Jonas Vingegaard is on Fire Before the Tour de France 2023

Salins-les-Bains – France – cycling – Jonas Vingegaard (DEN / Team Jumbo-Visma) pictured during 75th CritŽrium du DauphinŽ (2.UWT) stage 5 from Cormoranche-sur-Sa™ne to Salins-les-Bains (191.1km) – Photo: Szymon Gruchalski/Cor Vos © 2023

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 5 was a one-man show from Jonas Vingegaard, who followed the wheel of Richard Carapaz on the short Côte de Thesy before attacking to put huge time into all of his main rivals.

Criterium du Dauhpine stage 5 2023 profile by La Flamme Rouge

It was a long 190-kilometre day in the medium mountains. There was a chance that there would be some GC action on Côte de Thesy (3.49 km, 9.43%) which crested at 13 km to go given how steep the opening gradients were. However the following ridgeline and descent meant that usually the best GC riders would finish together as there are three mountain stages coming up and it would be hard for a lone rider to hold off a strong group after the climb.

Rein Taaramäe spent 3,307 kilojoules before Thesy for 4 hours and 3 minutes. The intensity was not high, only 12.19 kj/kg/h but it was still enough to make some gaps as 3,000 kilojoules are still something. The wind on the climb was overall neutral but there were tailwind (light blue sections) and headwind (red sections) sections on the climb.

Cote de Thesy wind map

First, it was Richard Carapaz who made a big split in the GC group with only Julian Alaphilippe and Jonas Vingegaard staying on the wheel. Carapaz one week ago won the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes, a mountain one-day race, and seems to be getting in shape for the Tour for his new team EF Education -EasyPost. EF won the bidding war for Carapaz last year will be hoping he can perform in their biggest race of the year this July.

Carapaz attacks

Carapaz was working at the front for some time while Alaphilippe lost contact and Vingegaard enjoyed the draft. But when the Dane started pushing at the front even Carapaz cracked and was later caught by a bigger GC group with Rafal Majka holding the tempo. The Ecuadorian did the first part too fast and blew up like in the 2021 Tour trying to follow Tadej Pogačar on Col de Romme. Vingegaard attacked on the headwind section but it did not matter as he was way stronger than anyone else in the GC group.

Vingegaard up the pace

Côte de Thesy might be a sub-10-minute climb but Vingegaard beat the GC group by a huge 36 seconds, doing Thesy in 9 minutes and 44 seconds with 7.32 ᵉW/Kg. It is a low-altitude climb but the Jumbo-Visma leader is definitely in shape before the Tour. The GC group could have gone faster up the climb but they saved some energy for the last 13 kilometres and did not cooperate well, like in the 2021 Tour Stage 8 where Pogačar was the dominant rider ahead of them.

Vingegaard gained time on all of his GC rivals already on the previous time-trial stage but took even more time today, winning the stage solo and now leading the General Classification by 70 seconds over the closest threat, Ben O'Connor. The GC group did not cooperate much on the descent which allowed Egan Bernal to try to attack. It might not have worked but at least the Colombian seems to be getting back into top shape once again.

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Vingegaard in 2023 has performed exceptionally well on 5-15 minute climbs across multiple races, such as the Basque Country, O Gran Camino and Dauphine. In the Paris-Nice 2023, he was not in shape and did not perform on the longer climbs but it will be interesting if he will attack in the next three stages as he has a big lead over his closest rivals.

  1. When Pogi slaps him w delayed altitude camp he will magically be doing awful watts like Paris-Nice? lol

  2. I just remember the Dauphine before Pogacar won the first time. The entire Jumbo squad was flying, right up until Roglic cracked on La Planche des Belle Filles. He wants to peak in ~six weeks, not now. Pogacar might only be 98% on the Tour’s first day, but it is the last hard day that matters. Ask Geraint Thomas if you don’t believe me.

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