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The Jumbo-Visma star was philosophical after being out-gunned in a shootout for time bonuses Sunday in the final stage at the CRO Race in Croatia.
Matej Mohorič nudged him out of the lead to relegate Vingegaard into second place, but he was happy with two stage wins on his return to racing for the first time since winning the yellow jersey in July.
“I am not a sprinter and I don’t want to interfere in peloton sprints,” Vingegaard said Sunday. “I would have liked to have won here, but it is what it is.”
- Mohorič snatches time bonuses to win CRO Race
- Vingegaard roars back into winner’s circle
- Tour de France winner back in the saddle
Vingegaard won Saturday to carry the leader’s jersey into Sunday’s technical finale, but Mohorič was right on his tail just two seconds back on GC.
With mid-stage and finish-line bonuses in play, Vingegaard wisely chose not to take too many chances in the finishing circuit that was roundly criticized as being overly dangerous.
“We knew Bahrain would try early on. We tried too, but I’m not quick enough to sprint alongside these riders,” Vingegaard said. “Mohorič picked up enough bonus seconds today and he deserves it. This is also part of cycling.”
His haul of two stages in his comeback to race in Croatia bring his season tally to seven wins in 2022.
Three of those victories came when it really counted in July when he won two mountain stages and the overall to become the first Danish winner since Bjarne Riis in 1996.
That victory catapulted the low-profile Vingegaard into the public eye, but he said he simply enjoyed some down time at home after a rousing welcome home in Copenhagen. A stint at altitude paid off with a big week in Croatia, and now he turns his attention to Il Lombardia to close out his season in Italy.
Targeting first monument victory in career
The Italian monument will mark his sixth career start in the major one-day classics.
So far, his track record doesn’t reflect his rising status inside the peloton. He’s never raced Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, or Paris-Roubaix. He’s raced Liège-Bastogne-Liège three times, with one DNF, and 28th in 2021.
This will be his third start at Lombardy, with 14th as his best last year behind rival and winner Tadej Pogačar.
“I’m happy and satisfied with the form this week. I’m looking forward to the coming week,” Vingegaard said of Lombardy. “It’s one of the main objectives this season.”