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
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
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
Denmark’s line-up for the Men’s Junior Men RR:
Denmark’s line-up for the Men’s Elite TT:
Lennie Kristensen (Will NOT be competing in Men’s Elite TT because of
Denmark’s line-up for the for the Women’s Elite RR: