PARIS: In a sport with a heavy doping history, every Tour de France winner is under scrutiny and Jonas Vingegaard was no exception after Saturday’s final time trial.
The 25-year-old Dane won two mountain stages in dominant fashion, heavily supported by his powerful Jumbo Visma team, to dethrone two-time champion Tadej Pogacar.
The Dutch team crushed the competition, completing six stages including three for Wout van Aert, the standout rider in the peloton over three weeks.
When asked about his team’s performance and if it was clean, Belgium’s Van Aert snapped.
“It’s such a crappy question, it comes up every year,” he told reporters.
When asked for more details, Van Aert said: “Because we perform at this level we have to defend ourselves, I don’t understand.
“We work really hard for that. Cycling has changed. I don’t like that we have to answer this over and over again. We have to pass controls all year round, not only at the Tour de France, but also at our houses.
“We’re training for it right now. If you just look at our team, how we’ve developed over these years, it doesn’t come out of nowhere.”
When asked if he could be trusted, Vingegaard said: “We’re absolutely clean, every one of us. I can tell each of you that.
“None of us take anything illegal. I think what makes us so good is the preparation we do. We’re taking high altitude camps to the next step. We do everything with material, food and training. The team is the best inside that. That’s why you have to trust.”
There hasn’t been a positive doping test at the Tour de France since Italian Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine in 2015.
Before him, the previous case was that of Frank Schleck, who tested positive for a banned diuretic in 2012.
However, the 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions were carried under a dark cloud of accusations and affairs.
Vingegaard’s compatriot Michael Rasmussen was kicked out of the 2007 Tour while wearing the yellow jersey after his contract was terminated by his team Rabobank for lying about his whereabouts in training.
Rabobank retired from cycling in 2012, but the team remained under various sponsors until Jumbo-Visma took over in 2019.
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