Anders Lund: ‘I cannot imagine anything other than continuing in the WorldTour’
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Anders Lund: ‘I cannot imagine anything other than continuing in the WorldTour’

by Kyle Moore at 9:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Saxo-Tinkoff domestique confident in WT license renewal, criticizes points system

Anders LundA poster boy for the controversial UCI points system at cycling’s WorldTour level, Saxo-Tinkoff support rider Anders Lund does not earn his squad much in the way of valuable points, but the Dane is confident that his team will renew its WorldTour license, the decision of which is expected to be handed down any day now.

With his Saxo-Tinkoff team at the heart of the controversy, Lund had some criticism to level at the UCI points system.

The 27-year-old had a marathon season in 2012, riding from the Tour Down Under in January until the Tour of Beijing in October. Though he never came within shouting distance of a podium finish, Lund took a supporting role for Saxo-Tinkoff’s leaders in the season’s biggest races. Amongst others, Lund completed Paris-Nice, Milan-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, the Tour de Romandie, Giro d’Italia, and the Tour de France.

In Gent-Wevelgem, arguably Lund’s best race, he spent more than 200 kilometres in the breakaway, along with Giro d’Italia stage winner Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), before being caught inside 15km to go. Both riders still hung on for top 20 finishes, and Lund was 17th.

Saxo-Tinkoff has its first team building sessions already in the books, as Lund spoke with Feltet.dk about the ongoing WorldTour licensure drama that overshadowed it.

“[The licensing issue] has not affected us. We assume that we have a WorldTour team next year,” Lund insisted. “With the team we have, and with the position Riis Cycling has as a company, we have been able to be a sponsor in the WorldTour year after year.”

Lund has been with the Riis organization since 2007, save for a single year at Leopard-Trek in 2011, and though Saxo-Tinkoff gets to count Alberto Contador amongst its ranks for the entire upcoming season, the squad is struggling with licensure problems due to many of his recent points being lost because of the Spaniard’s doping suspension.

Lund’s viewpoint in unaffected. “I cannot imagine anything other than continuing as a WorldTour team,” he added.

Even if Saxo-Tinkoff doesn’t earn a spot in the top tier for the 2013 season, the Dane doesn’t believe their schedule would be largely affected anyway. “I really don’t know what the consequences will be if we aren’t a WorldTour team, and I don’t know if it’s going to change the racing program very much,” he stated.

Lund called the UCI points system “elitist,” acknowledging that he sounded like a broken record, citing the common complaint, but did not avoid the facts.

“It’s the old song again,” he bemoaned. “The system favours the riders who get the points, and so it goes with the points. But this specific points system is extremely elitist, which rewards only a small number of elite riders. That’s not how cycling is. The elite few must have one hundred percent dedication from the team. It is really untenable.”

While the reliable Lund had his place secured at Saxo-Tinkoff for the upcoming season, others weren’t so lucky, perhaps Lund’s biggest point of contention with the current points system. Troels Vinther and Kasper Klostergaard did not have their contracts renewed by the Danish squad, a difficult prospect all around, when riders spend so much of their time on the road together.

“It’s sad. I was especially close to Kasper – he was a good friend,” Lund admitted. “Of course it’s always sad, but it’s also part of the game. We know every year that those who do not have a contract are in kind of a danger zone, unless they have delivered [on the road] a lot. On the professional level, we move on. On a personal level, it is a big loss that Kasper will not be there next year.”

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