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Preview of the Danish National Worlds Team by Jakob Duma
By Janna Trevisanut
Date: 10/9/2002
Preview of the Danish National Worlds Team by Jakob Duma

After some very chaotic circumstances regarding UCI Points between Russia and Denmark, the UCI's final verdict was to follow their original National Points List even though the case of Piotr Przydzial (CCC-Polsat) and Heiko Szonn (Team Cologne) who both were disqualified for doping use in the Peace Race and thus deprived their UCI Points.  Jakob Pill (CSC-Tiscali) could have benefited from this since he was the runner up when Heiko Szonn won Stage 5, since Piotr Przydzial's exclusion as overall winner of the Peace Race would have meant he had jumped up one place on the final classification in Warszawa to take 10th place in the overall GC behind new crowned winner Ondrej Sosenka (CCC-Polsat), he then could have single handed earned Denmark enough points to send a full national team of 12 riders to compete in Belgium instead of the Russia national team. But that was not to be.

Instead Denmark will be there with 8 highly motivated riders who will be looking set at making October 13th in Zolder a memorable day for the little Nordic country. The two designated team leaders look to be the two "German domestics" from (Team Coast), Lars Michaelsen and Frank Høj, who both are very experienced "Spring Classics Riders" and will find the cause at Zolder perfect for their characteristics, but also Jakob Piil and Nicki Sørensen both (CSC-Tiscali) will have a protected role if the race proves to be more selective than expected.

Denmark will come to Belgium without in-form Climber Michael Rasmussen (CSC- Tiscali), who even though being in top form at the moment, wouldn’t stand much chance of success on a course like the one in Zolder. Also, Michael Blaudzun (CSC- Tiscali) will be missing after being diagnosed with frontal sinusitis, just as Jørgen Bo Petersen (Eds-Fakta), due to a injured Achilles tendon, won’t be able to represent Denmark in the individual time trail on October 10th, so Lennie Kristensen (Eds-Fakta) will be the only rider representing Denmark in the lonely ride against the clock.

Denmark’s national team will contain the following riders:

Lars Michaelsen (Team Coast)
A specialist in the northern classics, Lars Michaelsen is Denmark’s designated Team Leader. He had a strong northern campaign this spring and has the results to show it: 5th at Paris-Roubaix, 13th at Ronde van Vlaanderen, and 4th at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne gives at pretty good picture of his consistency, and although he’s not as quick as he used to be, he’s still a pretty handy Sprinter if the bunch should be compact near the finish line.

Frank Høj (Team Coast)
Another one day northern classics specialist and as strong as they come, inconsistency is however Frank Høj´s middle name as he’s a bit of a "Joy Rider" and on his best days he can be up there with the very best guys, like his 6th place at the Olympian games in Sydney proves. Started the year strongly with a 2th place behind Peter Van Petegem in Het Volk and a 14th Place in Paris-Roubaix before he faded a bit out. He’s reported to be very near top form and can be the Danish joker in Zolder; he’s a strong finisher and a very dangerous man if it should come down to a smaller, reduced group.

Bekim Christensen (Team Coast)
Another "German Legionnaire" and teammate of Lars Michaelsen and Frank Høj at Team Coast. Bekim Christensen will be looking to provide strong support for the Team and serve as a loyal right-hand man for his captains, and maybe also try getting himself in one of the early established breakaways. Showed good form in the Peace Race, were he ended up as a fine 17th on the final GC, and played a big part in his captain Aitor Garmendia's successfully trip on the final podium in Poland.

Jakob Piil (CSC- Tiscali)
29 year old Jakob Piil had a minor breakthrough in the 2001 season, with 6 wins including the Peace Race and the Danish National Championship before ending the year on a career high 77th place on the UCI Road Individual Classification. This season Jakob Piil won his "Hometour," the Tour of Denmark, in convincing fashion, by winning the first stage and defending the leader's jersey thoughout the entire race. In Zolder J. Pill will have a free role on the Danish team, and will without a doubt try getting in some of the more serious breaks later on in the race, and should he be able to find himself in a minor group toward the end - his experience and quickness from the track may come in very handy.

Nicki Sørensen (CSC- Tiscali)
Touted in 2001 by his Team Manager Bjarne Riis as the next "Danish Tour De France Winner" and so far Nicki Sørensen hasn’t disappointed. In 2001 Nicky finessed his first ever "Grand Tour" with a strong 49th place in the Tour De France, and gives a spare glimpse of his enormous talent. Before this year's Tour De France Nicky´s goal was to improve on his 49th from last year race and he certainly did so; always near the front in the French mountains, he managed to finish on a impressive 20th place in Paris "even though he was riding in support."

Finishing a little over a half an hour behind race winner Lance Armstrong, he’s in very good form a the moment, and even though the course in Zolder doesn’t suit his characteristics he’s always a hard man to write completely off.

