Mads Pedersen - A rookie ready to rumble

Mads Pedersen - A rookie ready to rumble

18.03.2022: “Being here in Italy, with the plan to race Milano-Sanremo tomorrow, is definitely a big surprise.” With the smile and the confidence that have always accompanied him, Mads Pedersen is preparing to make his debut in La Classicissima.

 
“Being here in Italy, with the plan to race Milano-Sanremo tomorrow, is definitely a big surprise.”



With the smile and the confidence that have always accompanied him, Mads Pedersen is preparing to make his debut in La Classicissima.



Twenty-four hours ago, his program for the weekend included training at his home in Denmark, but with the unexpected forfeit of his teammate and friend Jasper Stuyven he quickly packed his Trek and caught a flight to Italy. Tomorrow he will captain the Trek-Segafredo squad.



"Uncertainty and changing plans are part of the job, they have to be accepted and you have to be ready. The team needed me here and so, here I am. Milano-Sanremo is a Monument, it's part of the history of cycling. I can't say that I'm prepared for this race, but the excitement and the will to do well is there,” explained Mads.



Despite being thrown into a last-minute change, one fact remains certain: Pedersen arrives in enviable condition after a brilliant performance in Paris-Nice.



“Yeah, I’m in good form, even if the plan for this week was an easy ride and then start again to train strong this weekend,” agreed Mads. “Not the ideal approach, definitely, but I feel ready to discover Milano-Sanremo. Tomorrow, I have at least 150kms to put pressure and open the legs before the race enters its key moment.



"This will be my debut in this Classic and I've only just got into the mental preparation for the race, but we're here and I want to do my best to have a good race.



“This race has a predictable script in the first part, with almost 200kms in which you have to manage yourself and to open the legs for the finish. For riders like me, who are not the best climbers, the goal is to keep the best position in the peloton and being really in the front before the final 30kms. Then, hopefully, survive the Cipressa and Poggio to play my chances. The last 45 minutes of the race will be hectic and hard. My plan for this afternoon is to watch the last 50kms of 2021 race to get even more ready.



“The good form and the results at Paris-Nice gave me confidence. I definitely believe we have opportunities for a good race tomorrow. Personally, it’s a good chance to get some more experience in a race that suits me.



“About the competitors, of course it’s not the first time I’m riding against these riders; nothing is impossible even if it is the first time I’m racing here. Pogacar and Van Aert are under the spotlight, they rode super strong in Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice. Trying to follow their wheels will be good, for sure.”




In view of the first Monument of 2022, Mads collected useful advice from teammate and 2021 winner Jasper Stuyven.



“I talked with him yesterday. It's a pity that he isn't here to defend his victory, I had the same feeling last year at Gent-Wevelgem, but it was the right decision. Having more rest, recovering and being ready for the races in Belgium is the priority. He will come back stronger. It was also the chance to have some insight of last year’s race, especially for positioning in the key moments of the race.”



At this point, fans will have much anticipation for Mads’ debut. Everyone will be curious to see a red-hot Pedersen in Milan-Sanremo, a race, that on paper, is suited to his strengths.



"Those who wondered why I wasn't racing MSR will now be happy," agrees Mads with a smile. "It simply didn't fit well into the approach route we had scheduled in winter to prepare for the Belgian Classics.



“Before Paris-Nice I had a hard training camp. This week was needed for recovery. There was no room to prepare for a race like Sanremo. But now we are here, and we want to do well. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. After the last days of rest, I might feel a little bit blocked at the beginning, but hopefully I have six hours to open the legs.”

 


Trek Segafredo
 


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18.03.2022 / MaP

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