Vingegaard and Van Aert to line up for Visma-Lease a Bike at 2024 Tour de France

Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert are set to compete in the Tour de France, starting in Florence on 29th June, as announced by their team, Visma-Lease a Bike, on Thursday morning. Both riders have recovered from recent injuries and will join their teammates for the grand tour.

Vingegaard, the defending champion, suffered multiple broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a broken collarbone in a crash during the Itzulia Basque Country in April. The Dane has been in recovery for the past two months and has not participated in any races since the incident. “I am excited to start the Tour,” Vingegaard said. “The last few months have not always been easy, but I thank my family and the team for their unwavering support. We have worked together to get to this moment, and of course, I am very excited to see where I stand. I feel good and very motivated.”

Van Aert also faced injury setbacks after a crash in Dwars door Vlaanderen in March, resulting in multiple fractures. Initially, his season focus was the Giro d’Italia and the Olympics, but plans changed following his injuries. The Belgian rider has returned to racing at the Tour of Norway last month. “I am really looking forward to the Tour,” Van Aert commented. “Of course, this was not the plan initially, but after my development in the last weeks, I really wanted it, and the team agreed. Our main goal is, of course, to ride a top classification with Jonas. I want to contribute to that with an excellent team.”

Merijn Zeeman, the team’s sporting director, acknowledged the challenging road to recovery for both riders. “I am very proud of Jonas and the coaching team,” Zeeman said. “He is coming back from a serious injury. In the last few weeks, he has shown what a champion he is, both mentally and physically. Of course, we don’t know how far he can go yet. We are being cautious because he has not been able to race, and his preparation has been less than ideal, to say the least. But he will be there, healthy and motivated.”

Zeeman also praised Van Aert’s resilience, saying, “Just like Jonas, Wout has had to deal with a considerable physical and mental blow. But once again, Wout has shown himself to be a rock-solid champion. His class as an athlete and leadership qualities add value to our team. We are happy to have Jonas and Wout at the start, together with an excellent team.”

Joining Vingegaard and Van Aert in Florence will be Matteo Jorgenson, Sepp Kuss, Christophe Laporte, Tiesj Benoot, Wilco Kelderman, and Jan Tratnik. Jorgenson has shown strong form this season with a win at Paris-Nice and a second place in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Kuss, the recent Vuelta a España winner, is expected to play a key role in the mountains. Laporte, after an injury-plagued spring, has returned to form and will be a crucial part of the team. Benoot and Kelderman, both returning from injuries, are anticipated to provide significant support, especially in the mountain stages. Tratnik, with his experience and recent performances, rounds out the squad.

The team will ride in a special blue “Renaissance” jersey for the Tour, avoiding a clash with the yellow leader’s jersey, and will use blue Cervélo bikes.

All photo credits: Bram Berkien

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