Saxo Bank was the last team to be introduced to the crowd at Friday’s team presentation for the 2012 Giro d'Italia in Herning, as the honour of being the local team. The race itself will start in the native town of Denmark’s biggest cycling name, Bjarne Riis. Known as “the eagle of Herning” in his glorious and controversial days as a rider, he remains the pivotal figure in Danish cycling at the helm of the country’s only Pro Team.
Saxo Bank’s approach to the Giro d’Italia is obviously different this time around from one year ago when they arrived with arch-favourite and eventual winner Alberto Contador, who was later stripped off the title as a consequence of the clenbuterol affair at the 2010 Tour de France. Without the Spaniard, who is suspended until August 5, the Danish team haven’t performed like they normally do. In the Spring Classics, they badly missed the winner of the 2010 Tour of Flanders, Nick Nuyens, who was injured.
Anders Lund told Cyclingnews that the Giro is “an opportunity to try and change things”. The Danish rider has high expectations on home soil for his team-mates Manuele Boaro and Juan José Haedo. He talks about the pride of hosting the pink race only seven months after the road world championships in Copenhagen. A Grand Tour has never started so far north in Europe before the Giro came to Herning.