<span class="t-location">Rocamadour (France) (AFP) - </span>Jonas Weinggaard will become the second Danish rider to win the Tour de France on Sunday when he leads the Champs Elysees after a grueling race that began in his home country of Denmark. </p><div> <p>It follows compatriot Bjarne Reis who won the world's most famous cycling race - although he later admitted to doping - in 1996, the year Vinggaard was born.
It’s a stunning success for Vingegaard, three weeks after kicking off the race from Copenhagen for the first of the three stages in his home country.
More than 35,000 fans packed Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens to greet the Tour de France riders before the race.
When it was the turn of Dutch Jumbo Visma, a roar sounded that seemed to overwhelm the 25-year-old captain, a quiet and unassuming rider.
In the face of back tears, Vingegaard looked far from the future champ for one of the sport’s toughest endurance tests.
On the opening day of the trial, a wall of sound resounded around Copenhagen, as the progress of their Homeland Hope was traced along a downtown road.
While much of the rest of the world was unaware of who Vingguard was, the man from North Jutland was already a household name in the house.
Not only was it due to his cycling skills, but it wasn’t because his mother-in-law shot national celebrities after competing in the Great Danish Bake Off show, and also appeared in the Danish version of Dancing with the Stars.
Vingegaard was born in December 1996 and raised in Hillerslev, a fishing village of no more than 370 residents, in a completely flat landscape on the shores of the North Sea.
Reiss, a former winner of the Tour of Denmark, was born in Herning, about 100 kilometers from Hellerslev.
As a child, Vingegaard played handball and soccer and was a huge fan of Liverpool, before turning to cycling after watching the Tour of Denmark go by near his house.
With his slender skeleton and the windy flatlands of Denmark, his incredible climbing skills have yet to be revealed.
He joined Colo-Quick, the Continental Tour team, at the age of 19 and worked for a fish company in the mornings before training.
“I had to get up early, but that gave me something to do, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a professional rider,” said Vinggaard.
At Colo-Quick he met his partner Trine Hansen, the marketing director, with the couple having a young daughter, Frida.
Vingegaard joined Jumbo in 2019, where he says he has “learned to ride bikes”.
He stood out at the Tour de France last year, suddenly finding himself captain of the team when Primoz Roglic crashed, finishing second.
Shy and retired, he rejects nearly all television engagements, relying on Trine to present a family photo while biking.
He would tirelessly thank her upon meeting him, and talk about his “two girls in the house” being the rocks of his life.
In this 2022 round, he beat two-time defending champion Tadej Pojakar in the toughest mountain stages to snatch the yellow jersey of the champion that will make him a champion in his homeland.
© 2022 AFP