Jonas Vingegaard: ‘Remco Evenepoel and I could be allies until we have to deal with each other’
Danish rider continues to hint at Tour de France return and showdown against the best grand tour riders in the world.
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A final decision on the 2023 grand tour plans for Jonas Vingegaard will be made in December at a Jumbo-Visma training camp, but that hasn’t stopped the mounting speculation surrounding a possible battle between the Tour de France winner and Vuelta a España champion Remco Evenepoel.
In all likelihood, Vingegaard will head to the Tour in 2023 as he looks to defend his crown, while Evenepoel will target the Giro d’Italia and use that experience as a stepping stone towards a Tour bid in 2024.
At the Saitama Criterium last week, Vingegaard was asked about a possible duel with Evenepoel. The pair have yet to race each other during a three-week race.
“Yes, me and Remco in the same grand tour, that could work well. We both benefit from a hard race. He could be a good ally until we have to deal with each other,” Vingegaard told Het Nieuwsblad.
“I thought he was very strong in the Vuelta, but I find it difficult to estimate how we compare to each other at the moment. We have never raced against each other in a three-week round.”
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The cycling media is hoping to see Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar and Evenepoel face off against each other in a grand tour in the next 12 months, but the Dane believes that there is more to a three-week challenge than just three riders.
He brought up teammate Primož Roglič, who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, and Ineos Grenadiers’ leader Egan Bernal, as possible contenders, too.
“Don’t forget Roglič and Bernal. All of us together in one big round, I’m already excited. I’m not scared,” he said. “I want to race against the very best. If I win then it will only brighten my victory. Although I dare not predict the outcome of such a clash. One might stand out, but how nice would it be to be evenly matched and then find out who makes it in the end?”
Vingegaard reveals his ambitions to team management
All signs point to a Tour return for Vingegaard, and he has talked openly about the route and his hopes of taking another title. Official confirmation on his 2023 plans will have to wait a little while, however.
According to the Dane he has indicated his hopes for next year to lead sports director Merijn Zeeman.
“I called Merijn. I told him about my ideas for next year,” he said. “Now Merijn is together with the rest of the management to put the puzzle for the entire team. At training camp in December they come to me with a proposal. If I like that, then it’s fixed. If I don’t like it, then there will be a discussion.”