Mattias Skjelmose and his teammates successfully defended a precarious two-second lead in Stage 5 of the Skoda Tour of Luxembourg to win the general classification of the five-day race. It was the second pro win of Skjelmose’s career after taking his first in Friday’s Stage 4 time trial.
“I am super happy! I am 21, I turn 22 later this month, and it’s a really big race for me. Tomorrow I go to the World Championships and I don’t think you could have a better preparation than this, so yeah, I’m super happy.
“I think we did a really good job as a team to control it and limited to what I had to do until the last climb. When it’s so steep it’s all about the legs, and luckily mine were good today.”
“On the last climb, I had to go deep, that’s for sure. It was all about positioning. I remember in Denmark we had a similar finish like this, and afterward, I spoke with my teammate Alex Kirsch, and he told me that you have to be up there and believe that this is your spot. That was all I had in mind today. I had to fight for position before the last climb, but I think that was what made the difference. One or two positions further back and it would have been a difficult situation.
“I knew that if Vauquelin got bonus seconds then I had to be up there as well. At first, I was shit! I opened up the sprint too early, but then I saw it was Madouas going past me. I saw Vauquelin on the left, but I knew that if he was 2nd and me 3rd I would still win. In the end it was not so bad as it looked like.
“I am still very young, and I still have time to develop. I want to develop into a Grand Tour rider and I took a huge step after the Giro and if I can keep making these steps, I am really confident I will be a good rider in the future.”