Nicki Sørensen has been with Bjarne Riis's team since 2001, and has seen a lot in that time. The 2012 Saxo-Tinkoff season ran the gamut from the low of Alberto Contador's doping ban to the high of his winning the Vuelta a Espana, while Sørensen himself exulted with a season-closing win of the GP Bruno Beghelli.
That victory was his proudest moment of the season. “It was my last race of the season and my first professional victory in Italy which kind of has become my second home outside Denmark,” he said on the team's website. “Therefore, it meant a lot to me to take the victory on home soil.”
The 37-year-old is already looking forward to the Giro d'Italia 2013, “where besides helping Rafa (Majka) in the GC, I will try to go for a stage win. I believe that Rafa can make a good result in the overall standings if he continues his progress and takes another step up,” he said.
“But I'm looking forward to getting my own chance too. It would be great to take a Giro victory when I have wins in both the Tour and the Vuelta.”
Looking back at 2012, it was “a year in which we didn't have much luck. Some of the strongest riders who were expected to win races this year were out of competition for longer periods of the year due to injuries and other mishaps. But finally, we got a grip on things and finally we showed ourselves as a very strong and homogeneous team able to win the big races.”
Sørensen praised Contador, not only for his victories but also for his effect on the team. “Alberto never gives up. It is one of his strengths and it rubs off on the rest of the team. Therefore his presence on the team provides everyone with more energy."