Mads back on top step!

Mads back on top step!

An uphill cobbled finish seemed custom-made for Mads Pedersen, and he made good on the opportunity as he powered to victory in Stage 2 at the Tour of Denmark. After he suffered through a tough Tour de France, riding through numerous crashes, the former world champion rebounded in his home country’s tour in the best way possible.

“Yeah, it’s not a secret that the Tour was pretty shit,” agreed Pedersen. “I was fighting through that to get another level for the rest of the season, and I think today shows it was worth it to go through all that in France. It’s just nice to win again, and on home roads, it’s even nicer.”

Pedersen maintained a top position in the final local lap, maintaining third wheel through the last tricky corners. He dropped back a little in the sprint and went he opened the throttle, none could match his power on the uphill cobbled finish.

The pure sprinters did not want to hit top gear too early for the uphill sprint, and when Pedersen came by, it was too late. The top two finishers of Stage 1, Groenewegen and Nizzolo, settled for runner-up positions in Stage 2 as the powerful Pedersen finished over a bike length ahead to claim a welcomed win.

“Yeah, long sprint,” admitted Pedersen. “One guy from Qhubeka he came by on the right super fast, and it stretched out a little bit more. Something happened from Casper Pedersen (DSM), maybe with his gears, so I had to pass him, and then I didn’t want to slow down anymore since the sprint was already opened there.

“My plan was to overtake the sprinters and then go on the left, close to the barrier, so they would be in doubt to go on the left side of me and take a longer way around me. Luckily it was enough to stay in the front.

“This is never an easy finish – uphill and a headwind – but I believed I could win. It was also a hard race today, and the last laps were really hard with Remco (Evenepoel) doing a crazy tempo for almost two and a half laps alone, pulling really really hard. It was just a hard day, and I know after a hard day like this, I can still do a good sprint.”
Crosswinds created stress earlier in the day, but after a brief spell where the peloton split, calm returned, and the expected bunch sprint played out.

“The team did a really, really good job today. When it split in the crosswind, we were three guys there, and the moment the second group came back, the whole team was in the front within minutes. Just super-good work by the boys today,” continued Pedersen.

“Jakob (Egholm) did some good pulling in the local lap, (Alexander) Kamp helped really well, and Julien (Bernard) also. Mattias (Skjelmose), (Matteo) Moschetti and Michel (Ries) – the whole team worked together; it’s nice to pay the guys back,” he added praising each teammate. “In the first meeting we had yesterday, I said I am here to win. It’s nice to see that they suffered to help me do that.”