Martin Pedersen excited about new opportunity with Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Martin Pedersen excited about new opportunity with Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

by Jered Gruber at 4:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Danish rider looking to come good on the promise of his U23 years

Yesterday, along with Robert Wagner, Martin Pedersen the two riders became the 3rd and 2nd to last additions to the 2011 Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, with Fabian Cancellara likely serving as the final addition soon.

Pedersen is justifiably pleased with his new contract and feels it will be a great environment to race, though the star studded line up will fall under heavy scrutiny when the race season gets underway.

"Although it is a super team, it's also a place where it will get very hard. It might not be there right now, but there will be a lot of pressure for us to deliver. I'm looking forward to that though," said the former two-time Danish U23 champion to

Pedersen's pedigree as a fast finishing strong man will fit perfectly within the team, not only in the hard one day races, but also in the sprints, where the likes of Daniele Bennati and Wouter Weylandt will require supporting. It's a job that should suit Pedersen perfectly, and it's a job he sees himself able to fulfill. He's not afraid to go after his own glory if the opportunity presents itself though.

"We'll find out more when we gather in early December. I'm a rider that can work hard for the team, but I can also take the opportunity if it presents itself. It's probably going to be hard to get into the Tour de France squad, because in its current form, we could field two teams for the race and still be sharp. I could also ride the Vuelta, but I'll take it as it comes. My priority right now is to be fit to fight and be there for the team, then the the rest will follow."

Despite a lackluster season with Footon-Servetto, the 27 year old still had the opportunity to stay with the considerably improved team, which morphed into Geox-TMC this offseason. However, turning down the offer to race with what will be, on paper at least, the strongest team in the world in 2011, as well as the chance to race with three of his countrymen in Jakob Fuglsang, Anders Lund, and Martin Mortensen - just wasn't an option.

"Of course, I had also talked with Geox about an extension, but this project overshadowed that, as I found it very interesting. It is only within the last little while that everything has fallen 100% into place, but it is obviously something we've talked about for a long time. This makes me very happy that it has all worked out. I certainly know almost everyone on the new team, many of them are my good friends, so I think it's a really good group of riders."

Martin Pedersen showed early on that he could be a major factor in professional cycling. In 2005, at 22 years old, he won the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, two stages of the Olympia's Tour, three stages of the Ringerike GP, a stage of the Giro della Toscana, and capped it all off with 4th in the Post Danmark Rundt, Denmark's premiere race.

Bjarne Riis has been known to pick up hidden talents or riders in the need of nurture, but it didn't take much of a leap of faith for Riis to sign Pedersen to a two year deal for 2006 and 2007. 2006 was a mostly bare season for Pederson save for overall victory at the Tour of Britain, which is hardly a result to sniff at, but in his two years with CSC, it ended up as his only result, so in 2008, he moved on to Team GLS, where things began to take a turn for the better. 2009 was an even better one for Pedersen with Team Capinordic. He took four wins that season including victory at the Rund um Köln.

2009 was a return to the promise laden trajectory that had begun many years before and resulted in a return to the ProTour with his signing to Footon-Servetto for the 2010 season. While 2010 ended up being a rather quiet one, it was still enough to get him into the crosshairs of the new Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.



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