Jonas Vingegaard: “When I was in the hospital, I thought I was going to die” | Cycling | Sports | EUROtoday

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Like an previous Franciscan, so stoic, Jonas Vingegaard, sporting strappy sandals on the cool morning of Orleans by the Loire on a relaxation day, however he retains his toes heat with thick socks printed with the humorous head of a person in a hat. It is the double persona of the winner of the final two Tours, the seriousness with which he faces severe points; the lightness, the ironic smile, with which he thinks in regards to the inconsequential, the remainder of life, which for him now’s every part, or nearly every part, after the accident he suffered on April 4 within the Itzulia. Including the Tour.

Sitting in an armchair in entrance of two dozen journalists, Vingegaard doesn’t increase his voice, nor does he give it dramatic depth, nor does he even blink, when he recounts the intense points to reply in Danish to those that ask him if it was true what they’d advised him, that when he was within the hospital in Vitoria he had considered giving up biking. “It is clear that when you are having a bad time, and I had a really bad time, you start to think about things, to ask yourself if it is really worth taking the risks that you take with the bike. I felt so bad, so bad that I thought I was going to die… And when I was like that, and truly believing that I would not get out of it, I told myself that if I survived, I would give up cycling,” explains the calm Danish bicycle owner, 27 years previous, who spent 12 days in April within the hospital in Txagorritxu, with a damaged collarbone and ribs, a extreme lung contusion and a pneumothorax. To heal his lungs and get the air out of them, he needed to spend a number of days within the ICU. “I talked about it a lot in the hospital with my wife, Trine, who later confessed to me that when she saw me on TV, lying on the ground, not moving for a long time after the fall, she also thought I was dying. She was fundamental in the process. And here I am sitting now. So neither one thing nor the other.”

The reflection of an athlete clearly inclined to introspection, the opposite facet of the coin of his nice rival, Tadej Pogacar, which provides it extra grandeur and curiosity, two very outlined fields for followers, continues when he talks in regards to the inevitable change of mentality, the leap of maturity, that adopted the accident, beginning with the truth that now, maybe for the primary time, he’s conscious of the hazard. “Until then, I didn’t even think about it, it was something foreign to me. I had always been good at avoiding falls and braking in time, so I thought it would never happen to me, but it did. So now I have started to be more careful, knowing that I can be more cautious and still stay in the race for victory,” says Vingegaard, maybe remembering that within the Galibier descent that Pogacar executed acrobatically and rapidly, he misplaced 30s of the 75s with which the Slovenian has a bonus over him within the common classification. “It has made me think more about when to take risks.”

Sunday's stage on the white roads of Troyes, Pogacar's nervousness that the Slovenian calls enjoyable, the benefit with which he, on Tratnik's bike, and his workforce, Van Aert, Laporte and Jorgenson, above all, managed the assaults of Pogacar and Evenepoel, has raised the temper of Vingegaard, the one one who is aware of easy methods to beat Pogacar within the Tour, and he has executed it twice. And so he begins to speak extra frivolously in regards to the inconsequential, in regards to the Tour, after all. “Everything I've been through allows me, first of all, to feel happy just to be alive, and to enjoy being able to go out on my bike every day, and to be able to race, and in some way, to enjoy it even more than before,” says Vingegaard. “It's not that I didn't have fun before, but now I ride more relaxed. I give less importance to the result. It's clear that I've changed in that regard. I'm already happy just to be here, to be on the Tour.”

Pogacar hears these items and is suspicious, and he additionally hears that Vingegaard has stated that he’s worse than final 12 months and Pogacar is healthier. “He is pretending so that I trust him,” says the Slovenian, who, in the beginning of the race, psychological video gamessays that the one he actually fears is Remco Evenepoel, “who flies”, and that Vingegaard solely thinks about using on his wheel.

Vingegaard has a plan, as everybody is aware of. The first and second weeks are about surviving, not falling into the ambushes that the Slovenian units for him – “if I had gone with him at the end, he would surely have attacked me and left me behind,” he says – and ready for the third week, and even the Pyrenean weekend, to strike his blow. “I didn’t come with perfect preparation, but I think that what I did, I did at a very high level. The first week exceeded all my expectations,” he says. And he warns: “And I’m starting to believe that I can definitely fight for victory in this Tour.”

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