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LukasCPH

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25. Post Danmark Rundt - 25th Tour of Denmark
« on: July 28, 2015, 19:31 »
Once again it is summer. The Tour de France is over, the weather is fine (in some places - here in Denmark we have a typical Danish summer), everybody is enjoying the holidays. In other words:
It is time for the Tour of Denmark!
And this time it's a special one: The 25th edition of the race, originally started in 1985 and revived in 1995 after a six-year hiatus.

After a largely re-cycled race history below I will put the route information, peloton etc. in a separate post.


A little bit of history (and then more)[1]

The root to this race was laid in 1983 by Henrik "Rico" Elmgreen, who held several criteriums around the country over the course of one week. The winner of this series was Kim Andersen (now DS at RadioShack-Leopard and confidante of Andy Schleck), who also won in 1984.
For 1985, the race secured sponsorship from the Bikuben Foundation. It was known as Bikubens Danmark Rundt, and was now a real stage race which attracted several foreign teams. The first winner was Moreno Argentin, world champion a year later; the 1986 edition was won by Jesper Worre who is now the race director. The race continued until 1988, but then it wasn't held for 7 years (I presume because of sponsorship shortage).
In 1995, fueled by the success of Danish cyclists like Bjarne Riis and Rolf Sørensen (although their era is now tainted by doping) it came back: Because of the sponsorship from the Danish postal agency, Post Danmark, it was henceforth known as Post Danmark Rundt - and in fact that name has been imprinted into my own consciousness to such an extent that if I heard only "Danmark Rundt" I would think there's something missing.
The palmarès has both Danish and foreign names, including Bjarne Riis, Jakob Piil, Servais Knaven, Tyler Hamilton, David Millar, Sebastian Lang, Ivan Basso, and Simon Gerrans. Rolf Sørensen had a history of runner-up places, finishing just short of the victory five times from 1987 to 1999, before finally winning in 2000.
Kurt-Åsle Arvesen has won twice, and in 2004 he won only because his teammate Jens Voigt let him win one of the intermediate sprints on the last stage, and thus gave him the lead (in a matter similar to that of Simon Gerrans in this year's Tour de France). That year also saw the first stage finish in Vejle, after three laps including the short, but brutal 22% ascent of Kiddesvej. This is now a mainstay and often the deciding stage of the race (together with the time trial).
The most successful rider, however, is Jakob Fuglsang with three - consecutive! - victories from 2008 to 2010, the first of these while riding for Team Designa Køkken, beating the might of CSC-Saxo Bank.


Kurt-Åsle Arvesen is central to my own earliest memory of the race from the roadside: In 2002 the race crossed the border for the first (and until now, only) time on a stage to Sønderborg, with the riders completing a loop through Flensburg (the city I went to high school in, riding a total of 90 km by bus every day) with a hill sprint up the steep Toosbüystraße. The Norwegian, then riding for Team Fakta, had a puncture at the bottom of the hill - but he must have recovered, as he finished second that year. I still hope that Flensburg will be a part of the route again soon - now that the city has a mayor from the Danish minority, there should be a possibility of it coming true (maybe even as a finish town).
In 2006 Fabian Cancellara showed his talent after being overlooked for the Tour de France: He won the stage to Vejle (which was the second stage I saw at the roadside; first at Denmark's highest point - a whole 173 m! - and later at the finish) and the ITT on road to overall victory.
I also saw the final stage in 2007 (while looking for an apartment in Copenhagen), being witness to Mark Cavendish's first triumph on Danish soil.
Because I was on holiday, I didn't see anything of the 2008 or 2009 editions; but I went to Rudersdal north of Copenhagen in 2010 to see the final stage (which also doubled as a test of the 2011 World Championships circuit), won by Hayden Roulston who together with two other escapees narrowly held off the sprinters.
In 2011, I went to Jylland to ride the "Kongeetapen" cyclotour a few hours ahead of the pros, and then stood on Kiddesvej when Jakob Fuglsang took the stage win as a consolation prize (he was thrown out of GC contention by missing the echelons on stage 1). The next day I took the train to Helsingør and saw Richie Porte get the same consolation prize (he had also missed out on the echelons, but won the ITT). And on Sunday I was back in Frederiksberg (a sub-urban district of Copenhagen - it is, however, a separate municipality) for the traditional final on "Denmark's Champs-Élysées", won by Theo Bos.
2012 "only" saw me taking a train across the Great Belt and a bus to Kerteminde in order to watch that year's ITT, where Lieuwe Westra won the stage and took the overall lead, as well as the Frederiksberg finish - again won by Mark Cavendish.
In 2013, I stood on Asnæs Indelukke to witness Magnus Cort's magnificent uphill acceleration that brought him his second stage win of the race, and later I followed the Holbæk ITT where Wilco Kelderman took the leader's jersey. The next day, I saw the riders off in Roskilde and took the train back to Frederiksberg where Mark Cavendish[2] took the final stage.
In 2014, I only followed one stage, the last one from Kalundborg to Frederiksberg - but I did so in a photographer's car, criss-crossing the route, seeing the riders pass several times, and watching the final circuit where the race was turned upside-down.


