Jakob Fuglsang dreaming of Tour de France leadership
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jakob Fuglsang dreaming of Tour de France leadership

by Jered Gruber at 6:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Consistently improving Danish talent hopes to race the Tour de France as a leader in the not so distant future

While Jakob Fuglsang has publicly fretted over whether he'll race next year's Giro d'Italia as the Luxembourg leader, or save all of his energy for the Tour de France to race in support of Andy Schleck - there seems to be no doubt where the young Dane's future dreams lie: the Tour de France.

The 25 year old raced in his first Tour de France this summer and fared well while riding in support of Andy Schleck. Up to this point though, Fuglsang has never showed at the three week level. He has ridden to a number of great results in the one week tours, including 3rd at this June's Tour de Suisse, 6th at both the Dauphine and the Volta a Catalunya, and of course, three straight victories at the Tour of Denmark. Even without a big win though, Fuglsang is still highly regarded as a rider for the future, and according to Fuglsang, there's still a long way to go.

"Now, I have a two year contract, and I hope that you can bet a little more on me in about two years," said the 25 year old to sporten.tv2.dk. "I hope that my level can be at the forefront next year, but I still have to show it out on the bike. It is not enough to just talk about it."

Fuglsang isn't dreaming small though. Speaking with the Ekstra Bladet last week, he conceded that the first year team's goals would be 100% on the Tour de France, which would make it hard to allow him the chance to race as the team leader at the Giro in May, as the incredibly difficult route would likely not allow Fuglsang to be at top form in July, when he would be desperately needed.

"I am riding for a new team, which makes the Tour de France even more important. Andy has a good chance of winning, so it would be a shame if he does not get maximum support. I don't know what I'd rather do. Of course, I want to be 100% ready for the Tour de France and help Andy to win, but I would also like to test myself as a captain."

It looks like a compromise might be on the horizon. If Fuglsang is kept from going all in at the year's first Grand Tour, then it seems that the three-time Tour of Denmark winner might ask to get a small ray of freedom to race for his own result at the Tour de France, next July.

"This year, I did my first Tour, and maybe I will see if I can get an auxiliary role next year, where I could still get permission to go after my own chances in the general classification at some level."

It would seem to be an agreement between team and rider only in word though, because if Andy Schleck has the chance to win the Tour next July, it would seem highly unlikely that Fuglsang will get any leash to pursue his own goals. If he is left as the last support rider in the mountains and protected on the flat stages though, he could possibly have a small chance at doing a reasonable overall ride. It has been done in the past. Plus, if/when Fabian Cancellara signs for Luxembourg, he's worth two riders on the front, so he can pick up Fuglsang's slack.

There's no question that it would be a hard furrow to plow for Fuglsang, but he's not aiming to ride in support of anyone for very much longer. The Swiss born rider wants to win the Tour de France someday, and when his two year deal with the Luxembourg cycling project runs its course, he hopes to be a lot further down the road in the direction of that dream.

"It's starting to draw closer, but it's not like I'm saying that in two years, I will be captain. I have to show that I have the nerve and the qualities to be a leader at the Tour de France."

 

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