With a world champion, an overall number three in the world rankings and no fewer than 22 riders spread out over the 19 biggest teams in the world, the Danish cycling hardly ever been stronger.
Expectations for the new season, which kicks off in Australia in two weeks, is huge, and the sticks especially for the world champion Mads Pedersen and Jakob Fuglsang, who, in 2019 the world was only surpassed by Primoz Roglic and Julian Alaphilippe.
But also Kasper Asgreen is mentioned as one of the great hopes of the five international cykelsportsreportere, which Ekstra Bladet has asked to take the temperature on Danish cycling.
- Danish cycling is doing better than well in these years. The sport is booming in Denmark, says the journalist Joe Geimer, who has covered the 12 editions of the Tour de France in the newspaper Luxemburger Wort.
- Pedersen, Fuglsang, Valgren and Asgreen we know, and now teeming with the young forward. There is plenty of firepower in Danish cycling, " says Geimer.
- the List of World Tour riders is quite impressive, and it is interesting that almost all of them are under 30 years of age, says Andrew Hood, european correspondent for the american cykelmagasin Velonews.
- There is probably not a future Tour winner on the list, but the Danish cycling is healthy and very promising here at the dawn of a new decade, says Hood.
--------- SPLIT ELEMENT ---------Difficult year for the world champion
- It is not at least an interesting year for Mads Pedersen. There will be particular pressure on him to perform in 2020, and unfortunately, I think that it can be a difficult season for him. He is not a rider who wins very often, and it only gets harder in the regnbuetrøjen.
- Jacob Fuglsang just gets better with age, but I doubt that he will be able to run at the podium in the Giro this year. If he is in form, he is one of those who can go for the gold at the OLYMPICS and the WORLD cup.
- One of the young, I will keep a particularly close eye with, is Jonas Vingegaard, who won a stage in Poland in 2019. When you are running on the team with riders such as Dumoulin, Roglic and Kruijswijk, you grow as a rider. Jonas may well win one or more of the smaller stage races in the year.
- Then there is the Kasper Asgreen, which is a sublime enkeltstartsrytter, and surely regret that the routes at the OLYMPICS and the WORLD cup is too hard for him. However, I am sure that he will surprise some of the big guns in a few time trials this year.
- Michael Valgren reached in 2019 to prove how strong he is in endagsløb, when he was number six at the WORLD cup. It would not surprise me to see him on the podium in Flanders Around the year.
--------- SPLIT ELEMENT ---------All looking at the Mountain
Mikkel Bjerg comes in the goal in the under 23-riders ' linjeløb at the WORLD cup in Yorkshire in september. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan.
- I'll especially follow Kasper Asgreens development in the coming years. The big question is whether he will be a Cancellara-type, who wins the time trials and the classics, or he is trying to be Federer-thin and transform into etapeløbsrytter.
- When it comes to the new danes on the World Tour, then everyone's eyes directed towards Mikkel Mountain, which is the best enkeltstartsrytter, we have seen in a long time. The question is always whether the young talents can handle the transition to the World Tour.
- Mads Pedersen is not a rider who wins very much, so there could be talk of ‘regnbuetrøjens curse’. I think, however, that he in any case will be a great ambassador for the sport, for he is one of the most likeable riders in the field.
- Fuglsang have chosen to bet on the Giro over the Tour in years, and it is wise. The route is ideal for him, and there is less pressure than in the Tour, where he never has been able to show its full potential. The OLYMPICS is perfect for him, and his race program did look well structured in relation to secure him yet another successful season.
--------- SPLIT ELEMENT ---------Think of Fuglsang in the Giro
Jakob Fuglsang during training ahead of the WORLD cup-linjeløbet in Yorkshire in september. He finished as number 12 in the race, as Mads Pedersen, as you know, won. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan.
Of the many Danish riders, I have put special price on Kasper Asgreen. He has especially shown his strength in time trials, but he can far more.
- He impressed me most with his performance, which was in the Tour. Why would he not even focus on stage races in the near future?
