The Danish team for the world championships in Australia has been finalised, with Saxo Bank riders dominating the line-up. The Danish Cycling Union today confirmed that Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen as the final additions to the team. They will join Lars Bak (HTC-Columbia) and their Saxo Bank teammates Matti Breschel, Anders Lund and Chris Anker Sørensen on the plane to Melbourne at the end of September.
“Alex [Rasmussen] and Michael [Mørkøv] have both been having a great autumn and are good riders,” Denmark manager Lars Bonde told CyclingWorld.dk. “We can make great use of Alex on the first flat 85km of the Worlds course between Melbourne and Geelong, and he can also help on the first laps of the circuit in Geelong.”
Bonde was also unconcerned by the fact that Mørkøv will miss out on riding the Vuelta a España in bizarre circumstances. “Even though Michael’s not going to the Vuelta now, he trains very well and I know that he will come to Australia well prepared,” he said. Mørkøv travelled to Seville to ride the Vuelta only to find that he was ineligible to ride as he had not been named twenty days beforehand on the provisional long list of riders for the event that Saxo Bank had submitted to the UCI.
Both Rasmussen and Mørkøv will double up in the time trial and road race for Denmark at the world championships. The duo finished in second and third place behind Jakob Fuglsang in the national time trial championships in June, but Fuglsang has opted not to compete in Australia.
“Michael has developed a lot as a time trial rider this year and Alex can aim for success this year as well as using the experience as a starting point for next’s years Worlds in Denmark,” Bonde explained.
In the road race, Danish hopes will rest in particular on the shoulders of Matti Breschel, who took home the bronze medal from Varese in 2008. Breschel recently confirmed that he is leaving the Saxo Bank squad to ride for Rabobank next season.