So close! Pedersen second at GP Isbergues

The French race was decided in a sprint and, by a matter of centimetres, Moschetti won ahead of Mads

It was necessary to look at the photo finish to work out who had won the sprint of the 2023 GP Isbergues. In the competition, Mads Pedersen and an old member of the Trek family, the Italian, Matteo Moschetti. In the end, photo finish in hand, the victory went to the Q36.5 rider. Third place went to Frenchman, Demare.

Mads therefore had to be content with second place, his eighth of the season, but with the knowledge that the well-deserved rest observed after the intense and successful summer calendar (starting at the end of June with the national championships and ending on 27th August at the Deutschland Tour), was definitely useful to recharge the batteries and start the season finale with strong ambitions.

At GP Isbergues (won by Mads in 2019, a week before his rainbow triumph in Harrogate) Pedersen and Lidl-Trek showed great character and the clear desire to leave a strong mark before the last races of the season. But cycling always has its twists and turns, and the daily breakaway almost ruined the plans. It took a long chase and a gutsy effort from Jasper Stuyven in the final kilometers to complete the chase, when the Belgian made an attack with compatriot Naesen (AG2R) to bridge on the five in the lead, forcing the peloton to make the decisive acceleration. The rest was a super fast sprint that ended with Pedersen on the podium.

Mads’ reaction

First of all, I’m happy I came back racing in a way like this. Yesterday, at Super 8 Classic, it was my very first race after a break and the feeling was not great, I definitely didn’t have my best legs. Today, also for my own motivation and my mind, I approached the race to do my best to get a result. These kind of races are never easy. We started with a small team in numbers and I think we got the best out of it. We played quite good in the finale, we were really motivated. From the radio our team director Rast was very clear saying that Q36.5 was the team to be on for the lead out, and so it was. I followed the wheel of Moschetti then I just went full gas. At the end, it was all about centimeters.

Of course the target is always winning, but this podium anyway says the form is still here. We keep going with the aim of finishing the season with some good results. So far, I’m really happy for my season, but of course that’s not a good reason to stop chasing wins. I still have four races in my calendar and we have to keep the level high till the very end. It doesn’t matter where we race or how important it is, we always need to have the right mindset and try to get the best results.

Today’s race showed that after a bit of rest and some good training, I still have the legs to do a full power sprint at least. So, I’ll do my absolute best to keep performing and get results for the Team. If I blow up, well, it’s ok, but that will not happen without trying to win.