Mørkøv leading SaxoBank-SunGard in Denmark, Dane looking for high GC placing with two stages left
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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Mørkøv leading SaxoBank-SunGard in Denmark, Dane looking for high GC placing with two stages left

by Kyle Moore at 9:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Poised in fourth overall heading into this afternoon’s time trial

Michael MorkovIn his home Tour of Denmark, Michael Mørkøv continues to show himself well, the Dane sitting fourth overall for SaxoBank-SunGard after yesterday’s queen stage plus this morning’s big group finish.

Stage three had most of the fireworks that many expected, and multiple climbs of the Koldingvej and Kiddesvej wreaked havoc in the main field. The stage was won by three-time returning champion Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek), but after losing time on stage one, Fuglsang is likely out of the running for the overall victory.

Mørkøv is more than happy to pick up the slack for Fuglsang’s former team. He happily noted the work his Danish team had done to support him. “There’s no doubt that I wouldn’t be in this position without a strong team,” he proclaimed after yesterday’s stage. “The guys were there for me after I had a puncture, and on the climbs in Vejle,” he said.

Mørkøv finished seventh on the day, 13 seconds behind Fuglsang. He was in a select group of 13 riders who all received the same time, including countrymen Matti Breschel (Rabobank) and Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches-Ofone). He was then tenth this morning, finishing in the same time as the winner Sacha Modolo (Colnago - CSF Inox).

Along with Mørkøv, SaxoBank-SunGard brought five other Danes. But team director Dan Frost was also pleased with his team’s selfless efforts in support of Mørkøv. “Michael had a fabulous ride and was protected by loyal teammates, so I can be nothing but happy after this stage,” he affirmed.

“Just before entering a cobblestone section, Mørkøv had a flat tire, but he just made it back to the peloton before it totally disintegrated. Chris [Anker Sørensen] had a flat shortly after but he didn’t make it back up to the bunch.”

With this morning’s stage changing little, Mørkøv continues to sit fourth overall, nine seconds off the race lead of Simon Gerrans (Sky Procycling). He is directly behind Daniele Bennati (Leopard-Trek) in the overall standings, but Frost said yesterday evening that he likes the chances of his rider overtaking the Italian sprinter. “Fulgsang took the stage win and he and Gerrans stole the bonus seconds, which we can benefit from,” Frost explained. “Before the time trial there’s a morning stage, but we’re in a rather solid position before the time trial,” he added.

“We’re watching Bennati closely and we’re looking forward to another exciting day.”

Mørkøv seems to be back into good form after a busy early season. Amongst other races, the Dane finished Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tours of Flanders and Romandie, and the Giro d’Italia. Racing at home after a break, he is enthusiastic about the stages to come, even if the confidence is gaining only gradually.

“I was worried that I was going to have to defend today and would end up losing time on the queen stage,” Mørkøv said yesterday evening. “I’m actually in a great position now. But that doesn’t mean that I’m sure of anything. There’s a morning stage with a difficult finish and there’s a time trial where Bennati will be a strong opponent.”

That morning stage went to plan, and now everything rides on what happens in this afternoon’s race against the clock.
 

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