After a month of press conferences, Jumbo-Visma get the doping question

'We are totally clean,' said Vingegaard, while Van Aert 'has no words for shit question'

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In times gone by, when Tour de France riders have been questioned as to the legitimacy of their results, their responses have drawn ridicule when they say “I have never tested positive”.

During the winner’s press conference today, the new yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard was also asked this question, as befits a sporting competition with years in recent history where the result has been scrubbed from the record.

Eyebrows raised, a bit taken aback with the directness of the question, his answer was clear.

“We are totally clean,” he said. “Every one of us. I can say that to every one of you. Not one of us is taking anything illegal. I think why we are so good is the preparation we do. We take altitude camps to the max step. We do everything with materials, with food, with training; the team is really the best within this. So yeah, that’s why you have to trust us.”

After Vingegaard had departed the stage in the press room, he was replaced by Wout van Aert, who had been sitting there quietly during the press conference, looking at his phone.

The winner of the green jersey, three stages and the overall combativity prize, all while operating as a key domestique to Vingegaard, one of the most complete performances in the race’s history, was also asked the same question.

Can we trust the dominant performance of Jumbo-Visma this Tour and given Jonas’ statement that the team is “totally clean” what do you have to say on the matter?

“I have no words to answer this question,” Van Aert replied, bluntly. “It’s such a shit question. It comes back every time after someone won.”

His answer was rebutted. “I think it’s a fair question. Jonas gave his answer – he didn’t think it was a shit question, he thought it was a fair question.”

“So now because we’re performing on this level,” Van Aert responded, “we have to defend ourselves? We worked super hard on this. Cycling has changed. I don’t like that we keep having to reply to these things. We have to pass controls every moment of the year, not only in the Tour de France – they come to our house. It’s not that we come out of nowhere.”

After the press conference, Jumbo-Visma’s press officer reiterated the team’s cleanness on his way out of the press room. Wout van Aert also stopped to explain that he didn’t like the way the question was phrased – that he believes it’s asked under the assumption that him and the team are not clean.

One utterly victorious team at this Tour de France, two different ways to answer the same question, indicative of the Tour’s two strongest riders’ personalities.

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