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Jonas Vingegaard and his ride toward testing Tadej Pogačar at Tour de France

Danish sensation faces-off against Pogačar at Tirreno-Adriatico ahead of top role at Tour: 'If you want to be the best you have to beat the best.'

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LIDO DI CAMAIORE, Italy (VN) – Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) didn’t have the Tirreno-Adriatico TT he may have hoped for Monday, but that’s fine – the Danish sensation’s biggest goals are down the road.

A marquee role racing alongside Primož Roglič in the quest to conquer Tadej Pogačar at the Tour de France looms in the long view.

So far this spring, Pogačar sure has got the bragging rights.

A stunning Strade Bianche victory came just days before the Slovenian blazed into third at the Tirreno lung-burner TT on Monday, bettering Vingegaard by a full 35 seconds. But the young Dane isn’t stressing about the strength of the UAE-Emirates ace just yet.

“Of course, if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Pogačar’s a great rider and I just have to do my best every time to see if I can beat him. If not, then that’s how it is,” Vingegaard told VeloNews at the finishline Monday. “He looks super strong at the moment. But yeah, that’s how it is.”

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Vingegaard blasted from the edge of the world’s view last year to score a standout second at the Tour after Roglič was rumbled by injury.

This year, the two race side-by-side in a speedy escalation of the 25-year-old Dane’s stock in the Dutch crew’s exchange. Leading Jumbo-Visma at Tirreno this week makes for an early practice ahead of Vingegaard’s starring role in summer.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to lead the team, but there’s nothing different for me in terms of pressure,” Vingegaard said. “I think it’s pretty much the same – not much is different. I’m still the same Jonas as last year. Obviously, there’s maybe high expectations but that’s how it is.”

That’s one cool cat.

Maybe he learned it from grand tour great and comeback king Roglič, who is active in mentoring the squad’s Gen-Z stars.

“Primož is a great champion, and he wants to teach the young guys new things, so yeah, that’s very nice,” Vingegaard said.

“He’s a really good friend of mine. I think we work really well together. So I’m really looking forward to racing with him at the Tour. It’s gonna be nice”

Vingegaard’s early losses to Pogačar and second Tirreno top-favorite Evenepoel will be tough to claw back this week in a race shorn of summit finishes. But if nothing else, it will give Vingegaard the opportunity to do some valuable monitoring of the ever-Mercxian foe that he and Roglič will face later this summer.