Double Tour champion Vingegaard rides again a month after crashing out. GETTY IMAGES

"Of course I hope to be at the start of the Tour de France," said the Danish rider on his social media on Tuesday, after riding for the first time since his horrific crash in the Tour of the Basque Country. He broke his collarbone and several ribs and suffered serious lung damage. The Danish champion begins his countdown with less than two months to go.

One month later. Actually, 31 days later, Jonas Vingegaard was back on his road bike. Of course, he hasn't lacked for indoor training sessions, but his first day on the road after his terrible crash on 4 April at the Tour of the Basque Country is now a reality. He did his first ride this Tuesday.

It's still early days and it's uncertain what his level of fitness will be after such a serious blow. But the news is that Vingegaard is already back. "In a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, the Danish rider for the Visma-Lease a Bike team said, "Of course I hope to be there for the start of the Tour de France.

"We don't know exactly how my form and recovery will go, but I'll do everything I can to be there," he added of the race, which runs from 29 June to 21 July.

The two-time Tour de France winner,and the only rider to beat Tadej Pogar in the French race since the Slovenian began his winning streak as a professional, was hospitalised after suffering broken ribs and collarbones and lung damage in a massive crash at the Tour of the Basque Country on April 4. 

Vingegaard was not the only rider to crash in Spain. Other potential 2024 contenders included Remco Evenepoel and Spaniard Mikel Landa.

"This is the first time I've been back on the bike, riding outside, and it's really nice to finally be able to ride. To be able to ride on the road at last is a really great feeling," said Vingegaard. "I'm looking forward to taking the next steps," he continued. "My feeling is good, it's getting better day by day. I've still got a few things to recover from, but it's getting better and better.

Recovering in such a short time is a race against time. He fell very hard and was forced to stay hospitalised longer than originally expected. His lung damage is uncertain and the French race is very close. However, it's one of the best news for cycling fans. If it's confirmed, we'll see the two best stage race riders together again. 

In 2023, it was Pogacar who arrived at the Tour de France weakened after a crash in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a fractured scaphoid in his wrist. He had to adjust his preparation and was a little short. Nevertheless, the duel between the two was exciting. 

However, in the mountains, Vingegaard was able to get the better of him and won his second Tour de France, matching the Slovenian's victories in 2020 and 2021.

2024 is proving to be very dangerous when it comes to crashing. Yesterday, Biiam Girmay, the Eritrean cycling star, retired from the Giro d'Italia on the fourth stage after crashing on the descent before the intermediate sprint, on a right-hand bend with 67km to go. He tried to ride on despite the damage to his right hip. He was evacuated by ambulance shortly after the crash.

Vingegaard's recovery is uncertain, but he is favourite to win the Tour de France. GETTY IMAGES
Vingegaard's recovery is uncertain, but he is favourite to win the Tour de France. GETTY IMAGES

At this year's Giro, the Eritrean was one of his Intermarche-Wanty team's best hopes for a stage win. The 24-year-old became the first black African to win one of cycling's classics, the Gent-Wevelgem in 2022. He also won a stage in one of cycling's three Grand Tours, the Giro, in the same season. 

He also gained notoriety when he climbed onto the podium to uncork a bottle of champagne to celebrate. The cork flew into his eye, forcing him to withdraw from the race the next day.

Belgian rider Wout Van Aert broke his collarbone and several ribs in one of the spring classics on cobbles, Dwars Door Vlaanderen. He had to change his plans and pull out of the Giro d'Italia. The International Cycling Union (UCI) is reconsidering whether to provide riders with safety clothing or to introduce rules that could lead to penalties because of the speed at which cycling is now being contested.