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Vingegaard is from a different planet


On the queen climb of this Tirreno-Adriatico, Monte Petrano, victory went to the strongest climber. Even Tadej Pogačar, his biggest rival, said it no more than two days ago: “On the climb, Jonas Vingegaard is the strongest of all“.

Admittedly, it is quite strange, since he comes from Denmark, whose highest ‘mountain’, Møllehøj, is a hill 170 metres above sea level. But Jonas is an extraordinary athlete, one of those to whom mother nature has bestowed a talent that only a select few are ever given. Chances are he does not even train any more than his colleagues, but he succeeds at everything with such ease that he seems to have come from another galaxy, or at least from another planet. When the road ramps up, his opponents are forced to settle for second place at best. “Jonas has a different gear,” said Juan Ayuso, who, after winning the opening time trial in Lido di Camaiore, had raised hopes for a tighter match which eventually did not occur.

Today the captain of Team Visma-Lease a Bike attacked from a trio comprising the top three on the GC. Bora-hansgrohe approached Monte Petrano (10.1km at 8%) with determination, tearing the peloton to shreds and paving the way for captain Jai Hindley. And the Australian went for it, but Vingegaard responded, and after a few hundred metres, the Dane was off solo. In fact, once Hindley was forced to slow down, Vingegaard launched his attack with 6 km to go and moved clear just as he did yesterday on Stage 5.

And just like yesterday, it only took one attack to make the difference and wave everyone goodbye. Ayuso tried to respond this time but had to admit defeat and settle into his own pace once eaten away by lactic acid. Both the Spaniard and Hindley were quickly forced to change their target, letting go of their stage victory ambitions and concentrating on fighting for second place, both in stage finish and GC.

“I like winning,” said Vingegaard after crossing the line in dominant fashion. And in this 2024, he has made clearer than ever: three stage wins and the general classification at O Gran Camiño, two stage victories and, barring unforeseen events, the general classification at Tirreno-Adriatico. Together with countryman Mads Pedersen, he is the most successful rider of the year so far. Tomorrow he will (probably) leave the stage to the sprinters before taking the Trident home, adding another victory to his remarkable account.

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