If this trip down memory lane wasn't enough, you can find more history lessons (in Danish) here. To celebrate this year's 25th edition, extensive articles about each edition are available here.

PREVIOUSWINNERS
1985 *it Moreno Argentin Sammontana-Bianchi 2003 *de Sebastian Lang Gerolsteiner
1986 *dk Jesper Worre Santini-Cierre 2004 *no Kurt-Åsle Arvesen Team CSC
1987 *dk Kim Andersen Toshiba-Look-La Vie Claire 2005 *it Ivan Basso Team CSC
1988 *au Phil Anderson TVM-Van Schilt 2006 *ch Fabian Cancellara Team CSC
1995 *dk Bjarne Riis Gewiss-Ballan 2007 *no Kurt-Åsle Arvesen Team CSC
1996 *it Fabrizio Guidi Scrigno-Blue Storm 2008 *dk Jakob Fuglsang Team Designa Køkken
1997 *nl Servais Knaven TVM-Farm Frites 2009 *dk Jakob Fuglsang Team Saxo Bank
1998 *be Marc Streel Casino 2010 *dk Jakob Fuglsang Team Saxo Bank
1999 *usa Tyler Hamilton US Postal 2011 *au Simon Gerrans Team Sky
2000 *dk Rolf Sørensen Rabobank 2012 *nl Lieuwe Westra Vacansoleil-DCM
2001 *uk David Millar Cofidis 2013 *nl Wilco Kelderman Belkin Pro Cycling Team
2002 *dk Jakob Piil Team CSC-Tiscali 2014 *dk Michael Valgren Team Tinkoff-Saxo
 1. mostly copied from my 2013 race thread
 2. as predicted by yours truly beforehand
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    LukasCPH

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    Stage 1: Struer - Holstebro; 177.9 km

    The opening stage starts in Struer and goes to the North Sea through Lemvig. Once host to a Giro mountain sprint, the first two hill sprints are situated before and after the town, meaning that the start of the stage should be lively.
    Then the peloton turns south for 60 km along the North Sea coast. Although the road is often protected by dunes, a western wind here could have a huge impact on the race and shatter GC hopes. Turning inland at km 93, the riders then pass through Ringkøbing before going north to the finish in Holstebro, with two intermediate sprints and another classified hill on the way.
    Despite the 60 km along the coast, I expect that the 80+ km that follow are enough to ensure a big field in Holstebro where a sprint should decide the first stage winner and yellow jersey.


    Struer, Thorsminde, Holstebro


    Stage 2: Ringkøbing - Aarhus; 234 km

    Stage 2 starts in Ringkøbing and crosses the Jylland peninsula to finish in Denmark's second-largest city Aarhus. On the way, the peloton has to negotiate a 500 m section of gravel road after 42.5 km, the highest point of the race on Yding Skovhøj (150 m) and a lot of rolling hills in the second half of the stage. The finishing circuit in Aarhus, circling the Marselisborg Castle, has a hill as well, so it may well be a diminished peloton that contests the stage.


