How Jonas Vingegaard won Tour de France: ‘We can’t hide you behind Primoz anymore’


Like any Tour de France champion, Jonas Vingegaard‘s path to victory began well before the three-week, 2,000-mile route that, this year, spanned four different countries.

Vingegaard celebrated his first Tour title on Sunday, riding into Paris to claim a trophy he wrapped up days earlier with dominance through the mountains and help from cycling’s dominant team (which also won its much more long-awaited first Tour title).

He began Sunday’s 21st and final, non-combative stage with a lead of 3 minutes, 34 seconds over Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, whose two-year reign as champion ends. Brit Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour winner, takes third. It is the first time since 1989 that all three men standing on the podium know what it’s like to win a Tour.

Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen won the last stage. Vingegaard, Pogacar and Thomas finished with the peloton in the same time.

“Now nothing can go wrong anymore,” Vingegaard, who refused to acknowledge his assured victory until after the last stage, said while holding 2-year-old daughter Frida in Paris. “Nobody can take this away from me.”

In the first Tour to start in Denmark, a 25-year-old from North Jutland became the second Dane to finish it on the top step on the Champs-Élysées backdropped by the Arc de Triomphe. (The other, Bjarne Riis in 1996, after retiring a decade later, admitted to doping throughout the 1990s and during that Tour.)

Vingegaard is familiar with that picturesque setting in Paris. Last year, he stood on the runner-up step of that podium, a distant five minutes, 20 seconds behind Pogacar, who then at 22 years old looked like he had no peers. Certainly not Vingegaard, who was not supposed to be on the podium.

TOUR DE FRANCE: Final Standings 

Many will start his narrative a handful of years ago. They will share the footage of Vingegaard working in a fish-packing facility to fund his cycling. That story, too rich to ignore, came before he signed with the Jumbo-Visma pro team in 2019.

But if you ask the man himself, he will say that he began believing a day like this was possible during his Tour debut last year. Jumbo-Visma star Primoz Roglic, who squandered the 2020 Tour title in the final time trial, crashed badly in the third stage and withdrew before the ninth in 2021.

Vingegaard, whose only Grand Tour experience was a 46th-place finish in the previous year’s Vuelta a España, ascended to team leader. He was in fifth place at the time.

“We can’t hide you behind Primoz anymore,” he was told.

Three days later, Vingegaard had the day of his young career, dropping Pogacar on Mont Ventoux, the bald “Beast of Provence” that is one of the Tour’s iconic climbs. Pogacar caught back up with help, and his grip on the Tour at the time wasn’t threatened, but it was a sign of what Vingegaard was capable of.

This year, the Dane returned for his second Tour as a co-leader with Roglic. Again, Roglic crashed early and abandoned before stage 15. This time, Vingegaard had already gapped Pogacar in the Alps and was about to pad his lead in the Pyrenees.

Jumbo-Visma, which took over from Ineos Grenadiers as the world’s top team two years ago, was down not only Roglic but also Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, who was third in the 2019 Tour.

The depth of the outfit shone. Vingegaard was paced on climbs by Wout van Aert, the top sprinter this year, and American Sepp Kuss. In post-stage interviews, he first dedicated his riding to his girlfriend and daughter — “my two girls” — then thanked the team.

The Dutch team formerly sponsored by Rabobank earned its first Tour top-five in 1998 with Dutchman Michael Boogerd (who later admitted to being one of the many 1990s riders who doped). It then cycled through Grand Tour general classification contenders, from Russian Denis Menchov (who won the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta and had a Tour runner-up stripped due to biological passport violations) to Dane Michael Rasmussen (and his infamous removal while leading the 2007 Tour) to Dutchmen like Robert Gesink and Kruijswijk.

Then came Roglic, the former junior champion ski jumper who was the face of the team as it overtook Ineos. Vingegaard was in the background until last July. This July, he stands alone in the Paris gloaming, no longer a hidden man.

“[Starting] Friday, I’ll be on the couch for one week,” said Vingegaard, who first travels to Denmark for festivities. “I want to celebrate, relax, but then I also want more.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Canada wins men’s hockey world title; Latvia wins first medal

IIHF Hockey World Championship

TAMPERE, Finland — Samuel Blais scored two goals to rally Canada to a 5-2 victory over Germany in the final of the world men’s hockey championship on Sunday.

It’s a record 28th world title for Canada, and its second in three years. Russia has 27 while Germany has never won the trophy.

Blais netted with a backhand 4:51 into the final period for a 3-2 lead for Canada, which was playing in its fourth straight final.

“It feels really good,” Blais said. “We’ve been in Europe for a month and we’ve all waited for that moment to play for the gold medal game. And we’re lucky enough to have won it.”

Lawson Crouse, Tyler Toffoli and Scott Laughton also scored for Canada, Peyton Krebs had two assists and goaltender Samuel Montembeault stopped 21 shots.

Toffoli stretched the lead to 4-2 from the left circle with 8:09 remaining and Laughton made it 5-2 with an empty net goal.

Adam Fantilli became only the second Canadian player after Jonathan Toews to win gold at the world juniors and world championship the same year.

Canada had to come back twice in the final.

John Peterka wristed a shot past Montembeault from the left circle 7:44 into the game. It was the sixth goal for the Buffalo Sabres forward at the tournament.

Blais was fed by Krebs to beat goaltender Mathias Niederberger and tie it 1-1 at 10:47.

Daniel Fischbuch put the Germans ahead again with a one-timer with 6:13 to go in the middle period.

Crouse equalized on a power play with 2:32 remaining in the frame.

It was the first medal for Germany since 1953 when it was second behind Sweden.

The two previously met just once in the final with Canada winning 6-1 in 1930.


Defenseman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to a 4-3 victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal earlier Sunday.

It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.

The U.S. lost in the bronze medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it was defeated by Germany in the semifinal 4-3 in overtime.

Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at 3 to force overtime.

Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.

Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.

Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 French Open women’s singles draw, scores

1 Comment

At the French Open, Iga Swiatek of Poland eyes a third title at Roland Garros and a fourth Grand Slam singles crown overall.

Main draw play began Sunday, live on Peacock.

Swiatek, the No. 1 seed from Poland, can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

Turning 22 during the tournament, she can become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Men’s Draw

But Swiatek is not as dominant as in 2022, when she went 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her most recent match with a right thigh injury last week and said it wasn’t serious. Before that, she lost the final of another clay-court tournament to Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed, and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, the No. 4 seed and Wimbledon champion, are the top challengers in Paris.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula and No. 6 Coco Gauff, runner-up to Swiatek last year, are the best hopes to become the first American to win a Grand Slam singles title since Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought is the longest for U.S. women since Seles won the 1996 Australian Open.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2023 French Open Women’s Singles Draw

French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw French Open Women's Singles Draw