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“It’s just incredible. Now I’ve finally won the Tour, nothing can go wrong anymore and I’m sitting with my daughter,” he said, minutes after the finish in Paris, with baby Frida on his lap.
“It’s the biggest cycling race of the year and the biggest one you can win. Now I’ve done it, nobody can take this away from me.”
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Vingegaard said that he finally started to feel confident he would win the Tour de France after stage 18 to Hautacam, where he put a further 64 seconds into rival Tadej Pogačar.
“I always had the feeling that at least I could fight for the win, but I was really thinking something has to almost go wrong for me to not win after Hautacam.”
There was a certain serendipity to this Vingegaard victory, given the race’s grand départ in Copenhagen. The 25-year-old was humbled by the number of fans from his home country who had traveled to Paris to support him.
“I appreciate it so much and I have to say thanks to every Dane here or that has been cheering for me for three weeks. It means everything to me,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, the new champ has a busy week ahead of him: a celebration in the Netherlands at Jumbo-Visma HQ on Tuesday, a welcome reception Wednesday in Copenhagen, then another one Thursday in his home town.
“Friday, I’ll be on the couch for a week,” he quipped. There may yet be a lucrative criterium ride here or there, too.
Looking longer term, his victory brings up the possibility of more Tour titles in the future. This could just be the beginning for the down-to-earth Dane
“Of course, now I want to celebrate and relax, but then I also want more, yes,” he said.
Holding his daughter, wearing a yellow jersey and casquette, Vingegaard took to the podium. He donned the King of the Mountains and yellow jerseys, standing to the strains of the Danish national anthem.
Taking the mic for a four-minute winner’s speech, Vingegaard thanked race organisers ASO for bringing the Tour to Denmark.
“It has been one of the biggest experiences of my life, to have the start in Denmark and the team presentation in Tivoli,” he said.
He also paid tribute to everyone in the Jumbo-Visma team and name-checked all seven of his teammates, starting with the trio of Steven Kruijswijk, Primož Roglič and Nathan Van Hooydonck, who were forced to abandon the race.
“We made a plan and we followed it 100 percent. It has been a really incredible journey for us and now we finally did it,” he concluded.
To cheers from the crowd, he called Wout van Aert “the best rider in the world.”
Vingegaard reserved the biggest thanks for his girlfriend Trine Hansen and daughter Frida, standing by the stage.
“I would never be able to do this without them, I love you,” he said.
The last word went to Tadej Pogačar and Geraint Thomas, the challengers stood next to him on the podium.
“Thanks to you guys as well, thanks for the big fight.”