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Jonas Vingegaard returns to racing for first time since winning Tour de France

The Dane joins his Jumbo-Visma teammates at the six-day stage CRO Race to prepare for a final hit out at Il Lombardia.

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Jonas Vingegaard races for the first time since winning the Tour de France in this week’s CRO Race in Croatia.

The Dane kept a low profile after making history as Denmark’s second Tour winner, and lines up Tuesday with his Jumbo-Visma teammates for the opening stage at the six-day race in Croatia.

“I needed a break after the Tour, but now I’m building up again. I spent some time at home to relax,” Vingegaard said during a press call Monday. “The last three weeks I’ve been in Spain to prepare for these races. It’s my first race since the Tour. Hopefully I’ll be in good shape and that we can do a good race as a team. We have a strong team.”

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Vingegaard, 25, hasn’t spun the pedals in action since crossing the line on the Champs-Élysées in July.

Vingegaard said he visited Croatia as a kid on vacations with his family, and returns with his every move now in the spotlight.

“There are now more people who recognize me a bit more on the road. It’s not like something changed, I am still the same Jonas,” he said. “We still have the same life at home as before. Not a lot has changed for me personally.”

After winning the Tour, tens of thousands a fans poured into Copenhagen to give him a hero’s welcome.

“That was overwhelming, not only in the big square, but even at the airport,” Vingegaard said. “It was a nice celebration, and I really enjoyed it.

“I’m happy to be here. It is a good preparation for Lombardy,” Vingegaard said. “We wanted to do things a little differently with the team this year and we looked at this race, and it’s good preparation for Lombardia. It’s also a nice race, and that’s why we’re here.”

Vingegaard will use the stage race to hone his form ahead of a final hit out at Il Lombardia.

“I would have liked a real uphill finish, but I will try to do my best. I also enjoy racing, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I hope my form is already good enough, but we will see that in the race this week. We want to do our best. Hopefully I am shape to fight for some thing.”