Before hitting the Tour de France podium Jonas Vingegaard worked in a fish-packing plant
Last year's Tour de France runner-up worked part-time to underwrite his amateur career before landing in the WorldTour with Jumbo-Visma.
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LILLE, France (VN) — Jonas Vingegaard remains humble and kind at the Tour de France for a reason.
The Jumbo-Visma superstar might be on the cusp of winning the Tour, but the 25-year-old Dane never forgets his roots.
A video from Danish television DR in 2017 portrays a then-unknown young up-and-coming Vingegaard as he is trying to break into the pro ranks.
To help make ends meet, Vingegaard worked a half-day shift in a local fish-packing plant, and used the rest of the day to train.
“I know what it’s like to work hard so that helps me in the bike,” Vingegaard told VeloNews in an interview in 2021. “I would work a half day in the plant, and then train the rest of the time. I could take time off to go to races.”
Vingegaard raced on the continental-level Coloquick-CULT team, first as a stagiaire in 2016, and then as a full member in 2017 and 2018.
Working shifts at the fish-packing plant helped him pay the bills as he chased his Tour de France dreams.
Click here to see full video.
The video captures Vingegaard cutting and packing fish with ice into containers, and then cuts to a training camp in Spain.
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Vingegaard put in shifts in a fish-packing facility in Hanstholm in Thy district in northwestern Jutland, Denmark, facing the exposed and open coast of the North Sea. The coast was a staging area for Vikings in their raids into France and England in the 9th and 10th centuries.
Vingegaard came out of the windswept flats to post a string of top-10s in the U23 ranks along with a stage win at the Tour de l’Avenir in 2018 in a team time trial helped open the door to the WorldTour.
He joined Jumbo-Visma in 2019, and won his first WorldTour win at that year’s Tour de Pologne. By 2021, he skyrocketed to the top of the Tour leaderboard, finishing second to Tadej Pogacar to emerge as Denmark’s best GC hope in a generation.
With a contract through the 2024 season with Jumbo-Visma in his pocket, he won’t have to worry about working in a fish-packing plant anymore.