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Two-time defending champion Vingegaard to ride in Tour de France

Jonas Vingegaard joined Team Visma-Lease a Bike in 2019 (MIGUEL RIOPA)
Jonas Vingegaard joined Team Visma-Lease a Bike in 2019 (MIGUEL RIOPA)

Two-time defending champion Jonas Vingegaard will ride in this year's Tour de France after recovering from the serious injuries he suffered earlier in the season his team Visma-Lease a Bike announced on Thursday.

"The Danish two-time Tour winner has recovered enough from his crash in the Tour of the Basque Country to fight for a good result," read a team statement.

Vingegaard, 27, was hospitalised after suffering rib and collarbone fractures as well as sustaining lung damage in a mass crash on the Tour of the Basque Country on April 4.

He was back on a bike a month later and feels confident enough to be on the start line for the June 29 to July 21 race which begins in Florence, Italy.

"I am excited to start the Tour. The last few months have not always been easy, but I thank my family and Team Visma-Lease a Bike for their unwavering support," he said in a team statement.

"We have worked together to get to this moment, and of course, I am very excited to see where I stand. I feel good and very motivated."

Sporting Director Merijn Zeeman said thoughts of a third successive overall yellow jersey should be put on hold given the seriousness of the injuries Vingegaard suffered.

"I am very proud of Jonas and the coaching team," he said.

"He is coming back from a serious injury.

"In the last few weeks, he has shown what a champion he is, both mentally and physically. Of course, we don't know how far he can go yet.

"We are being cautious because he has not been able to race, and his preparation has been less than ideal, to say the least. But he will be there, healthy and motivated."

jk/pi/iwd