Mørkøv reflects on 2012 accomplishments after renowned Saxo-Tinkoff team building
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Mørkøv reflects on 2012 accomplishments after renowned Saxo-Tinkoff team building

by Kyle Moore at 3:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Dane will target Classics and Contador Tour de France victory

Michael MorkovThough he went winless in 2012 – and actually has yet to grab his first professional road victory – Michael Mørkøv seemed to always be present at some of the season’s biggest races. The Dane track specialist was a protagonist in some of the early season Classics, and then was the most aggressive rider in the first week of the Tour de France, wearing the polka dot jersey a total of six days in the early portions of La Grande Boucle.

As winter moves in, snow starts to fall, and teams get together for early meetings leading in to a new season, Bjarne Riis and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank head out for the Danish squad’s infamous survival training, outdoor activities and team-building exercises.

At the conclusion of their first get-together, the 27-year-old reflected on his fourth year with Riis’ organization, and likely his most visible and active season as a pro.

“I have had many great experiences in 2012. Of course, the ultimate experience was obviously wearing the polka dot jersey in the Tour de France for six days, but to be back on the Danish national track team at the Olympics after several years was also a personal highlight,” Mørkøv stated.

He went without a victory again in 2012, and in fact only stood on one podium as a top three finisher – placing third in the Danish national time trial – but had several close calls. Plus, there were the multiple polka dot jersey podium presentations, including after one early stage, when he was able to honour his late father.

Understandably, Mørkøv would certainly like to raise his arms in victory in 2013.

“Several times in the past season I have been frustratingly close to being able to take my first win for the team, however it has been temporarily postponed again,” he added. “But once again, I trust I’ll be able to step up another level over the winter and become even stronger to be able to snatch a victory in 2013.”

After four years with Riis, Mørkøv is not a stranger to his preseason activities, though he once again tried new things with new people, including Saxo-Tinkoff signees Nicolas Roche and Daniele Bennati.

“As usual, the annual team building session has been very exciting with various challenges and competitions,” Mørkøv explained. “This year there was a rotation between the team members which gave us all a splendid opportunity to work with a larger number of different people. The days with the wildlife challenges were especially exciting and outside my comfort zone. Rappelling and rock climbing is not my specialty, but with solid support from my team-mates, we all followed through. It’s situations like these that give the team spirit a huge boost.”

Mørkøv got a financial boost as a result of his work in 2012, resigning with the team through 2015. Though he picked up few WorldTour points for a squad still up in the air for a professional license, the tenacity he showed in races like the Tour help secure his spot on the Danish squad.

“I am very proud of my performance on the third stage of the Tour de France when I went out there and fought intensely for the mountain jersey. On that stage, I secured the jersey for the rest of the first week until the real mountains were due,” Mørkøv added.

“Over the winter, I expect that I can continue my development and I’ll be able to take another step up and start winning races. I’ll be focusing on a spot and a chance of my own in the cobblestone Classics and I’ll work extremely hard to make myself worthy of a spot in the Tour de France line-up where I dream of helping Alberto [Contador] win overall.”

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