ads Pedersen powered to victory in Stage 1 of the Baloise Belgium Tour, capping a strong Trek-Segafredo effort all race. After winning bonus seconds in the Golden Kilometer sprints, Pedersen still had enough strength to close a gap and jump around Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) in the final meters, taking the stage and the frist leader’s jersey of the five-day race.
“Really tough race. I think this was one of the warmest days of racing for me this year, and normally I am not that good in the heat. Tough day – a classic kind of stage and then the heat on top of that made it pretty hard.”
“Then the finale is really hard with the climb at two and a half k to go, and even the sprint is a tough one. Jasper (Philipsen) opened quite early and I thought, ‘Fuck, he made a gap already.’ But luckily for me he popped a little bit in the last meters, so I could pass.”
“A really good day and I am really proud of my teammates, they did impressive work all day, and it’s nice to give them a win.”
“This shows the shape is where it should be.”
On GC: “I came here to have a stage win, and now we have one, so yes why not try and win the GC. This was one of the hardest days, so yeah, it’s possible, but still a long week of racing left. We will see. This is not the main goal; the main goal is to try to have another stage win and then do a good TT.”