This is the first time I have been watching Tour de France on TV. It is the worlds greatest bicycle race with a rich legacy of over hundred years.

Stage 18 of the Tour de France was action packed with plenty of excitement and high on entertainment.

Of all the stages I watched, stage 18 stood out to be the most inspiring for me as a cycling fan and as a TV audience.

So what makes it so special, and what can we learn from it?

The incident:

The top 2 riders of the Tour de France 2022 season, Jonas Vingegaard of team Jumbo Visma and Tadej Pogacar of team UAE were competing with each other.

Tadej Pogacar attacked Jonas Vingegaard on a descent and Vingegaard nearly lost his balance and narrowly escaped a crash.

Few more minutes into the downhill and Pogacar again tried to move ahead of Vingegaard, but this time he went into the gravel, lost control and crashed himself.

Vingegaard turned behind and saw Pogacar on the ground. Vingegaard slowed down as he moved pedaling forward and waited until Pogacar recovered and resumed riding.

When Pogacar reached ahead and caught up with Vingegaard, they both shook hands which turned out to be the most inspiring moment in the history of the Tour de France. Why would a rider slow down and wait for his competitor to catch-up with him? but Vingegaard showed his class.

Both the riders competed until the penultimate moments and eventually Vingegaard took a lead, and won the stage by a good margin of time.

Moral of the story:

Vingegaard showed great sportsmanship spirit by waiting for his rival competitor and giving him a chance with fair play; who in return was constantly trying to surpass him.

Lessons learnt from this incident:

  1. When you are under pressure, you must remain calm and maintain composure. It will help you to sail through the rough tides.
  2. When you try to push others behind, the chances of you failing increases.
  3. A strong character is a sign of a true sportsman.
  4. A leader believes in fair competition and gives others enough opportunities to grow.
  5. Failure and Victory are a part of life, it’s the attitude that matters.
  6. Champions react, Legends respond.

These are some of the crucial life lessons that come to my mind after watching stage 18 of the Tour de France.

What do you think about this incident?

I invite you to share your takeaways in the comments section.

If you liked reading this post, please share it with others.

See you in my next blog.

Cover image credit: Maillot Jaune LCL

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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

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