By Jean-François Quénet in La Toussuire
In the history of bike races going up to the Alpine ski resort of La Toussuire, there is Iban Mayo who won a stage in the Dauphiné Libéré two years ago, Michael Rasmussen at the 2007 Tour de France and now Chris Anker Sørensen. But the Dane who took a magnificent victory at the Dauphiné on Saturday wants no comparisons between himself and his now infamous compatriot.
"I definitely don't want to be the new Rasmussen, let's forget about Rasmussen," said the 23 year-old in response to a question about the former yellow jersey of the Tour de France, whose career is now in limbo after lies about his whereabouts last year. "But I hope to become the new Danish climber for the Tour de France," added Sørensen with a smile of determination.
"My first pro win couldn't be a greater one than the queen stage of the Dauphiné, which is a great race with the Col de la Croix-de-Fer, one of France's most beautiful climbs," he continued. "I used to watch the Tour de France pass through it when I was a kid. It's a dream come true for me to win here."
Sørensen rode the Giro d'Italia before the Dauphiné but didn't quite fulfill his goal of making the top 20. He wore the white jersey of best young rider for several stages and finished 27th in Milan. "I would have made the top 20, if I hadn't been sick for one night, I had a very bad day after that," he remembered. "I'm satisfied with my Giro. It was much harder than I thought. I've learned a lot."
As a resident of Altzingen in Luxembourg, just 10 kilometres away from Mondorf-les-Bains, he takes good advice from his training partners Fränk and Andy Schleck. "Hopefully in the future we'll race a lot together as well," he said, while dropping in the name of his CSC-Saxo Bank team. The Danish investment bank will take over as title sponsor after the departure of CSC this year.
A rider clearly not afraid to speak his mind, Sørensen crossed the line making the gesture of a fisherman taking a fish out of the water. He explained it as a private joke with some friends back in Denmark, following the manner in which Paolo Bettini celebrated his world championship victory in Stuttgart.
He's definitely a name to remember – and not to be confused with the other Sørensen, Nicki, who congratulated him as he crossed the line while the younger of the two was on the podium already. There's no way that this ambitious climber wants Danish cycling to be remembered for Rasmussen's downfall after winning at La Toussuire.