard the clear favorite for yellow.

The 24-year-old even appeared so as to add a touch of sarcasm as he stated: “Jonas is the principle man for the Tour de France. He dominated within the (Criterium du) Dauphine and stated he wasn’t in his greatest form, so I can’t wait to see what he does within the Tour.”

Twelve months in the past, Vingegaard rode into yellow when Pogacar cracked on stage 11 to the summit of the Col du Granon, by no means trying again as he comfortably defended the lead all the best way to Paris.

The 26-year-old carried all the peace of mind of a confirmed winner as he insisted he was ignoring all of the noise coming from his primary rival.

“It’s fairly simple,” the Jumbo-Visma rider stated. “I solely take into consideration myself. I solely take into consideration getting ready myself in addition to doable. I take into consideration how do I get higher, what can I do to enhance.

“I’ve solely been interested by coaching, pushing for the optimum. I’m the place I need to be. I’m proud of my form… I don’t suppose it issues to say who’s the massive favorite. I may additionally say that he’s the favorite.”

Vingegaard comes again to the Tour with a title to defend, however he insisted nothing had modified in his mindset.

“On one aspect I’m the hunted however I’m additionally nonetheless looking the victory so in that case it’s not that completely different,” he stated. After all issues change while you win the Tour de France, that’s how it’s. However I didn’t change and that’s the way it ought to be.”

Pogacar was again in coaching inside days of his crash in April, first at residence on the turbo coach, then again out on the street sooner than scheduled.

His declare that his wrist remains to be not absolutely healed could also be true, however these questioning if it’s all discuss will level to Thursday’s photographs of him pulling wheelies on a recon experience of Saturday’s opening stage.

“It’s not utterly high quality, I failed with the wheelie and I didn’t make it to the highest (of the climb) so it’s not good,” he stated with fun.

“I really feel OK on the bike. The wrist shouldn’t be at full mobility, I’d say 60-70 per cent mobility of the wrist however daily coaching it didn’t trouble me in any respect, no ache. I did a scan on Monday, two out of three bones are healed however the scaphoid wants a bit extra time…

“I’m not 100 per cent, that’s why we’ve got a plan B with Adam Yates…I feel my legs are good, mentality I’m tremendous good, I hope I’m prepared.”

Given the powerful opening week of the Tour, with some lumpy levels by means of the Basque Nation earlier than an early go to to the Pyrenees, Pogacar’s true kind ought to change into clear in a short time.

“I feel this primary week will likely be actually powerful and explosive, you’ve gotten the whole lot and so it’ll be fascinating,” he stated. “We noticed the ultimate (of the opening stage), it’ll be tremendous explosive. There’ll be a wide array in the long run, perhaps 10 or 15 riders who can go for the stage win. If I’m prepared, it might be an opportunity to take time.”

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