Simon Geschke just missed out on winning the mountain jersey at the Tour de France. Being able to wear the jersey to Paris as a deputy is no consolation for the 36-year-old.
Simon Geschke’s frustration was obvious when he rolled to the start of the 19th stage on Friday. The 36-year-old was still wearing the polka-dot jersey of the leader in the Tour de France mountains classification – but he wasn’t actually anymore. “I would rather not wear it because I’m only second,” Geschke had previously told “ZDF”: “Now I’m the mannequin that has to drive the jersey to Paris.”
The main person responsible for the disappointment was in Castelnau-Magnoac, right next to Geschke – and wore the yellow jersey. Jonas Vingegaard, designated successor to Tadej Pogacar as winner of the most important cycling race in the world, will also win the mountains classification on Sunday in the French capital.
However, since the Danish high-flyer can only ever wear one jersey on his narrow shoulders, Geschke, as the runner-up, has the dubious honor of wearing the mountain jersey to Paris as a representative.
“I just ran out of strength”
For nine days, Geschke had previously led the mountain classification and not only climbed into the hearts of the German fans. “Of course, the last few days have been great,” said the Berliner. In addition to Lennard Kämna’s near-riding to win the stage and the yellow jersey, his fight for the mountain jersey was the highlight of the 2022 Tour from a German perspective.
This fight in the Pyrenees came to an end on Thursday. And when Geschke got off his bike, exhausted, sweaty, beaten, the disappointment was huge: “I gave everything. I just ran out of strength,” he said, dejected, and quickly disappeared into the bus of his Cofidis team.
The first German victory in the 89-year history of the Tour de France mountains classification was not to be. The last mountain stage of the tour was the crucial one too many for Geschke. Early on he had to pay tribute to the hardships of the past few days, fell back and was unable to collect any more points.
Vingegaard grabs the mountain jersey
After the final climb up to the Pyrenees ski resort of Hautacam, it was official: The new Tour dominator Vingegaard clinched the stage victory, made a preliminary decision in the overall classification and even snatched Geschke’s mountain jersey as he rolled past. “He didn’t even drive it. He’s just doing his overall ranking thing, and that’s enough points in the end,” said Geschke, frustrated.
Vingegaard is now on the verge of becoming the third consecutive overall winner to also win the mountain jersey. In 2020 and 2021, the Slovenian Pogacar also managed the “double” more or less unintentionally.
This is not a good development for crowd favorites like Geschke, who have to fight for every single mountain point. Because in the end they often only have the thankless role of the “mannequin”.