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Cycling: Five things we learnt from the Tour de France

The 2023 Tour de France is done for another year and it is fair to say the biggest race on the cycling calendar lived up to all expectations.

Jonas Vingegaard is champion once again, going back-to-back after his success in 2022, but every rider that made it to Paris after three gruelling weeks deserves a big pat on the back.

So what five things did we learn from the Tour?

Jumbo Visma got it spot on

It is no surprise that Jumbo Visma were the team of the 2023 Tour de France after helping guide Vingegaard to success.

Every yellow jersey contender needs a top team around him, and Vingegaard had the best.

They looked in control from the start and even though some of their tactics left the pundits baffled during some stages, they clearly knew what they were doing.

Sepp Kuss in particular was a beast, and this year it looked as though Wout van Aert put his own ambitions on the back-burner to help Vingegaard home.

The Dutch outfit also claimed the Team Classification for the first time and it was thoroughly deserved.

Vingegaard preparation was spot on

Jonas Vingegaard may have won the Tour de France over the last few weeks, but it could be argued he had it won before stage one.

The Dane’s preparation for the Tour de France was perfect. While arch rival Tadej Pogacar was racing in the spring classics, Vingegaard stayed well clear.

Instead he following the traditional route of build-up races to the Tour de France and reached the race in peak condition.

He stayed injury free and was hitting some huge numbers heading into the race. Then he and Jumbo just had to stay safe and stick to the plan.

Vingegaard is priced at 1.72 to win the 2024 Tour de France.

Pogacar will be back

No one was expecting Vingegaard to beat Pogacar as emphatically as he did, but the Slovenian showed great character to finish the race strongly.

After losing plenty of time to Vingegaard on the time trial and stage 17, it had been suggested that Pogacar could even abandon the race.

However the former champion showed his true class when continuing and taking out a massive win on stage 20 of the race.

Pogacar had a disrupted lead up after crashing and breaking his wrist in Liege Bastogne Liege and that no doubt affected him.

However, he is sure to be back in 2024, stronger than ever and ready to go again. He is priced at 3.00 to win it next year.

UAE had a strong tour

Despite the disappointment of not achieving their number one goal of winning the Tour de France with Pogacar, UAE Team Emirates still had a fine tour.

That was highlighted by the fact that Adam Yates managed to grab third place on the podium, meaning UAE had second and third spots.

Such a result should not be sniffed at and UAE can be proud of the way they performed over the three weeks.

Jai Hindley will come back stronger

From an Australian point of view, Jai Hindley can also be very proud of the performance he put in on debut at the Tour de France.

The Perth-born rider had high hopes heading into the race and had set his sights on being the best of rest behind Vingegaard and Pogacar.

That looked to be on the cards when he won stage five and claimed the yellow jersey for a day, however a bad crash on the third week hit him hard.

Hindley slipped down the GC rankings to finish seventh, but that is still a pretty impressive effort and he will have learnt a lot. Expect Hindley to return much stronger next year.

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