‘We did everything right’: A perfect 3rd for Pedersen

Mads happy with his result in Tour de France Stage 2 but is hungry for one more chance in Denmark

The first road stage in the Tour de France is always stressful. Add some wind and a long, exposed bridge ahead of the finish, and it takes it to another level.

There were a whole lot of nervous riders anticipating crosswinds in the last 70-80 kilometers, and when the peloton hit the Great Belt Bridge the wind was full-on – from the front.

It turned into an uneventful slow crawl over the spectacular passage and then, as always, a fast, chaotic rush into the finish.

Trek-Segafredo timed its lead-out perfectly. Jasper Stuyven took the front in the final half kilometer and left Pedersen to take on the final big effort.

Mads launched. One hundred meters to go and he still looked good. But in the last 50 meters a speedy Fabio Jacobsen spoiled the homecoming.

“I opened the sprint 200 meters to go,” Mads explained. “Fabio was coming so fast in the end, so congrats to him; I couldn’t do anything else. We did everything right. He was just faster.”

The whole team did a perfect job today. We knew it would be difficult with Fabio Jacobsen and [the other sprinters], so in the end 3rd place is okay.

The anticipated crosswind over the bridge never materialized. A headwind finish with a fresh peloton does not make for an easier ending – in fact, quite the opposite. Crashes marred the final kilometers and fortunately Trek-Segafredo escaped unscathed. And then the big boys took over. Quinn Simmons, Alex Kirsch and Jasper Stuyven provided a textbook set up for Mads.

“It’s chaotic to do a finish like this, always,” agreed Mads. “It’s difficult to get right but I think we got it right. It’s just my lack of power in a sprint and we couldn’t do anything else. I want to win, of course, but it’s not easy for me to win a bunch sprint with a guy like Jacobsen here.  I am pretty happy with it. It shows I can be in the mix of winning and if everything is going my way then I can win a sprint as well. The dream of winning in Denmark is still possible tomorrow.”

One more day of home advantage for Mads and he would love nothing more than to give the Danish fans what they deserve.

“Absolutely crazy – the crowd is amazing,” said Mads. “Here’s thanks to everyone who is following and supporting us on the road. It’s something that is really special and gives us goosebumps every time.”

Photo: Dan King

Photo: Dan King