    Ringkøbing, Yding Skovhøj, Aarhus (Marselisborg Castle)


    Stage 3: Vejle - Vejle; 185.9 km

    In a change from other years, this stage is focused completely on Vejle and the surrounding hills, criss-crossing the surroundings of the city and taking in almost every ascent that the Ice Age-formed landscape has to offer - some of them, like Østengaardsvej or Chr. Winthersvej, never used in the race before.
    The finish is the same as always, though, with four climbs of the ridiculously steep Kiddesvej where the peloton is sure to explode. Whoever wants to win the overall race has to stay at the front here.


    Østengaardsvej, Chr. Winthersvej, Kiddesvej


    Stage 4a: Slagelse - Frederiksværk; 119.5 km

    The fourth day of the race traditionally has a short morning stage and an evening ITT. The combination of a half-stage finishing in Frederiksværk and a time trial in Helsingør is a repeat of the 2011 race.
    Like then, the morning stage, starting in Slagelse and passing through a.o. Sorø with its famous academy, will most likely end in a sprint, with the finishing straight on Sandskårsvej being slightly uphill.


    Slagelse, Sorø, Frederiksværk


    Stage 4b: Helsingør - Helsingør (ITT); 14.1 km

    As in 2006 and 2011, the Helsingør time trial will be crucial for any rider looking for overall victory, as deficits from the Jylland stages can be overcome, or leads defended. It's a straightforward out-and-back course, starting on Kulturværftet (the Culture Wharf - an old shipyard now hosting the local library, a public area and Denmark's Maritime Museum), turning around in Ålsgårde and finishing on Havnegade, with Kronborg Castle as a picturesque backdrop.


    Kulturværftet, Kronborg


    Stage 5: Hillerød - Frederiksberg; 149.9 km

    The final stage starts with a neutralised section going through Frederiksborg Castle before the flag drops. After a lap around Esrum Sø, the route goes roughly south through Nordsjælland, including part of the 2011 Worlds circuit, before finishing with the familiar Frederiksberg circuit and the sprint up Frederiksberg Allé aka. 'Denmark's Champs-Élysées'.


    Frederiksborg Castle, Søllerød Slotsbakke, Frederiksberg Allé
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  • « Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 21:46 by LukasCPH »

    LukasCPH

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    After last year's low point of only 14 teams, this years peloton will consist of a whole 18 teams: 4 WorldTour, 9 Professional Continental, all 4 Danish Continental teams and a Danish national squad.

    Most of the teams have participated in the race at least once; many are old acquaintances and familiar sights on Danish roads. Only the new teams Roompot-Oranje Peloton and Team Almeborg-Bornholm will make their PDR début:

    #tinkoff Tinkoff-Saxo (Breschel, Juul Jensen, Mørkøv)
    #astana Astana (Fuglsang, de Vreese, Gruzdev)
    #lotto Lotto-Soudal (Bak, van der Sande, Vanendert)
    #sky Team Sky (Nordhaug, Sutton, Earle)
    #mtn MTN-Qhubeka (Boasson Hagen, Ciolek, Pauwels)
    #bora Bora-Argon 18 (Bauhaus, Konrad, Thurau)
    #europcar Team Europcar (Bernaudeau, Craven, Engoulvent)
    #cult CULT Energy Pro Cycling (Gerdemann, Guldhammer, Quaade)
    #roompot Roompot-Oranje Peloton (de Maar, M. Kreder, R. Kreder)
    #wanty Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Gasparotto, Marcato, Napolitano)
    #topsport Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (van Hecke, Salomein, Capiot)
    #bardiani Bardiani-CSF (Battaglin, Ruffoni, Boem)
    #novonordisk Team Novo Nordisk (Mejias, Peron, Verschoor)
    #teamdk Team Post Danmark (Cort, Bak Klaris, Krigbaum)
    #riwal Riwal Platform Cycling Team (Aaen, Brøchner, Aistrup)
    #bornholm Team Almeborg-Bornholm (Toft, C. Lisson, Dam Westergaard)
    #trefor Team TreFor-Blue Water (A. Kragh, S. Kragh, Olsson)
    #coloquick Team coloQuick (Kamp, Almindsø, Würtz)

