“I hear from good sources that Jonas Vingegaard is more than ready” – Former Visma rider Laurens De Plus shares his knowledge about defending Tour de France champion

Rarely in recent years has there been so much talk about just the presence at the starting line of the Tour de France, as in 2024 and the return of Jonas Vingegaard.

Even a punctured lung, broken bones and a stay in intensive care after a disastrous crash in the Basque country of Itzulia earlier this year could not help the Danish leader of Team Visma | Lease a Bike in defense of his Tour de France crown. However, whether the two-time Maillot Jaune winner will be able to challenge the likes of his old rival Tadej Pogacar and former teammate Primoz Roglic is a big question. We don’t have long to find the answer.

Laurens De Plus will be present during the 2024 Tour de France, riding in the colors of the INEOS Grenadiers. However, as a former rider for Jumbo-Visma (now Team Visma | Lease a Bike ed.), the Belgian may have picked up some insider information about probably the biggest talking point in cycling at the moment: the health and fitness of Jonas Vingegaard.

“I hear from good sources that Vingegaard is more than ready for it,” says De Plus in conversation with Het Laatste Nieuws prior to the 2024 Tour de France. Despite this news, De Plus still does not feel like Vingegaard will take the lead. Maillot Jaune takes over. “UAE Team Emirates excels, both in terms of team and leader. Tadej Pogacar is the absolute top favorite. He wants to write history and has already won everything this year.”

However, De Plus sees one potential sticking point for Pogacar. “The heat can be fatal for him. It is common knowledge that he does not like racing in extreme heat. You can work on that, but it is mainly innate or not,” the Belgian concludes. “But racing in the heat suits me. Since the focus of this Tour – the final week – is in the south of France, a warm edition is also predicted.”

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