King of the small mountains

In his first official stage of the Tour de France, Michael Mørkøv became only the third Dane ever to earn the mountain jersey.­­ Then, he refused to give it up

The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
July 4th, 2012 12:38 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Those that thought Michael Mørkøv’s flirt with the polka-dotted jersey in this year's Tour de France was just a one-stage affair were mistaken.

Mørkøv, 27, took the jersey signifying the leader in the mountain climbing competition in the race’s first stage, wasn’t satisfied with wearing it for a single day. Not even close.

On the second day of riding, he snatched the single mountain point by joining that day’s breakaway, but then he also won mountain points by being part of his third consecutive breakaway yesterday on day three, something few riders have done.

Here, before the three-week circuit of France reaches the true climbing stages in the Alps later this week, the polka-dotted jersey, however, is less an indication of Mørkøv’s climbing ability – of which he has little – than it is of his tenacity and endurance. And quite possibly of the first-time Tour rider's ignorance that he still has over two-weeks of riding to do before the peloton reaches Paris.

Until then, Mørkøv is strutting his stuff dressed in polka dots.

In perhaps a sign of things to come for Mørkøv, who made his mark a track cyclist before switching over to road-racing, ran out of steam as the race entered the final incline and was in danger of being left behind by the peloton, German Team RadioShack rider and former teammate Jens Voigt helped him the rest of the way to the finish.

“I told him that he was becoming a hero and to keep going, but save some energy, there are still thousands of kilometres to go,” Voigt told TV2.

It’s been a stellar Tour start for his Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team which had been heavily criticised this season and whose Tour squad had been called the weakest that the team had entered in the race for years. But so far, embattled owner Bjarne Riis, who himself wore the polka-dotted jersey for a day in the 1993 Tour, is looking like a bit of a genius.

Riis said, though, that there would be no fourth straight breakaway day for Mørkøv.

“Michael has been brilliant. But now he needs to take it easy,” Riis told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

Saturday will most likely be the last day Mørkøv gets to ride in polka dots. The Tour hits the Alps that day, and the climbing begins in earnest with a category 1 incline summit finish, which is simply beyond Mørkøv’s climbing ability.

Until then, though, he is the king of the mountain, even if it is just a little one.

Danish municipalities have used words like ‘parasitic’ or ‘spoiled’ when describing autistic people (photo: iStock)
Parents of autistic children feel violated by public employees
Parents of autistic children in Denmark feel badly treated and often violat...
The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
Humanitarian head invites asylum-seekers to seek Denmark
Michala Bendixen, the chairman of the humanitarian organisation Refugees We...
In 1979 and 1980, the Bonamia parasite eradicated the entire population of flat oysters in Europe (photo: iStock)
Dead oysters in Limfjord raising concerns
A larger number of dead oysters than normal in the Limfjord in northwestern...
Photoshop away the cables and Copenhagen is under alien attack (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
The bridge that has made the River Kwai one look like a weekend job
After six years of waiting and speculation, Copenhagen has taken a monument...
International demand is soaring (photo: Carnby)
International demand encouraging Danes to make medieval-style mead
It seems beer – even from the most obscure microbrewery – is too mainst...
At best, you end up with minus 0.5 percent less than you invested (photo: iStock)
Saving up for pension in Denmark guarantees you lose money
'Save up for 30 years and you lose a maximum of 0.5 percent on your investm...