    The startlist is almost final now (only #trefor missing) - I'll add an analysis of the teams in a new post below.
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  • « Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 20:27 by LukasCPH »

    LukasCPH

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    The general classification works just as usual - accumulated time, minus bonus seconds: 10, 6 and 4 seconds for the top-3 on the road stages, except the half-stage 4a where it's 6, 4 and 2 seconds. At each intermediate sprint, 3, 2 and 1 second(s) can be picked up.
    The leading rider wears a #yellow yellow jersey, sponsored by Post Danmark. It's a very dark, almost orange yellow - if you've ever seen a Danish postal car, you'll know the colour.

    The points classification is also run as normal: The top-12 on each stage get points, starting with 15, 12 and 10, and then trickling down to 1 point for no. 12. At each intermediate sprint, 5, 3 and 1 point(s) are awarded. In case of riders finishing on equal points, the normal UCI rules are used.
    The points leader is awarded a #lblue blue jersey sponsored by Postnord (the Scandinavian postal company that Post Danmark is now a part of).

    What is normally called the mountain classification is in Denmark realistically termed the hills classification. 10, 6, 4 and 2 points are at stake for the first four riders over each of the classified hilltops (there are plenty of short, unclassified hills).
    The leader in the hill classification (normally one of the riders from the breakaways) wears a #kom white jersey sponsored by Novo Nordisk and therefore strewed with small blue Novo Nordisk logos.

    The classification for the best young rider is limited to U23 riders (born in 1993 or later) - not U25 as it usually is. Otherwise, it works like the general classification, bonus seconds and all.
    The leader wears a #white white jersey, sponsored by Skoda.





    In addition to the four jerseys, there's a fighter competition. A panel awards 10, 6, 4 and 2 points on each stage (except the ITT) to riders they deem most combative (they may choose not to award all points). The rider with most points at the end of the race wins the competition.

    The team classification is sponsored by Dana, and works as you would expect, adding the times from the best three riders of a team for each stage.
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  • LukasCPH

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    I completely forgot to mention that for the first time, the race will be on live TV! :win
    2 hours of broadcast every day, on Danish public service DR (mostly DR1, one hour on DR3) and on EuroSport 2 across Europe.

    Broadcast schedule:
    Tirsdag den 4. august:
    Live på DR1 kl. 15:00-17:00
    AftenTour på DR1 kl. 21:55-22:20

    Onsdag den 5. august:
    Live på DR1 kl. 15:00-17:00
    AftenTour på DR1 kl. 21:55-22:20

    Torsdag den 6. august:
    Live på DR1 kl. 15:00-17:00
    AftenTour på DR1 kl. 21:55-22:20

    Fredag den 7. august:
    Live på DR3 kl. 19:00-20:00
    Live på DR1 kl. 19:45-21:00

    Lørdag den 8. august:
    Live på DR1 14:10-16:15
    AftenTour på DR1 kl. 18:50
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    I completely forgot to mention that for the first time, the race will be on live TV! :win
    2 hours of broadcast every day, on Danish public service DR (mostly DR1, one hour on DR3) and on EuroSport 2 across Europe.


    Oh Dear Lord... am quite giddy with excitement  :D
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    The Ride with GPS profiles all seem to be private.  :(
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  • LukasCPH

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    The Ride with GPS profiles all seem to be private.  :(
    Should be fixed: I had to copy them from Jesper Worre's RwGPS account to my own (which I did yesterday already) because he, for whatever reason, has set them as private[1] - but as I am logged into my own account, I didn't realise they were still private even when copied.
     1. one of the many things about this race's organisation that I believe could be done much better
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  • LukasCPH

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    Team analysis

    #tinkoff Tinkoff-Saxo
    The defending champion Valgren will wear the no. 1 bib - but he and the other Danes Juul-Jensen, Breschel and Mørkøv will all have carte blanche to ride their own race. Juul-Jensen, Valgren and Australian McCarthy have been designated as GC riders. Juraj Sagan, Kolar and stagiaire Gogl complete the line-up, but unlike the Danes, this is 'just another race' for them.

