Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Yet the Jumbo-Visma admits keeping the yellow jersey will be a challenge on a course that he said is even more challenging that what he faced this summer in his historic victory.
“It’s a hard route. Maybe the course of 2022 suited me better, but I also like this one,” Vingegaard told the Spanish daily AS. “I especially like stages like Col de la Loze. There are a lot of difficult finales, and as always very challenging stages. And I think we can take advantage of the longer climbers. It’s interesting.”
- Jumbo-Visma still hasn’t mapped out 2023 goals yet
- Toughest Tour in years? How Pogačar, Vingegaard made the race hard for everyone
- 2023 Tour de France route revealed
Vingegaard is coming off the Asian tour of critériums organized by the Tour de France at Singapore and Japan.
An upcoming team camp will outline the larger goals for 2023, but Vingegaard is hoping to put a title defense at the Tour at the center of his season.
“I want to continue at this level, return to the Tour and fight again to try to win it,” he told AS. “I hope to be able to defend my title, but we still have to speak about it as a team. We still haven’t decided on the 2023 calendar yet or the objectives for everyone.”
Vingegaard on 2022: ‘It was an incredible season’
The 25-year-old made history in July by becoming just the second Dane to win the Tour. With the 2022 edition starting in Copenhagen, Vingegaard returned a few weeks later as the first winner since Bjarne Riis in 1996 and was welcomed by tens of thousands of fans.
“It was very emotional to start the Tour in my country, in front of my people. It was a big motivation,” he said. “And after what I had achieved, to be able to celebrate with everyone was an immense joy. The reception was incredible.
“It was an incredible season, obviously,” Vingegaard said. “I wouldn’t say that I was dreaming of it, but after finishing second in 2021 I knew that I could take another step this year. The top objective of this season was the Tour and it was unbeatable.”
Vingegaard won two stages, the yellow and polka-dot jersey, and led a dominant Jumbo-Visma team that beat back Tadej Pogačar and the other top rivals.
The yellow jersey turn capped a steady rise to the top of the world peloton by Jumbo-Visma, which finally managed to beat UAE Team Emirates and Ineos Grenadiers to win its first Tour in franchise history.
“The team was at a spectacular level and thanks to them everything went perfectly,” Vingegaard said. ” Jumbo is and will be very strong, and not only in the Tour, but in every race we went to, we were always racing for the win. It was a great season for us.”
Vingegaard, who retreated to his home following the hysteria of the Tour victory, is enjoying a bit of down time before reloading for 2023.
The Dane knows it won’t be easy to win another yellow jersey, but he’s ready for the challenge.
“I have a lot of rivals. I would say Pogačar is the top rival, based on what we saw at the Tour, but Remco [Evenepoel] already revealed in the second half of the season of what he is capable of,” he said. “Ineos is a very strong bloc overall, and Enric Mas also ended the season well. There are a lot of rivals.”