Michael Mørkøv will now ride both the time trial and the road race for Denmark in this week's world championships in Copenhagen. He was named for the time trial only when Alex Rasmussen was removed from the team for doping control notification problems.
“Since I won bronze at the Danish Championships last year, I have dreamed about riding this time trial, also because I thought it was realistic,” Mørkøv told feltet.dk. “But I must honestly say that both Alex and Jakob [Fuglsang] have done better with it at the highest international level, so I had actually written it off and did not work specifically for it.
“But when the opportunity presented itself, I'm obviously very pleased to be selected and I will try to do as well as possible on Wednesday.”
Mørkøv is riding the GP Isbergues in France today, and will not have a chance to pre-ride the course in downtown Copenhagen. He hopes to ride in the team car behind one of the U-23 riders on Monday, so that he can see the course.
Rasmussen is the second rider to drop out of the Danish team, behind Matti Breschel, who has two broken fingers. The team now has reduced chances at a medal, but will still try.
"Our role in the race is still the same as after Matti made his apologies. We must start with the six strongest riders we have and try to get one or two in a break and then see how the race develops. While with Matti we could say that we are riding for the win, it's now more of an intention to make a good figure and show ourselves and then try to sneak a rider in the top ten at the end. "
Not surprised at Rasmussen's lapses
"I would not really say I am shocked, but I am extremely annoyed” by the news about Rasmussen, Mørkøv said. The two Danes rode together not only on Saxo Bank-SunGard, but were partners in many track events.
Rasmussen was suspended by the Danish Cycling Union and fired by HTC-Highroad last week after three "whereabouts" violations within 18 months.
“It looks really bad for Alex and my future cooperation in the next few years. But not least, I am really sorry for Alex's behalf that he is going to miss the world championships on his home turf, which is the biggest experience for a Danish cyclist.”
As to the violations, he added, "I know Alex very well and it's really why I say that it is no surprise. I know that Alex has a hard time to get his stuff done and exactly this system is something he has been struggling with during the time I've known him. "