Danish champ Michael Mørkøv thinking about Vuelta stage win
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Danish champ Michael Mørkøv thinking about Vuelta stage win

by Kyle Moore at 12:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
To get a chance to sprint out a punchy stage finish “would be huge," says the Dane

Michael MorkovMichael Mørkøv is one of many riders on the Saxo-Tinkoff Vuelta a España squad whose name is not written at the top of the list of most accomplished riders, but he is also one of many on the team who have, in the past, made the most of their more limited opportunities.

Mørkøv got a career best win in June when he became Danish road champion for the first time. He took a break from racing in July, training for the Tour of Denmark and the late summer season. The Post Danmark Rundt was his only race since becoming Danish champ, until the Vuelta gets underway on Saturday.

Mørkøv stated on the team website that, although his main job will be to look after the Saxo-Tinkoff general classification men, he would also gladly try and seize an opportunity at a Vuelta stage finish out of a breakaway.

A year ago, Mørkøv was racing in July, putting up an ultra-aggressive first week and wearing the polka dot jersey for a stint. This year, with new signees occupying spots on the Saxo-Tinkoff Tour roster in support of Alberto Contador, Mørkøv was left off, and trained through July.

“I had been training in July to get ready for the Tour of Denmark, where I had hoped for peak condition,” he explained. “But personally, I actually did not obtain my goals in the race. [Mørkøv finished 33rd overall – ed.] I had hoped for a better overall result for myself, and the GC was my main target before the start of the race. Fortunately, Matti [Breschel] was really strong and we supported him 100 percent through the race, and I reckon it was one of the races where our teamwork made a huge difference.”

Normally a rider who blends in while working for others, Mørkøv said it was nice to stand out for once in his new Danish champion’s kit.

“It was a great honor and a memorable experience wearing the Danish national jersey,” he reflected on his home race. “A lot of fans recognized me wearing the red and white colours, and they were screaming my name on the course, which gave me goose bumps.”

Entering his fourth grand tour in his fifth year with Saxo-Tinkoff, Mørkøv has almost officially earned the veteran status, fitting right in with an experienced team at the Vuelta. Mørkøv will be charged with supporting the GC ambitions of Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, Rafal Majka, and Chris Anker Sørensen.

Even in the less heralded grand tour, the strong team and the possibility of his own triumph has Mørkøv excited to get started.

“I’m really looking forward to doing the Vuelta. My personal goal in Spain is quite simply to get a spot contesting a finale of one of the stages. It would be huge. In addition, I’m going to help out on the flat stretches and make sure that our GC riders remain well protected, so they can save energy for the mountain battles.”

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