Video: Chris Juul Jensen stepping things up in year two in professional ranks, hopes for Vuelta ride
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Video: Chris Juul Jensen stepping things up in year two in professional ranks, hopes for Vuelta ride

by Shane Stokes at 8:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Video, Presidential Tour of Turkey
Danish rider building experience and strength

Chris Juul JensenChris Juul Jensen has expressed satisfaction with his season thus far, saying that he is encouraged by his second year as a pro with the Team Saxo Tinkoff squad.

The 23 year old has been riding a higher standard of races than in his debut season, and returned to the Presidential Tour of Turkey in an aggressive frame of mind.

He was part of a long breakaway on stage five to Turgutreis, although dropped back to the peloton when he suffered a nosebleed. The Danish rider then went on the attack again on Saturday’s penultimate stage, with this move being snuffed out only six kilometres from the finish.

Learning all the time and also developing physically, the Danish rider said that he is motivated with how 2013 has been going.

“It has been great, it has been really good. It has been a great season so far in terms of the races that I have been able to do,” he told VeloNation prior to the start of stage six in the seaside town of Bodrum. Soaking up the sun minutes before the race moved off, he was clearly content. “I started in Down Under and then I did all the cobbled Classics, which has been a big experience. So now I just hope I can benefit from all the hard races I have done so far.”

As a young rider, Jensen competed for Ireland but then later opted to race under a Danish licence. His father is from that country and after his family moved back there, Jensen made the change.

However he retains a strong Irish accent and also some sense of identity from that country. This year he has been joined on Team Saxo Tinkoff by Nicolas Roche, who moved across from Ag2r La Mondiale.

“It is great fun,” Jensen said about that addition. “It is nice to have a fellow Irishman on the team, and he seems to have settled in really, really well. It has been really nice having in him on board.”

Roche has a change in role this year, going from being an outright team leader to one who is racing in support of Alberto Contador. While he will have chances of his own in some events, he will take up a lieutenant’s role when the Spaniard is in the race.

That should see him riding support in the Tour de France. Roche could quite possibly do the Vuelta a España as well, with the Tour/Vuelta programme having been on his schedule in the past. If so, there is a chance that he could be joined by his young team-mate, who would be making his Grand Tour debut.

For now, though, more time needs to pass. “It is still too soon to tell [about a Grand Tour],” Juul Jensen said. “The plan was perhaps to do the Giro but that has been changed, so now I am fingers crossed to do the Vuelta. But that is so far ahead in the future that it is hard to say. For me I am just concentrated on the races that I have and get the best out of them.

“I think the next race for me is going to be the Tour of Norway. I have a couple of weeks at home in Italy, where I can hopefully recover after this race and then train well and see what I can get out of that.”


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