Two teams in the Tour de France — including overall leader Jonas Vingegaard’s team — may not raise their glasses to cheer when the famous cycling race ends on Sunday.
Groupama-FDJ hit out at Richard Plugge, team manager for Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma, after he said riders from the France-based team drank “big beers” during Monday’s rest day.
Plugge told L’Equipe that the success of Vingegaard and his team was down to extreme attention to “detail”, saying none of the drivers drank alcohol.
“We were with a French team at our hotel on the day off. We could see riders drinking big beers,” Plugge said. “… Alcohol is poison, and when you are tired [and you drink]it makes you more tired.”
Groupama-FDJ was the only French team sharing the same hotel in Saint Gervais on Monday.
“Who does he think he is? Honestly, it’s an incredibly sneaky attack on his part,” said Groupama-FDJ team manager Marc Madiot. .
Groupama-FDJ sporting director Philippe Mauduit also challenged Plugge’s comments, telling Reuters the team’s riders had socialized on the day off but none had been drinking alcohol.
“Everybody orders the drink they want, and the guys are so tired this year they’re not cheating,” he said.
The performance of defending champion Vingegaard, who holds a lead of 7 minutes 35 seconds entering Sunday’s closing journey on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, has come under intense scrutiny after the Danish cyclist pulverized his rivals in Tuesday’s individual time trial to strengthen his grip on the title.