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There were no surprises when Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard “won” the Singapore Criterium on Sunday.
Yellow jersey-wearing Vingegaard attacked out of a five-rider group in the final kilometer of ASO’s exhibition race to top four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome and retiring ace Vincenzo Nibali on the podium.
Enric Mas and Tour de France King of the Mountains classification runner-up Simon Geschke – complete in a polka dot jersey – came fourth and fifth out of the breakaway group.
Vingegaard claimed breakout victory over defending champion Tadej Pogačar at the Tour de France this summer. The Jumbo-Visma leader took a long break to reboot before coming back to the bike for the CRO Race and Il Lombardia.
Success in Singapore made for a statement of the Dane’s new-found celebrity.
“It’s been a great season,” Vingegaard said at the finish. “I was in yellow in July, and I’m still in yellow here, so I’m very happy about the season and also that today I can take the victory here.”
Thirty-four-time stage winner Mark Cavendish led home the chasing bunch at the close of the 65km circuit race. Retiring Spaniard Alejandro Valverde and Tour de France stars Sepp Kuss, Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle were also in attendance.
The ASO-organized exhibition event is designed to spread the sport across the globe and mark an end-of-season get-together for the pro cycling elite. The weekend of festivities saw riders pedaling through the city in trishaws, testing local street food, and donning local costume for team presentations.
Anything other than a Vingegaard victory would have made for a scandal in the weekend’s headline event Sunday.
“I didn’t expect that we would be able to go away in the breakaway because I thought that some guys wanted to keep it for a sprint,” Vingegaard said. “But luckily we were able to get away and it’s four really good riders I was out there with so it was very hard.”
Vingegaard heads into the off-season with a deal stretching through 2024 in his pocket. Jumbo-Visma is still mulling sending its 25-year-old captain to the Giro d’Italia next year – but a yellow jersey defense in July seems more likely.
“It’s always special to win in the yellow jersey,” he said Sunday.