Tadej Pogacar claimed a third stage win but failed to take significant time out of the Tour de France leader on Wednesday.
With just one big mountain stage left and an individual time trial before the race reaches Paris on Sunday, Jonas Vingegaard looks set for his first Tour de France win.
“It’s clear that in the finale, I was without a teammate and that wasn’t ideal, but all I had to do was follow Tadej. I wasn’t worried at any point,” Vingegaard said.
“Of course, it takes energy, but you have to be ready because you never know when Tadej will attack. He often attacks when you don’t expect it. That was the case today and it will be again tomorrow.”
“If you have a problem, it’s not nice, but other than that, I only had to follow Tadej,” Vingegaard said. “I didn’t need to follow Brandon McNulty if he attacked. Sepp Kuss was also super strong, he was one of the five best today. It was just that Brandon McNulty was one of the three best today. But I have confidence in my team. Sepp was still there when there were only five of us in front.”
“I have to say I was surprised when Bjerg started riding,” Vingegaard said. “He was riding a good pace and I was thinking – well, I don’t know how to say it. He really was impressive today. He did a great job. He was there when there were only twenty guys left.”
“I opened it up, but I think – well, I don’t think, I know – that I’m less explosive than Tadej. That’s why I tried to do a longer sprint, I think it suits me better,” said Vingegaard about the final sprint for the stage win.
“In the end it was a hard day today. I think Tadej came with good attacks, but I was able to follow. He won the stage, but a finish like this doesn’t suit me so well, it was a bit like La Planche des Belles Filles. I think a day like tomorrow, on Hautacam, will suit me better.”