Fortunately for race leader Jonas Vingegaard, he was not injured in his crash today on stage 15. However, he did have a bad time, what the French call a Jour Sans, a day without.
No, he didn’t not lose any of his 2:22 lead over Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) but he did lose two key mountain domestiques, with the Pyrenees mountains looming on the horizon and his Slovenian rival planning a furious assault.
First, it was Primoz Roglic who did not take the start this morning, citing injuries he suffered after hitting a hay bale that a Tour motorcycle had pitched into the road. You can imagine Vingegaard begging Roglic to stay — “Come on, buddy! That injury was ten stages ago, you look fantastic, the picture of health. Don’t leave me alone with Pogecar.”
If I was the young Dane, I’d be opening my wallet — “What’s it gonna take to get you on the bike, Primoz? Name your price.” Sadly, Roglic is gone, a huge blow because he was half the one-two punch that finally broke Pogacar on the Col du Galibier.
Then on the road to Carcassonne, Vingegaard also lost Steven Krujkswijk, his teammate going down hard, breaking his collarbone and leaving the race in an ambulance. Two crucial support riders for the Pyrenees gone in a single day. If Krujkswijk had managed to finish the stage, Vingegaard would have personally gotten out the kinesiology tape and put his Dutch teammate back together.
The double disaster made for a Jours Sans — Vingegaard sans two riders that would have been on the front in the mountains, setting the pace, keeping Pogacar under control and protecting their captain. Vingegaard still has Sepp Kuss for the Pyrenees, who will need to fully recharge his batteries and legs on Monday’s rest day. He’s going to need all his energy.
Speaking after the stage about his own crash, Vingegaard said “I’m okay. Just some road rash.” A little lost skin” And two lost teammates.