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Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ-BigMat)
Finnish rider introduces teammates Soupe and Démare
It was no surprise to see Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss crossing the line of stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia in Herning in the same order as at the world championship in Copenhagen the previous year, but the name of the third place rider was never heard before by many observers. Frenchman Geoffrey Soupe from FDJ-BigMat found himself at the front after losing his sprinter Arnaud Démare in the chaos preceding the sprint.
Jussi Veikkanen, who returned to the French team after spending one year with Omega Pharma-Lotto, explained what happened on the start line of stage 3 in Horsens. He also introduced Démare who is a new sprinter in the making. The youngest rider among the 198 starters of the Giro d’Italia has already won four pro races at the age of 20, including the last stage of the Tour of Qatar and Cholet-Pays de Loire.
Hearing a few fans cheering for him during the opening time trial, Veikkanen felt that Scandinavian cycling has taken a step up with the first start of a Grand Tour so far north. The whole peloton is scheduled to fly to Italy from Billund airport after stage 3.