How Jonas Wingard beat anxiety and overthinking to win the Tour de France

It’s one thing to encourage hope for all of us who’re nonetheless on the market dreaming. Tour de France winner Jonas Wingard wasn’t a biking prodigy as a young person. Quite the reverse: the teenage climber has hardly ever gained races in the ultra-competitive Danish junior scene and will probably be caught off guard.

Such have been his nerves, he often vomited earlier than races. His mother and father would ask him if he actually wished to proceed. «I like it a lot,» got here his reply.

As he grew older and grew in hypothesis in Danish biking circles, the concern didn’t go away. At the 2018 U-23 World Championship in Innsbruck, his then group supervisor Christian Andersen was recalled. L’EquipeHe could not deal with the stress.

“Before the race began, he was shaking throughout. It was at all times like this: when he knew he may get outcomes, he was paralyzed. Wingard is sixty fourth, greater than ten minutes down.

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It was the same story when he gained the chief’s jersey in his first yr with Jumbo-Visma at the 2019 Tour of Poland. He did not sleep the subsequent night time or eat something the subsequent morning. Surprisingly, total victory was not forthcoming.

Wingard would get up and run over in his head all the issues that would go mistaken between the races. “He was overwhelmed by his ideas. I admit that, at one level, I used to be a bit harsh and informed him that it isn’t the finish of the world,» his girlfriend Trin Hansen informed the French newspaper.

Eleven years his senior, Trine was the advertising and marketing director of ColoQuick, which sponsored the Continental Cycling Team between 2016 and 2018, a dairy firm.

“It’s not usually that you simply meet somebody with a coronary heart of gold. He was very calm, by no means in a foul temper or demanding. He did not attempt to impress, I favored that,» she mentioned.

Soon after becoming a member of Colloquy, he labored in a fish packing manufacturing unit, which helped his group and planning.

“He did not assume he would flip professional. He mentioned he wished to be a banker and I noticed myself as a banker’s spouse,” she says.

Once he reached the World Tour, he had an actual resolution to his pre-race anxiety. The Dutch group took him to an academy that helped with psychological preparation and teaching in 2019.

Trin additionally helped. Some of the solutions have been easier: listening to his favourite music or speaking to team-mates or group employees about one thing aside from biking to get off the bike.

Most just lately, Trinh steered getting a brand new cellphone quantity earlier than the 2022 Tour de France to keep away from pointless requests.

He explains that Wingard is somebody who tries to please others, generally to the detriment of himself.

“Jonas may be very introverted and is somebody who at all times needs to please others, to the level of forgetting himself. He has lengthy allowed individuals to make choices for him. Today, he communicates higher along with his group.”

Aside from all his preparation and peak work, the 2022 Tour was additionally the fruits of this psychological work. Outwardly, there was no paralysis or concern in the means he raced to his greatest prize: a primary Tour de France victory.

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