Fuglsang talks Olympics, shopping around for a three-year contract
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Fuglsang talks Olympics, shopping around for a three-year contract

by Kyle Moore at 10:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Would likely accept the right deal to return to Bjarne Riis

Jakob FuglsangThe outspoken Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang (Radioshack-Nissan) finished a solid 12th in the Olympic road race on Saturday, and will represent Denmark in the time trial with Lars Bak on Wednesday.

Fuglsang has previously expressed his displeasure with his Luxembourg-based trade team, which has had its fair share of struggles and controversy.

It has been quite the up-and-down season for the Dane at Radioshack-Nissan. Back in January, Fuglsang was already expressing his doubts at being able to exist on a team with so many potential individual leaders. In the spring, the team designated him to lead the Giro d’Italia, but a knee problem wiped out those plans and most of his spring.

Leading up to the Tour de France, he didn’t make his team’s selection, even after Andy Schleck was forced out with an injury. Fuglsang called out his team and the way it was being run. Radioshack-Nissan still picked up the team classification title in the Tour, while the Dane backed up his confidence in the Tour of Austria, winning the overall title.

As the best placed rider from Denmark in the London road race, Fuglsang spoke of his Olympic experience and his contract situation in an online chat with TV2.dk.

“Basically, I am really pleased,” Fuglsang said of his 12th place finish. “As such, we succeeded in our tactics, because the small group I was in took it to the finish. But we would have liked to have Matti [Breschel] up with us so we could have ridden for a top result [Breschel crashed, mangled a finger and had trouble gripping the handlebars – ed.]. We didn’t succeed there, but in light of the fact that I was in the break for 150 kilometres, I'm really pleased.”

Fuglsang also gave his view of the environment surrounding the road race and the massive crowds that filled out both sides of the road.

“Where there were guards, it was not dangerous,” he explained. “But of course, on a long route where spectators stand in several layers, it can be a little dangerous. As [Danish cycling director] Lars Bonde said, he could have stolen iPads from the window of the team car if he wanted to, because people were so close to the road. But I still think that people behaved fairly well. We cannot complain that there were many spectators. It was a fantastic backdrop to run the race in.”

Fuglsang also talked business with TV2, giving a concrete idea of the environment he is looking for in 2013.

“I actually have not yet secured a contract,” the 27-year-old stated. “They are still negotiating back and forth, but we’ve obviously identified a few teams. But there is no final signature on anything, and I have not seen any contract anywhere as of yet.

“I've really always had a good relationship with Bjarne [Riis], and we have spoken several times, about whether I should return to Saxo Bank. We actually already spoke last year when there were rumors of a merger with Leopard Trek. I have great respect for Bjarne and his team, and we still have a good relationship.”

Fuglsang has been adamant in his desire to lead a squad, but returning to Saxo Bank would mean teaming up with Alberto Contador and possibly Roman Kreuziger, should the Czech rider transfer in from Astana.

“Let me put it this way. What has been my problem, especially this year but also last year, has been that there have been too many captains,” he explained. “And I want to avoid that on my future team, so that I may be allowed to race for my own chances. I think it's time to think of myself and my own ambitions in this next contract, which we hope will be three years in length.”

Does Fuglsang regret leaving Riis and Saxo Bank in the first place?

“No, not really. I had my reasons for leaving Saxo Bank, when I did it,” he answered. “Of course, I had hoped that things would have gone differently, but I have not regretted it. I think I've learned a lot about myself in these two years. I've become more mature, and I also think I have developed myself as a cyclist.”

Fuglsang initially thought he may have angered team management enough in the middle of July that he may not race again, but he told TV2.dk that he would be heading to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Before that comes the Olympic time trial. He was tenth in the Worlds time trial on home soil last year, giving him confidence for Wednesday in London.

“I hope I can repeat that,” Fuglsang added. “And maybe even improve by getting in the top eight or even in the top five. But it will be difficult, because the route is not as good for me because it is very flat. But I still believe that I can do it well.”


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