Jonas Vingegaard is having an extended period away from racing, with his Jumbo-Visma team admitting that winning the Tour de France and the subsequent celebrations left the Dane needing time out of the spotlight.
The 25-year-old was a convincing winner against defending champion Tadej Pogačar in July, and returned to Denmark in a private jet to be greeted by enormous, raucous crowds in both Copenhagen and his hometown.
He eschewed the opportunity to race the recent Tour of Denmark and also September’s hilly World Championships in Australia, meaning that it is unknown when he will next race.
Jumbo-Visma sports director Frans Maasen last week told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that Vingegaard “has had a very tough time after the Tour” and that “we have to understand that it was difficult to win the Tour de France, what with everything that comes with it.”
Given Vingegaard’s well-publicised private, quiet demeanour, legitimate questions have been asked about how the Dane will cope with the increased attention on him, and if he will be able to handle added scrutiny from an ever-hungry fanbase and media.
Grischa Niermann, the team’s DS who oversaw Vingegaard’s win in France, played down suggestions of Vingegaard struggling, but did admit that the mental toll was significant on a rider who had only ever topped a GC in a stage race once before.
“I don’t think he has had a hard time, but of course the Tour really demanded a lot from him, and probably all of the festivities afterwards asked even more of him,” Niermann told Cycling Weekly at the Vuelta a España.
“He worked towards the Tour for months and then he won it. It came with a lot of pressure, with a lot of demands from the fans, from our sponsors, from the Danish public, from the media, and now he needed a little break.
“I don’t think there is a problem or that he had a hard time; I think it’s normal that you need a little bit of a mental and physical break.
“We help him because if we weren’t denying all the requests for him, he would still be riding around Europe, seeing all of our sponsors and doing media stuff. It’s a lot and he cannot do everything.
“So I think for him the best mental rest he can get is being with his girlfriend and daughter, being at home and having some rest.”
It has been speculated that Vingegaard might target October’s Il Lombardia, but while Niermann added that the rider is back training at his home in Denmark, he would not specify what his next races will be.
“He’s at home training and he will build up now towards what will be the end of the season,” he said.
“He’s not done, and for sure he will race before the Tour next year, and he will also race again this year.”