Danish cycling pedals to banner year

Meanwhile, Danish exodus underway at struggling South African team NTT Pro Cycling

This year, Danes have taken the cycling world by storm, notching up their most successful year since 1993.

Twenty-seven years ago Rolf Sørensen was the star of the show, accounting for eight of the 11 wins in the Grand Tour event stages and other UCI World Tour events and stages.

In 2020, Danes took nine wins, with four different riders pedalling to triumph in seven stages (including three in Grand Tour races) and two one-day races.

A crowded field 
“We do not have anyone right now who can win the Tour de France as Bjarne Riis did in 1996, but compared to the happy 90s, we have a much greater breadth among Danes at the top level who can win big races,” cycling expert Brian Nygaard told DR.

Magnus Cort, Mads Pedersen, Jakob Fuglsang and Søren Kragh Andersen were those driving Danish success this year, and the reason Nygaard had cause to describe it as “the strongest Danish cycling field ever”.

A bright future
This year’s results have seen Denmark punch well above its weight. Only six other countries landed more World Tour wins, with the Danes finishing above other major cycling nations including Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

For Nygaard, it is a sign of good things to come. Highlighting the potential of Pedersen and Kragh Andersen, he stated: “It’s not just a random trend right now. Danish cycling is at an exceptionally high level, and it may well continue to bring in great results in 2021.”

Trouble at NTT
Elsewhere, former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis has left his position as team manager of the NTT cycling team, following a mutual agreement with the team’s head, Douglas Ryder.

Riis, Jan Bech Andersen and Lars Seier Christensen have also apparently cancelled plans to buy part of the cycling outfit.

“I would like to say thank you to Bjarne for the experience and leadership he has brought and what he has contributed,” said Ryder this morning.

“NTT Pro Cycling continues to fight to secure its future, and further updates on whether the team can survive will come.”

It follows news that NTT does not intend to continue as the team’s name sponsor in 2021, while the biggest cyclists on its books have been told that they can begin to look for a new team for the coming year.