- Mikkel Bjerg will be one of the next big. And not only when it comes to the time trial. He needs time to learn and gain experience, but I would not be surprised if he's already in 2020, win a few time trials.
- Mads Pedersen 2019 season was far from flashy, until he won the WORLD cup, but I think he's in 2020, it will show its full potential. He will be closely followed in the field and will not enjoy much freedom, but he will beam again. Why not in Flanders Around?
- Jacob Fuglsang has been performing at a high level in many years, but he has disappointed in the long stage races. It can change in a year. I see him finish on the podium in the Giro, and I predict that he will win a stage in the Tour de France.
And then there is the OLYMPICS, which is his greatest goal. It is a realistic goal, for he has everything what it takes to win the title.
--------- SPLIT ELEMENT ---------Impressive to see the Battle
Alexander Battle during training in Monaco in the month of may. Already at that time he knew that he would get to run on the World Tour level this year. Photo: Ernst van Norde.
- It will be interesting to see if Fuglsang can continue where he left off. I fear that he, despite all the good results have lost self-confidence when it comes to Grand Tours, following his crash in the Tour.
to 2020 will be especially a test of the people around him. He is able to win a Grand Tour, but no one does it alone. I estimate that he has a reasonable chance to win the Giro this year.
- Otherwise it's Kasper Asgreen, that jumps in the eyes. He seems to be able to it all. He can run the finale and attack the powerful to the last. He can run the time trial, and he drove them in California Around.
- But perhaps he should focus on one thing, for it is impossible to do everything equally well.
- I will also highlight the Alexander Fight. I saw him in Yorkshire, when he won the stage into Scarborough. It was impressive to see him take control of the race.
--------- SPLIT ELEMENT ---------Hope Valgren and Søren Kragh
A not very successful season ended definitely decent, Michael Valgren could go to the winter break with a sixth place finish in the disgusting hard WORLD cup races in Yorkshire, and a fifth place in the GP Montreal. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan.
- I'm not sure that Mads Pedersen had been world champion, if he had had Jacob Fuglsangs support in the field, so Fuglsang deserves much of the credit for the WORLD title.
- If he keeps himself out of the crash, which is probably his only problem in the field, so running Fuglsang, once again a good season, and I think that Mads Pedersen has the opportunity to take one of the big wins on the cobbles next year.
- Otherwise, I have the hope that Michael Valgren and Søren Kragh Andersen shaking their bad 2019-season, and demonstrate their top level.
- Kasper Asgreen has impressed me tremendously. He must work more often to be allowed to run its own chance on the very strong Quick-Step-collective. Of the new danes on the World Tour I see especially Mikkel Bjerg as interesting.
- I expect to see him in the exciting eruption, and at the top, when it comes to time trials in stage races not too many years.
Danish riders on the World Tour in 2020
1. Jakob Fuglsang, 34, Astana
2. Jonas Gregaard, 23, Astana
3. Jesper Hansen, 29, Cofidis
4. Michael Mørkøv, 34, Deceuninck-Quick-Step
5. Kasper Asgreen, 24, Deceuninck-Quick-Step
6. Mikkel Honoré, 22, Deceuninck-Quick-Step
7. Magnus Cort, 26, ef Education First
8. Mads Würtz Schmidt, 25, Israel Start-Up Nation
9. Rasmus Byriel Iversen, 22, Lotto-Soudal
10. Christopher Juul Jensen, 30, Mitchelton-Scott
11. Mathias Norsgaard, 22, Movistar
12. Michael Valgren, 27, NTT Pro Cycling
13. Andreas Stokbro, 22, NTT Pro Cycling
14. Jonas Vingegaard, 23, Jumbo-Visma
15. Søren Kragh Andersen, 25, Sunweb
16. Asbjørn Kragh Andersen, 27, Sunweb
17. Casper Pedersen, 23, Sunweb
18. Mads Pedersen, 24, Trek-Segafredo
19. Alexander Battle, 26, Trek-Segafredo
20. Niklas Oak, 24, Trek-Segafredo
21. Mikkel Bjerg, 21, EMIRATES Team Emirates
22. Michael Carbel, 24, Team NTT
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