Jakob Fuglsang: “I’m not certain that I want to be here right now”
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Jakob Fuglsang: “I’m not certain that I want to be here right now”

by Ben Atkins at 11:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Danish prodigy already expressing doubts over his future at captain-heavy RadioShack Nissan team

jakob fuglsangThe year is less than two weeks old, and the season has yet to start in earnest, but Jakob Fuglsang is already beginning to have doubts over his future presence in the RadioShack Nissan team. The 25-year-old was a member of the Leopard Trek team in 2011, whose roster makes up just under half the roster of the newly merged team, but the influx of race captains, following the sponsors across from last year’s RadioShack team, makes him wonder how often he will get to race for himself.

With the Giro d’Italia starting in his home nation of Denmark, and with competition for places at the Tour de France now looking to be fierce, Fuglsang will likely lead RadioShack Nissan in the Italian race.

According to feltet.dk, Fuglsang’s season will begin with two or three of the five races in the Mallorca Challenge, followed by the Tour of Oman. Instead of his usual Paris-Nice, he will ride the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, with his first appearance in the WorldTour coming at the Volta a Catalunya.

His final lead up to the Giro will be at the Circuit La Sarthe and the Tour de Romandie.

As the Danish rider told cykelmagasinet.dk, with so many potential leaders in the team, he is lowering his sights a little on the build up to the year’s first Grand Tour.

“Yes, I have a little to start with,” said Fuglsang, “but I’ve said that I would like to have a race programme where I could get the chance to ride for my own chances.

“Perhaps it will be the slightly smaller races,” he explained, “but on the other hand, because I’m allowed to ride for my own chances, I don't have to ride with six other captains in Paris-Nice.

“I will be riding some slightly smaller races,” he conceded, “but I am actually quite satisfied with it.”

Fuglsang joined Bjarne Riis’ then CSC-Saxo Bank team as a 23-year-old trainee towards the end of the 2008 season. Touted as the next big Danish rider, he was developing steadily under the former Tour de France winner, but departed at the end of 2010 as part of the eight-man Andy and Fränk Schleck-led Exodus to what was to become Leopard Trek.

While his personal results didn’t live up to those of previous years, his role was largely similar at the new team, where he was to ride for the Schlecks in the mountains of the Tour de France. With a merger of personnel between Leopard Trek and American team RadioShack, Fuglsang is having to consider whether or not he’s with the right team.

“Now I am not even certain whether I want to be here now,” he said. “To start with I wanted to be on Leopard Trek; there were two captains, or three, but there were no more; and there I had a little more of an open role.”

The RadioShack team took four captains to last year’s Tour de France, in Janez Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Andreas Klöden and Levi Leipheimer. With Horner and Klöden following the team’s American sponsors to the new-look Luxembourg team, Fuglsang will likely find himself a long way down the pecking order in stage races.

“Time will tell,” he said. “Now we must see how it is going to go.

“I won’t say right now that I’m moving away from the team,” he continued. “It could be that I will, but we must be realistic and look ahead; but if the team continues to look as it does now, well, it would perhaps be a good idea to look for other teams.”

If Fuglsang does decide that he is in the wrong place, and one of too many ambitious riders on the team, he could potentially find a place back with Riis; providing the two can put the end of 2010 behind them of course. It is thought by many that the 25-year-old Dane has the potential to make the podium of one of the Grand Tours and, should Riis lose Alberto Contador to an unfavourable Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) verdict, he will need someone to fill that gap; the fact that Fuglsang is Danish would certainly please Riis’ sponsors.

Unfortunately for both Fuglsang and any prospective future team however, he will have to wait until August 1st, and the start of the WorldTour/Professional Continental transfer window; by which time the majority of the season will have already passed.

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