The Dane, who will win the Tour de France on Sunday in Paris, spoke of his triumph and the overwhelming collective strength of his team.
A few minutes after the end of the 20th stage and the time trial between Castelnau-Magnoac and Rocamadour where he took second place, the Dane appeared at length in front of the media to discuss the last three weeks, his victory promised on Sunday, the areas in which he has progressed but also his relationship with Tadej Pogacar and doping. Selected pieces.
Domination and suspicion of doping
“We are clean, everyone in the team is, I can guarantee you that. Nobody takes anything illegal. Why are we so strong? Thanks to our preparation. We do courses at altitude going very far and do the best in the field of equipment, food and training. Our team is the best at all these levels. You have to trust us.”
The surprise of his victory
“Yes and no, I knew since last year that I had the level to win. Still had to be done. It is another pair of sleeves to succeed in concretizing. I always believed in my chances.
The superiority of his team in the Tour de France
“We came with the objective of the green jersey and the yellow jersey and we wanted to win stages. Six victories, yellow, green, but also the polka dot jersey, it’s necessarily special. We couldn’t have asked for better.”
Its popularity in Denmark
“It’s true that it was an additional motivation to have all these people behind me and not only in Copenhagen, but over three days in Denmark. It was three incredible weeks but I will never forget this great departure in my country. The walkabout in my country and going up to the balcony of the town hall on Wednesday is going to be incredible. The whole week is going to be crazy.”
Tadej (Pogacar) and I have a good relationship, he’s one of the best runners in the world
His healthy competition with Tadej Pogacar
“Tadej and I have a good relationship. Even if we don’t see each other in private, we respect each other. He’s a great guy, nice, and one of the best runners in the world. He will still want to win but so will I. I am of course proud of what I have achieved but I want to win more even if I have not set myself a quantified objective like five victories in the Tour de France.
The areas where he progressed
“There have been advancements in aerodynamics. I push more watts and I’m better positioned on my machine. We did a lot of wind tunnel testing and it paid off. In terms of confidence, too, I believe more in myself. I matured and grew. I was pushed into complicated situations that I didn’t like and at the time and I tended to avoid them. I have a little more hair on my chest!”
His future competition with Van Aert within the team
“I don’t know… It’s also good to have two leaders. If Wout wants to become a climber, of course I can share the leadership with him.”
I almost had a heart attack when I lost control of the bike
His last big scare in the time trial
“Yes, I almost had a heart attack when I lost control of the bike. I feel like I didn’t take too many risks but I made a mistake in the turn. There were a few bumps on the asphalt. I recovered by straightening the bar.
Fear on the cobblestones of the North
“The day on the cobbles was not easy for me, I had a chain problem and I panicked. I changed my bike and I got stressed. That’s the only time it didn’t go perfectly, according to plan. Everything else went very well.”