Voted Denmark's cyclist of the year by a selection of his country's media, Saxo Bank's Jakob Fuglsang said the recognition “gives me morale” as he heads into his second season in the ProTour. The 24-year-old noted that, “there is nothing more satisfying that to fulfill the goals you have set for yourself.”
In only his first ProTour year, the young Dane won the Tour of Denmark and the Tour of Slovenia, as well as three top-three stage results at his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España. His efforts saw him voted the Danish rider of the year by Danish TV2 and www.feltet.dk.
"It is a recognition of me as a rider and it's valuable to me that people notice the good results I'm doing.” he said on the Saxo Bank website. “In my generation of riders there's a huge potential and we could almost build a competitive Tour de France line-up if we were on the same team.”
The former mountain biker also put in a top performance at the Dauphiné Libéré, where “it was a bold and almost surreal experience to be out there with Cadel Evans and Alberto Contador on the Mont Ventoux where I was even able to put pressure on them both in their own terrain.”
He has a simple explanation for his participation in the sport: "I love cycling. That is why I do it. To ride out and enjoy the terrain; the prospect of mountain peaks is an important part of training.” He continued, “Even on rest days I am often riding longer than scheduled, because I just want to get up on top of a mountain and enjoy the scenery. I could not imagine ever stopping training.”
After his good results this year, Fuglsang hopes to break into the team's Tour de France squad next year. Team owner Bjarne Riis and he “have had a small talk about my chances of doing the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France, but there are things to be improved in order to be in that special line-up”.
Fuglsang has also been nominated for the Danish Cycling Union's cyclist of the year award. He is up against the World Champion Danish team pursuit squad, Madison World Champions Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv, as well as Saxo Bank teammates Matti Breschel and Nicki Sørensen. The winner of the award will be announced on December 17.