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Will Jonas Vingegaard Join the List of Tour de France All-Time Greats?

Before the start of the 2023 Tour de France, Jonas Vingegaard was available at odds of around 6/5 – an implied probability of 45.5% - to retain his yellow jersey.

Those predictions look foolishly pessimistic now as the Dane dominates proceedings, winning the time trial and wearing the yellow jersey since Stage 6 on account of another supremely consistent campaign on the road.

Jack of All Trades

What’s interesting about Vingegaard is that he doesn’t particularly specialise in one discipline or another.

He only won two individual stages on his way to victory in the 2022 Tour de France – both in the mountains, while in 2023 his only stage win of the opening 16 came in the time trial.

But it’s his versatility and uber-consistency that propel him to the summit of the cycling betting markets for all of the Grand Tours, while in the Tour de France odds 2023 he shortened to just 1/14 after dominating the first three-quarters or so of the action – the next closest in the market was available at some 8/1 with five stages left to run.

Odds of 1/14 are reflected in an implied probability of a whopping 93.3% - Vingegaard is, therefore, almost a certainty to complete a second Tour de France victory.

That would leave just eight men ahead of him in the all-time Tour de France rankings – given that the Dane is just 26 years of age, there should be ample opportunity for him to join the list of the very best in the history of road cycling.

Fantastic Five

Only four men have won five editions of the Tour de France: Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

Anquetil, who won eight Grand Tours in all, was 30 when he won the last of his titles in France, while Merckx – considered by some to be the greatest competitive cyclists in history who should have won a sixth championship – was 29 when he claimed his final slice of glory in the Tour de France.

Hinault and Indurain were both 31 at the time of their last Tour de France title, so the takeaway is that Vingegaard has a chance to join their ranks given his relatively fledgling years – although there isn’t a great deal of margin for error in the years ahead.

He will benefit, perhaps, from a relative dearth of talent at the top end of competitive road cycling – he’s certainly streets ahead of most of the rest, while his team at Jumbo-Visma has grown to become one of the most reliable and successful in the sport.

Vingegaard will need to avoid the injuries and in-fighting that dogged some of Hinault’s career – he could have perhaps won more than five titles had he not succumbed to chronic knee problems, while arguments with his Renault colleagues, with whom he won four Tour de France renewals, forced him to leave the team and join La Vie Claire.

Indurain won his five titles in consecutive years – something that Vingegaard would love to emulate, with bad fortune perhaps preventing a sixth; the Spaniard contracted bronchitis during the 1996 edition, which is an ailment that rather precludes a cyclist from prevailing in the arguably the toughest road race in the sport.

So all eyes will be on Vingegaard in the years to come. There’s no doubt he has the all-round talent to join the Tour de France’s most legendary figures.