Jonas Vingegaard Dominant Performance at Altitude | Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7 2023

Col de la Croix de Fer – France – cycling – Vingegaard Jonas (DEN) of Jumbo-Visma celebrating his victory pictured during 75th CritŽrium du DauphinŽ (2.UWT) stage 7 from Porte-de-Savoie to Col de la Croix de Fer (147.9km) – Photo: Vincent Kalut/PN/Cor Vos © 2023

Jonas Vingegaard is unstoppable and continues to dominate at the Critérium du Dauphiné in advance of the Tour de France. Today on Stage 7, the Dane dropped Adam Yates and his rivals early at the base of the steep section of Col de la Croix de Fer, which topped out at over 2000 metres above sea level, further adding to his general classification lead.

Criterium du Dauphine Stage 7 2023 profile by La Flamme Rouge

It was a gruelling day in the saddle with Col de la Madelaine and Col du Mollard as early appetizers before the Col de la Croix de Fer (13.1 km, 6.1%), which features a steep second part with 6.80 km at 8.01% average gradient. The stage before that section was very hard, with Egan Bernal spending 3,334 kilojoules for 3:57h which is 14.52 kj/kg/h. Only a handful of GC riders even survived in the leading group before Jonas Vingegaard launched his attack.

Everyone knew Vingegaard would attack again as this year he has tried to win as much as possible whenever the parcours suits him. After Dylan van Baarle and Tiesj Benoot finished ripping the GC group, the Hungarian champion Attila Valter was the last man to set up Vingegaard’s attack, like he did in O Gran Camino earlier in the year. Valter for a short time was event out front alone, as Majka let his wheel go when he surged, forcing Vingegaard to close his teammate’s wheel.

Attila Valter setting up Jonas Vingegaard

Valter had enough power to do a short and hard pull to destroy the group and when Vingegaard accelerated everyone’s legs were already empty even Adam Yates did not try to follow the Tour de France Champion.

There was a gap immediately of around 10 seconds but Adam Yates was then able to hold his own tempo, doing a good altitude performance after a hard stage. Unfortunately for him he was racing against one of the greatest climbers/GC riders of all time. Yates might be a co-leader for UAE-Emirates in the Tour as there are question marks around Tadej Pogačar and if he will be 100% at the Grand Depart in the Basque Country. Yates has never podiumed a Grand Tour and has performed better in one-week stage races but if everything goes right he has a shot of podiuming this Tour and being a team leader if Pogačar is not at his best after a wrist injury.

Jonas Vingegaard vs Adam Yates

Vingegaard won by 41 seconds over Yates and increased his lead in the GC to more than 2 minutes. Jai Hindley finished third and attacked from the bunch, while 20-year-old Max Poole finished 5th on this hard day and with his contract expiring after the 2024 season, the INEOS Grenadiers should poach him as he is one of the most talented young GC riders in the world.

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The average altitude of the Col de la Croix de Fer climb was 1,786 metres which made it much harder for riders to push their best watts compared to lower altitude climbs. Jonas Vingegaard did 6.69 ᵉW/Kg for 17:59 min on the steep part but if the performance is adjusted for altitude then this is the best pure ᵉW/Kg climbing performance of his career, beating even Alto de Arrate – Izua and La Asturiana performances in the Tour of the Basque Country, which practically began at sea level.

When adjusting Vingegaard's performance to sea level, his effort today would be equal to 7.18 ᵉW/Kg, which is 0.49 ᵉW/Kg more than he actually did. Whilst the Dane is probably not at his absolute peak shape yet, the first stages of the Tour are very hilly and so he seems on course for being at the top of his top game already in the Basque Country Grand Depart.

  1. How good was Bernal’s performance compared to his best years? Does it look like he is getting back to his best form or not yet? Any chance his form at the tour is competitive enough for top 5? Thanks!

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