Allan Johansen (EDS-Fakta)
As the real Team Worker he is, Allan Johansen will be a very important Domestique on the Danish team in Zolder. As a strong Rouleur, one of Allan’s major strengths is his ability to ride in very bad weather, so if the northern weather kicks in over Zolder it wouldn’t affect Allan in any slight way in trying to accomplished Danish success in Belgium. Has just won Paris-Bourges and can prove to be the big Danish joker in the worlds.

Mikael Skelde (EDS-Fakta)
Another trusty domestique who will be working hard for the team’s interest. Will undoubtedly be very near the front in the first half of the race trying to get in a breakaway, so it won’t be Denmark’s responsibility to chase down any escapees in the early stages of the race.

Lars Bak (EDS-Fakta)
The youngest member of the team, 22 year old neo pro Lars Bak, will serve as the 8th and final rider in the Danish squad. After a string of good results as an amateur here among other represented Mapei´s U23 team, he got the chance to ride as an Stagiaire for Fakta at the end of the 2001 season, where he impressed enough to earn himself a pro contract with the Danish team before the start the new 2002 season. In Zolder Lars Bak will undoubtedly have to settle with the role as trusty support rider for the Team Leaders.

Denmark’s national team will be represented by the following rider in the Men's individual time trial on October 10th in Zolder.

Lennie Kristensen (EDS-Fakta)
34 year old former mountain bike Tour De France winner Lennie Kristensen will be the solo representative trying to defend the Danish pride in the Men’s individual time trial in Belgium. The 2002 season has so far been a success for the EDS-Fakta rider: 4th in the Tour of Austria GC, 10th in the Tour of Luxembourg GC, and a strong 10th place in the hard Classique des Alpes shows a great deal of quality, and Lennie Kristensen will be highly motivated for putting in a strong performance against the clock in Zolder.

In the U23 event, Danish National U/23 Team Captain Lars Bonde has selected these following five riders to represent Denmark in the U23 Road World Championships on October 11th in Zolder.

Rasmus Dyring
Recent winner of the Grand Prix Tell in Switzerland, and regarded as one of Denmark’s rising young talents, 22 year old Rasmus Dyring will be looking to made a strong impact at the road race in Zolder. Also noted as an strong Time Trailist, he will be taking part in the individual time trial where a Top 10 finish should be within his reach (should be riding among the pros next season).

Brian Vandborg
20 year old Brian Vandborg is another strong performer against the clock, and he will be Denmark’s second representative in the individual time trial in Zolder. Also looks set to compete in the road race, where we are bound to see his very aggressive riding style in various attacks thoughout the race.

Michael Demin
22 year old Michael Demin is another very talented Danish rider who has been showing some good form thoughout this current season, and has a very remarkable tendency to achieve solid results very consistently thoughout the entire season. Performed strongly in the highly rated Thüringen-Rundfahrt (U23) in Germany where he ended 21th in the final standings, managing to finish inside the Top 20 during 3 of the total 7 stages the German race had to offer. On good form at the moment, and will undoubtedly be aiming at strong result to end the season with.

Thomas Oredsson
Impressed during the recent Le Transalsace in France were he finished 10th on the final GC, including at tenth place on the queen stage in the Alsace Mountains up to Grand Ballon, won by the extremely talent Dutchman Pieter Weening (Rabobank-Espoir) who totally demolished all opponents on the climbs in the French mountains. In Zolder Thomas Oredsson will be looking for the chance to shine, in some good breakaways during the middle parts of the race.

Glenn Bak
21 year old Glenn Bak fulfills the Danish U23 line-up for the road race in Zolder. The 2002 season has been a pretty solid year for the young Dane with some good performances, and he will without a doubt be very focused on putting in a strong ride in the 166.4 km Road Race. His offensive rider style will be an clear advantage for the Danish team in the early parts of the race, and if a breakaway rides away early on in the race, Glenn Bak will probably not be very far away from the front.

Denmark’s line-up for the Men’s Elite RR:

Lars Michaelsen : Team Coast
Frank Høj : Team Coast
Bekim Christensen : Team Coast
Jakob Piil : CSC-Tiscali
Nicki Sørensen : CSC-Tiscali
Allan Johansen : EDS-Fakta
Michael Skelde : EDS-Fakta
Lars Bak : EDS-Fakta

Denmark’s line-up for the Men’s U23 RR:

Rasmus Dyring
Brian Vandborg
Michael Demin
Thomas Oredsson
Glenn Bak

Denmark’s line-up for the Men’s Junior Men RR:

Mads Christensen
Matti Breschel
Anders Lund
Andreas Finnerup
Martin Mortensen

Denmark’s line-up for the Men’s Elite TT:

Lennie Kristensen (Will NOT be competing in Men’s Elite TT because of sickness)

Denmark’s line-up for the for the Women’s Elite RR:

Lisbeth Simper
Vibe Kolding

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