Tour de France leader warms fans’ hearts with incredible display of sportsmanship as he stops and waits for his biggest rival after he crashed on wild descent
- Tadej Pogacar was chasing Jonas Vingegaard for the lead when he crashed
- Instead of extending the gap, Dane waited for his rival to recover and join him
- Commentators and fans sang yellow jersey wearer’s praises for the display
Jonas Vingegaard didn’t just all but win the Tour de France with a great ride on stage 18 of the famous race on Friday – he also won over cycling fans everywhere with a heartwarming display of sportsmanship.
The current Yellow Jersey holder finished with an overall race lead of three minutes and 26 seconds ahead of two-time Tour title holder Tadej Pogacar – but the margin could have been far bigger if it weren’t for an amazing moment during a steep descent near the end of the stage.
The pair were pushing each other to the limit as they rode down the Col de Spandelles when Pogacar – who was desperately trying to bridge the gap to the Dane – went into a corner too fast, ran wide and crashed as he lost traction in the gravel.
But instead of riding off to ensure he’d win the stage, Vingegaard decided to wait for the Slovenian to recover and catch up to him, with the pair shaking hands once they were on level pegging again.
Tadej Pogacar was desperately trying to close the gap to race leader Jonas Vingegaard when he crashed off the road during a steep descent on stage 18 of the Tour
But instead of extending his winning margin, the Dane slowed down and waited for his biggest rival to recover and catch up
The leader appeared to have made a crucial error himself just before the drama unfolded, as he swerved out of a corner and only remained upright by veering across the road with his left shoe unclipped from the pedal as he struggled to avoid going down.
‘Vingegaard is ahead, Pogacar down. It’s him pushing it on too hard who loses control. Pogacar trying to push the envelope, it’s been ripped up in front of him,’ Eurosport commentator Rob Hatch said.
‘Wow, what a moment. That is incredible!’ he continued as the pair shook hands.
The pair shook hands once the Slovenian had recovered – drawing high praise from cycling fans and commentators alike
Vingegaard – pictured celebrating at the end of the 18th stage – looks to have the Tour de France title all but sewn up
‘The race leader, being challenged by the man who’s trying to push it, waits and allows Pogacar back and then shakes his hand.’
Aussie cycling legend Robbie McEwen was just as impressed.
‘Brilliant sporting move from Vingegaard,’ he said in commentary.
‘A great sporting gesture that has not gone unnoticed by Tadej Pogacar. The yellow jersey under attack on a downhill, but when the man making the attacks makes a mistake, the jersey waits for him.’
Cycling fans took to Twitter to share their joy at the Dane’s magnanimous act.
‘Have not seen sportsmanship at this level for many years! Chapeau (hats off) to Jonas Vingegaard. Outstanding!’ wrote Chris Gibbons.’
‘That’s not how I want to win’ Vingegaard thought and waited for Pogacar. He knew he could break Pogacar on Hautacam and he won the stage like the absolute Chad he is,’ tweeted Alex Ostergaard.