They jumped, they cheered and they sang with all their hearts – the joy of the German cycling team Bora-hansgrohe at the finish of the last stage of the Tour de France was immense: Belgian Jordi Meeus sensationally won the prestigious stage with a millimeter decision with the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées in front of his compatriot Jasper Philipsen, who won the green jersey for the best point.
“Incomprehensible! Jordi winning here gives me goosebumps,” said his teammate Nils Politt. “I’m really happy for him. That he knocks one out here – chapeau! Butt cheeks together and horny.” Team manager Ralph Denk had already found words on the ARD microphone beforehand: “We didn’t expect to win at all. We’ve already had criticism. And now Jordi wins as an unknown sprinter. Hugely emotional for us.” The Belgian himself felt “damn happy”.
For Jonas Vingegaard, this last stage was a triumph from the start: The 26-year-old reached the finish of the final stage on Sunday in Paris with the peloton and is now the first Dane to win the Tour of France for the second time. After around 3,400 kilometers and 21 stages, he was several minutes ahead of Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. Last year Vingegaard celebrated his first tour victory.
“Of course I’m very happy to have won the Tour de France for the second time. It was my big goal this year,” said Vingegaard. He had gained the decisive lead in the individual time trial on Tuesday and one day later on the queen’s stage to Courchevel. Until then, it had been a duel with Pogacar for seconds.
“This year it was an incredible fight between me and Tadej. It was really hard to crack,” said Vingegaard. His rival saw Vingegaard’s Tour victory above all as his own weakness on the Courchevel stage, when he lost almost six minutes. “I cracked myself. Nobody else. That was me,” said Pogacar about his “worst performance of all”. In addition, the Slovenian was impaired by a fractured scaphoid in the spring and was unable to prepare properly for the tour.
Vingegaard received a call from Danish Crown Prince Frederik on Saturday evening after the penultimate stage. The professional cyclist will be received in Copenhagen on Wednesday. The convertible is to go from Kastrup Airport to the Danish capital’s town hall. There Vingegaard will show himself on the balcony. As in the previous year, tens of thousands are expected on the town hall square.
A day later we continue to Vingegaard’s hometown of Glyngøre on the Danish mainland. 20,000 people received him there last year. Preparations for this year’s festival have been going on for months.