Pedersen goes close to Danish Tour de France dream victory

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) sprints in for third place on stage 2 at Tour de France in Nyborg
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) sprints in for third place on stage 2 at Tour de France in Nyborg (Image credit: Getty Images)

Mads Pedersen thought his Danish Tour de France dream was about to come as he sprinted to the finish in Nyborg.

The Dane had ridden just 250 metres from his home early in the day and was hoping to win a Tour de France stage during the three Grand Depart days in Denmark. He had made the three stages a massive objective, something for him to aim and something for the Danish cycling fans to cheer about.

The Danes came out in their thousands, packing the roadside during the 200km stage and then at the finish in Nyborg. Pedersen wanted to reward them.

Only Fabio Jakobsen and Wout van Aert ended his dreams on stage 2.  

“I wanted to win, of course, but it’s not easy for me to win a bunch sprint with a guy like Jakobsen here,” Pedersen told Cyclingnews as he tried to overcome the disappointment.  

“I’m still pretty happy with the result. It shows I can be in the mix of winning. So if everything goes my way, I can win a sprint as well.

"We’re racing tomorrow (to Sonderborg), so the dream is still possible.”

Pedersen was cheered by the Danish crowd even beyond the finish line. He has harnessed the support of the Danish fans to inspire him.

“It was crazy out there, the crowd was amazing,” Pedersen said with sincere gratitude.  

“A huge thanks to everyone following and supporting us from the road. It gave me goosebumps every time we passed big crowds.” 

Trek-Segafredo teammate Jasper Stuyven led out Pedersen over the bridge with 500 metres to go and then dropped him off with the road open in front of them. Pedersen kicked hard but had to sprint into a slight headwind that favoured those who came late from behind like Jakobsen.  

“I opened the sprint with 200 metres to go, after the whole team did a perfect job,” Pedersen explained.

It was a chaotic final, so it was difficult to get right. I think we got it right, there was just my lack of power in the sprint.

“Fabio came up so fast in the end, so congrats to him. I couldn’t do anything else.”  

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