The six man team that Denmark will field at the World Championships road race in Ponferrada, Spain this Sunday will be entirely made up of Tinkoff-Saxo riders. Christopher Juul-Jensen will be making his Worlds debut on the 245.8km course with the national team and explained that his selection is indicative of the good season he has had.
"It's a huge honour to represent my country," he said. "When I participated on the U23 team, I watched the pros, and suddenly I'm one of them. It's great to get selected and I think it shows that I've had a solid and pretty consistent season.
"Now I hope to get some productive days of training to polish the shape ahead of Sunday. Steven de Jongh is managing my training, and I feel that we've planned my preparations well."
The 25-year-old started his season in January at the Tour Down Under before embarking on a long classics campaign that led to him making his grand tour debut at the Giro d'Italia. For the Irish born Juul-Jensen, it was special occasion as the Italian grand tour started in Belfast and spent three days in the the Republic, and Northern Ireland.
When he lines up on Sunday for the road race, Juul-Jensen will be in familiar company as his five teammates are all contracted to Tinkoff-Saxo.
"We're all from the same team racing and training together all the time," said of the team. "So we know each other well and we know how to ride together. It's a difficult circuit but the race can develop in many different directions so that's why it's important to react to the race situation as a team."
The only previous experience Juul-Jensen has had racing for his national team was at the U23 level and while Denmark aren't favoured to challenge for a medal, he believes the team will still show itself in the final laps.
"It can turn into a race for the likes of [John] Degenkolb and [Simon] Gerrans or a race for punchy climbers such as [Alejandro] Valverde or [Joaquim] Rodriguez," he explained. "It all depends on when the favourites make a move and how high the pace will be.
Juul-Jensen added that the team tactics will be adjusted throughout the race and he will be free to ride as he pleases.
"But we might get a chance to open up the race with attacks in the final part. Otherwise we'll hang on as long as possible and see what happens," he said.
"In a 255km race it's simply a matter of being in top shape. I will have a free role on Sunday, but we will adjust our strategy during the race if one of us has a super day."
Denmark has five Worlds medals to its name but is yet to lay claim to a road rainbow jersey. Matti Breschel was second in 2010 having finished third two years earlier in Varese and the 30-year-old has been selected for Sunday's race.
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