From Paris-Roubaix to Tour de Georgia
By Rune Schjerbeck, Feltet.dk
Martin Pedersen (CSC) is facing an exciting first season as a professional. At least he'll be sent out for a little of everything from the start, where in Spring, the 22 year-old Dane will most likely be riding the world's most famous one-day race, Paris-Roubaix.
"I've received a plan for the what kind of races races I'll ride," said Pedersen to Feltet.dk. "I'll start out in Qatar with many of the young guys and some of the fast riders, then comes Het Volk and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, and afterwards I hope to be picked for Milano-San Remo. I'm not all sure yet about the last mentioned, but I'll get to know during the training camp. I haven't been put on the paper for this race yet, but I hope to be that, because it's a race I'd like to focus on. Among the big races, I'll be riding Paris-Roubaix, which I certainly find very interesting, and I've been put on as back-up for Dwars door Vlaanderen."
The racing program can still change, though. "I can't be 100 percent sure about which races I'm going to ride, because it also depends on my shape. In the start I'll naturally ride to get to know the races - especially the big races during the spring season. Moreover, I'll ride a lot of the French races, as well as I'll be riding some races in USA, e.g. Tour of Georgia and US Championships. I'll also participate in some Italian races like Milano-Torino and Giro di Lucca, and at the end of the season I'll ride Paris-Tours and Paris-Bourges in France. And finally, I'll ride the Tour de l'Avinir of course.
"I reckon that a lot of the races look interesting, but I don't really know the parcours, especially those of the big Spring Classics. I'm just looking forward to riding some races, and then we'll see what will happen."
The racing calendar fits Martin Pedersen's versatility, so besides the Spring Classics he'll also ride some of the hillier races. "I will try to do some of the races that will suit my strengths; races where the whole peloton can come to the finish, and where there aren't too many mountains. On the other hand, I've ridden some races where there are some hills, which differentiates me from a lot of the others who have ridden all the classics.
Knowing each other's limits
The jump to the professional ranks isn't just about cycle races and riding against the famous riders, it's also about starting at a completely new work place with a lot of different people.
"I've heard a lot of different things from a lot of people, so I had an idea about how things like the training camp, including the survival camp, would work out, without knowing the exact program, though. I think it was a cool experience, because we got to do a lot of things that meant we got to know each other very well. Different people had the leading role, and thereby you got to see a little more about how people actually are. We had a nice time, including a Christmas party, where you really get to know each other well too.
"Personally, I think it was superb, because I've gotten to know a lot of people who I didn't know beforehand, and who I now feel I know very well. It's nice to know that there are some people you can joke a little with during the races. At least you know where you've got them, when you're going to live in a hotel with them for the first time, so that it won't just be some mumbling. You quickly get into the roles, and you know where each person's limit is, when it comes to, what can be considered funny. That's a really useful thing."