By Shane Stokes
Chris Anker Sørensen took the biggest victory of his career when he won the mountainous sixth stage of the Dauphiné Libéré. While the 23 year-old CSC rider will miss this year's Tour de France, he is aiming to make his debut there in 2009.
"I hope to do the Tour next year," he told Cyclingnews. "My level has improved since the Giro... it was a really hard race this year but I got through it and it really improved me as a bike rider. I hope to be part of the selected team next season."
The Dane has already amassed some solid results as a professional, including second in the mountains competition of Paris-Nice and the Tour of Romandie, a team time trial stage win in the 2007 Deutschland Tour, plus 19th overall in the Vuelta a España and 28th in this year's Giro d'Italia. But it was his win ahead of some of the sport's big guns in the Dauphiné which confirmed his climbing ability.
"It was a great victory," he told Cyclingnews. "It was an unbelievable day to win a great mountain stage like that. I am really, really happy as it was my first victory as a pro rider. To win something like that is fantastic."
When asked if he sees himself evolving into a King of the Mountains contender or a GC rider in races such as the Tour, he refrains from making any predictions. "I think it is too early to say. I have done well in the mountains but I still need to improve my time trial. At the moment now I think it is better for me to do what I did in the Dauphiné – to go after one or two stages than go for the overall win there."
Next up for Sørensen are the national championships, then the Tour of Austria, the Sachsen-Tour, the Tour of Denmark and the Olympic Games. After that, he feels he is more likely to ride the Deutschland Tour and the end-of-season Italian classics rather than the Vuelta a España; the world championships is also a goal for him, but he said that his selection is not guaranteed.
"I hope to do the worlds, but I think that [his chances] also depends on the Danish team – we have a lot of strong riders now. Lars Bak is going well, Nicki Sørensen is going strong and also Matti Breschel has been in really good form this year. He just won a stage in the Ster Elektrotoer. So we will see.