Like Pogacar in Jaén, Jonas Vingegaard, in O Gran Camiño, also wins his first race | Sports

The epic of the cold and the snow gave way to the epic of the landscape, the Miño that dies in the Atlantic at its feet, and there, in front of it, Portugal, and above all, under the shining and cold sun, a champion. Bouncing on the stones, a huge pavés, gigantic slabs on a narrow and steep path, flanked by 14 stone crosses, a complete Stations of the Cross dedicated to Santa Trega (Santa Tecla) that some walk on their knees, Jonas Vingegaard arrives tremendously, pedaling, the winner of the Tour, a Danish giant, who does not suffer, enjoys. He has attacked when the ascent to the mountain that marks the southwestern tip of Galicia is still done on asphalt, before the 231-meter detour that gives character and personality at the end of the second stage of O Gran Camiño. There were exactly 2.4 kilometers to go before the finish line when the 26-year-old Dane finished the work of his entire team, of the last two tremendous workers, Rohan Dennis, the Australian expert, and Joannes Staune Mittet, a Danish boy, of the continental team making his debut with the seniors, which is multiplied by his idol.

It is not the exuberant and exaggerated demonstration of Tadej Pogacar, the defeated of the Tour, the favorite of the fans for his style, last week in Andalusia, it is rather the demonstration of the calculated, analytical and, finally, bold cycling of the Dane and of his team, the highly structured Jumbo.

In Galicia, in the race of wonders, some magic and stones, Vingegaard gets his first victory in Spain –“Ah”, he says, “is it my first victory in Spain? I had not fallen”– and he announces to everyone, and to Pogacar, that he is also prepared to hit it hard in 2023, and that he is also capable of winning, like the Slovenian among the olive trees of Jaén, who is capable of winning the first stage that ends , next to the Miño, the Atlantic, the devotion to a saint, the beaches of Baiona and Galician castros, that all of this was piled up in the Camiño de Pontevedra of O Gran Camiño. And the fans enjoy. There will be a duel between two cyclists equally strong and so different in personality. “But I also like to run and I also like to win,” says the calm Dane. “My form is great, and I knew it before, but I was surprised that no one followed me when I attacked… I’m super happy and proud.”

Ezequiel Mosquera, the organizer of O Gran Camiño, greets Vingegaard, in yellow on the podium.
Ezequiel Mosquera, the organizer of O Gran Camiño, greets Vingegaard, in yellow on the podium.Iraia Calvo

O Gran Camiño opens up for Vingegaard, also a favorite to win the two remaining stages. On Saturday, O Camiño de Ourense, ending in the scorched Valdeorras this summer in the fire that devastated large native forests on the border with El Bierzo, in Rubiá, the top of its Castelo, the natural firebreak that saved the park from the flames Natural Enciña da Lastra (and before, two steps through Santa Mariña do Monte, a very tough pass, short, five kilometers, and 20% ramps). “I don’t know how I’ll deal with it. Let’s see how I feel”, says Vingegaard, who is wearing a yellow leader’s jersey again seven months after wearing it on the Champs-Élysées. “It’s very cool to wear yellow.” And on Sunday, the 18-kilometre time trial that takes cyclists to Plaza del Obradoiro de Santiago along the Fisterra-Muxía road, and sections along Roman roads. Second in the stage, already 28s overall, is the Portuguese Ruben Guerreiro, and third, 31s away, is Ion Izagirre.

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