Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard greeted by tens of thousands of fans in Denmark

Danish rider, who won thrilling battle with Tadej Pogacar, left stunned by reception in Copenhagen

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Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Copenhagen to welcome back Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard.

The Jumbo-Visma rider came out on top in a thrilling battle for the title with two-time winner Tadej Pogacar and became the first Dane to win the Tour de France since Bjarne Riis in 1996.

Vingegaard's win will rank highly in the list of Denmark's best sporting moments, alongside the shock victory at football's Euro 1992.

In red and white livery, two Danish Air Force fighter jets escorted Vingegaard's private plane on its journey to Copenhagen.

“I'm almost completely speechless. I don't know what to say,” Vingegaard said, before stepping on to a balcony where he was greeted by a throng of flag-waving Danes on Copenhagen's town hall square.

“It's fantastic and mega moving … It still hasn't sunk in that I won the Tour de France. It's something I couldn't have imagined. It's unbelievable.”

Vingegaard thanked his first bicycle club Thy Cykle Ring, and sent his gratitude to volunteers in cycling sport clubs across the country, without whom he said he wouldn't have won the Tour de France.

His home town of Glyngore in northern Denmark will host Vingegaard for further celebrations on Thursday.

Denmark hosted the first three stages of the Tour de France, with the first stage a 13km time-trial through the Danish capital, known as the world's most bike-friendly city.

The 25-year-old, who five years ago was working as a fish packer in a factory in the morning before training in the afternoon, followed up on his surprise second place last year.

Vingegaard laid the foundations of his victory on Stage 11 of the Tour, when he and his teammate Primoz Roglic attacked UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar relentlessly and made the Slovenian crack on the gruelling climb up the Col du Granon.

The Dane, who joined the Jumbo-Visma team in 2019, sealed the victory when he claimed another win at Hautacam in the final mountain stage.

Updated: July 27, 2022, 2:55 PM
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