Mads Pedersen wins Tour of Denmark

Victory in the final time trial stage moves Mads ahead of Mattias Skjelmose as Lidl-Trek take 1-2 overall

Mads Pedersen, who never finished outside the top five on any stage, started the time trial four seconds behind teammate Mattias Skjelmose. Both Danes were hungry to take the overall title of their home race and on paper it was difficult to say who the favorite was. However, Lidl-Trek were in a privileged position, with its two riders occupying first and second overall before the race of truth. 45 seconds separated them from the next best placed rider, fellow Dane Magnus Cort, meaning one of the two Lidl-Trek riders was likely to take the overall title in Helsingør.

Daan Hoole had spent most of the day already in the hotseat, having set the provisional fastest time on a course well suited to his profile, however he was well aware that it would be difficult to hold onto it when his Danish teammates had their turn. Pedersen rode an incredible time trial, claiming the best time of the day by 24 seconds over the 16.8km course. Skjelmose was the last rider on course and the only rider who could beat Pedersen, but he was unable to match the the time set by his teammate. Pedersen had overturned the four second deficit and then some, taking the stage and general classification of his home race.

It was a hugely successful outing for Lidl-Trek at the Tour of Denmark, claiming two stage wins, first and second in general classification, the points classification and the team classification.

Podium vibes - Photo Szymon Gruchalski/CV/SprintCyclingAgency©2023

Mads Pedersen’s reaction

First of all, the Team gave me and my brother the opportunity to race Tour of Denmark together and that’s special for both of us. I’m super proud of him to make it this far already, he only started riding again three years ago and now he has the level to ride the Tour of Denmark with us, so that’s super nice that the Team could see that and gave us that opportunity.

We came to win this race and at least one stage along the way. We managed to win the nicest stage in Vejle with Mattias and today in the time trial it was mano a mano. I’m happy that I was able to beat him today because he has shown some great TTs this season. It was really special and very nice because we could be a bit more relaxed because we had over 40” to number three. If it was me or him that’s winning it wouldn’t really matter, the most important was that one of us from the Team would win. We could joke about it and now Mattias owes me a nice dinner somewhere.

There was basically no pacing, it was just flooring it from the beginning and hoping I could make it to the finish, today was one of these days where I could manage it. I was basically on the limit the whole way. I was super motivated to do a good time trial because Mattias has done really good TTs the whole season and I knew I had to do one of my best time trials to beat him. I went all out and hoped for the best.

Mads on a mission - photo Szymon Gruchalski/CV/SprintCyclingAgency©2023

Mattias Skjelmose’s reaction

It’s been an amazing week. Of course I would like to have won but being second behind Mads is probably the best way to lose so I’m happy with the result in the end. I got a beautiful win in Vejle which is the biggest scene in Denmark and I’m happy with that. To finish second behind Mads is not a bad result. My TT wasn’t super, but not bad. I didn’t have the legs to follow my pacing plan, but even if I had been able to I don’t think I would have won. Mads did an amazing ride and he deserved the win, it was the strongest guy who won and I’m really proud to finish 1-2 with him. He’s doing ‘Mads things’ and I hope one day when I grow up I can be like him and win the Tour of Denmark one time.

"I say Lidl, you say Trek!" - photo Szymon Gruchalski/CV/SprintCyclingAgency©2023