Saxo Bank defends Fuglsang's three-second lead on final stage
Jakob Fuglsang (Team Saxo Bank) won his second consecutive Tour of Denmark on Sunday, maintaining his slender three-second margin over runner-up Maurizio Biondo (Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce). Fuglsang is no stranger to defending a small lead-when combined with his 2008 victory the Dane's winning margin of victory for both wins totals 12 seconds. His Saxo Bank teammates were on the alert all day and prevented Biondo from gaining any bonus seconds.
"It went okay since a four man break got away and took all the time bonuses on the course," Team Saxo Bank Directeur Sportif Dan Frost said. "That suited us just fine, and then the rest of the peloton, keen for a sprint finish, reeled them in at the end."
With the Saxo Bank race leader holding only a three-second advantage over Biondo, his teammates kept a very close eye on second-placed Italian. "The guys did a great job since the gap to second was so little we were never certain what the other team was going to try," Hoj said. "We had to make sure that Biondo didn't get away in the stage and most importantly, didn't get any time bonus in the final sprint.
"Of course we are tired. But it is a different sort of tired when you can also go home with a victory like this."
Since Saxo Bank led the race from start to finish, the team has been under constant pressure to control the race. "I feel absolutely great after this victory for the team," Frank Hoj said. "From the beginning this race has been a bit of a strange situation since we had the lead in the first three days with three different riders, so for most of the stages we had four protected riders."
With half the Saxo Bank team riding more or less protected for the first four stages of the tour, that meant the other four had to do the work of seven. "It put us under a little bit of pressure since in the early part of the stages Alex Rasmussen and I would have to do a lot of the work to save Kasper [Klostergaard] and Anders [Lund] so that they could really be rested to work hard in the last part of the stage," Hoj said. "But I have the age and experience to help the team do this, and it is always such a pleasure especially when everything works out perfectly like today."
Since the stage five time trial effectively shook out the classification, Saxo Bank came into the final stage knowing that they were riding for one person. "Today was probably the easiest because we had more riders to help," Hoj said. "We are very happy because we came into this race well prepared and we were able to accomplish everything we wanted."
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