Jonas Vingegaard is expected to be in the mix for the Tour de France title after finishing second last year ©Getty Images

Olympic silver medallist Rolf Sørensen has claimed that "complete rider" Jonas Vingegaard is a "top contender" to go one better than last year and win the Tour de France.

Speaking at a press conference prior to the event’s Grand Départ here in four days’ time, Sørensen said he had high hopes for his fellow Dane in the race for the yellow jersey after finishing runner-up in 2021.

Bjarne Riis is the only Dane to have won the historic annual race when he triumphed in 1996, although his victory has been tainted after he confessed to doping during his career.

Vingegaard is set to be among several Danish cyclists who will take to the starting line in Copenhagen for the opening stage on Friday (July 1).

The 25-year-old, who rides for Jumbo-Visma, finished second behind Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar at the 2021 Tour de France and came out on top in the La Drôme Classic earlier this year.

Rolf Sørensen has described Jonas Vingegaard as the
Rolf Sørensen has described Jonas Vingegaard as the "complete rider" prior to the Tour de France Grand Départ ©Grand Depart DK

Sørensen, who competed in the Tour de France on seven occasions during his career and claimed road race silver at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, believes the conditions will suit Vingegaard and has backed Denmark’s Mads Pedersen to make a strong start.

"I think Mads is going to do the best time trial he can and then take the jersey with points bonuses during the next day," Sørensen told insidethegames.

"I hope he does it in Denmark but if not there are stages four, five and six in France.

"Of course, there is Vingegaard who is a top contender.

"He is not the favourite, but he is capable.

"He has a very strong team for this.

"He is very skilled with the wind.

"He is a really complete rider so I think he can benefit.

"Pogačar is also very skilled at it."

Mads Pedersen is another Danish rider who is tipped to perform well at the upcoming Tour de France ©Getty Images
Mads Pedersen is another Danish rider who is tipped to perform well at the upcoming Tour de France ©Getty Images

Denmark previously hosted the start of the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and is now gearing to stage the Tour de France Grand Départ.

An individual time trial measuring 13.2 kilometres in Copenhagen is due to start the Tour de France on Friday, followed by a 202.5km ride from Roskilde to Nyborg incorporating the 18km Great Belt Bridge.

The 182km third stage traverses from Veijl to Sønderborg.

"It’s the biggest sports event we have ever had with 190 countries looking at our small country," said Sørensen.

"You cannot describe it, it’s going to be amazing.

"I feel the massive support of the Danish people as everyone wants this to be remembered.

"I am definitely sure it will be a success otherwise [Tour de France general director] Christian Prudhomm wouldn’t have come here.

"He knows that Danish cycling culture is so big.

"It is unbelievable the numbers that are riding bike here, it is something really special in Denmark."