    #lotto Lotto-Soudal
    After his second place last year, Lars Bak is chasing overall victory. Ligthart and Dehaes are the cards for the sprints, while de Bie and Jelle Vanendert could also put up a GC challenge. Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert and stagiaire Frison[1] round out the squad.

    #astana Astana Pro Team
    Triple winner Jakob Fuglsang leads the Kazakh team, and will hope to turn his good form into another good result in his home country. He has some good helpers in Agnoli, de Vreese, Boom and Fominykh, but the three young Kazakhs Ayazbayev, Kamyshev and Tleubayev are only here to get racing experience.

    #sky Team Sky
    Norwegian Lars Petter Nordhaug will probably be the team's leader, with Sutton and/or Swift going for the sprints. Earle and Sebastián Henao could do something in Vejle, Siutsou will target the ITT, Knees will come in handy on the crosswind-prone stage 1 - while stagiaire Alex Peters gets his first outing in the Sky jersey.

    #europcar Team Europcar
    There is no standout leader that springs to eye. Jérôme is probably the best bet for a GC result, while Craven will be noticeable in his #champna jersey. Engoulvent could target the ITT; Bernaudeau, Lamoisson, Martinez, Morice and Pichot could go for breakaways, hunting the #kom jersey and/or the Europcar fighter's prize.

    #wanty Wanty-Groupe Gobert
    The Belgian team looks to an Italian trio to bring home the bacon; both Gasparotto and Marcato should do well overall.
    Vanlandschoot, Dron and Devriendt will support them, although Devriendt may get a free role after his podium spot in the recent GP Pino Cerami. Antonini and stagiaires Callebaut and Stenuit complete the team.

    #mtn MTN-Qhubeka
    With Boasson Hagen, Ciolek and Sbaragli, there is no shortage of fast guys who can also do well overall. Bos is coming back from injury and could be a leadout man or simply get racing kilometres.
    The domestiques are Stauff, Venter and Dougall, while Pauwels comes off a 13th place in the Tour. If he's not too tired, he could go for the GC too.

    #bardiani Bardiani-CSF
    Battaglin should be the GC leader, Ruffoni will go for the sprints. Boem will wait for an opportunity to repeat his surprise stage win from last year. Piechele, Simone Sterbini, Simion and neo-pros Tonelli and Luca Sterbini will, as always, try to place highly on stages, and one or two of them could also mount a GC challenge. But who that will be is almost impossible to predict.

    #topsport Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (van Hecke, Salomein, Capiot)
    Salomein will probably be the team's leader. Capiot could also deliver a result, while de Ketele and Steels start their build-up to the track season. De Pauw, Jens Wallays, de Tier and van Meirhaeghe are the remaining riders who shouldn't be expected to get to the pointy end of the race.

    #novonordisk Team Novo Nordisk
    The diabetic team will look to their most talented riders Mejias, Peron and Verschoor for results. Results being defined more modestly than at other ProConti teams; top-10s on stages or a decent show in the highest quarter of the GC would be a success. Lozano, Williams, Glasspool, Planet and Henttala will try to make a breakaway - and a day in the Novo Nordisk-sponsored #kom jersey would be the icing on the cake.

    #bora Bora-Argon 18
    With Bauhaus for the sprints and Schorn plus Konrad for GC, this team could pack a bigger punch than the first glance tells. Thurau, Thwaites, Benedetti and Pfingsten are more inconspicuous, but I'm looking forward to see what stagiaire Mühlberger can do (and if it's enough to finally get a pro deal).

    #roompot Roompot-Oranje Peloton
    Brothers Michel and Raymond Kreder will have separate roles - Raymond for sprints, Michel for GC. Lammertink and de Maar might go stage-hunting, Slik could target the ITT, while van Goethem, van Ginneken and Mike Terpstra make up the numbers and will support their team mates.

    #cult CULT Energy Pro Cycling
    What should have been the highlight of the team's inaugural ProConti season is now somewhat overshadowed by the hunt for a sponsor. Nevertheless, the team will be immensely motivated. Gerdemann and Guldhammer should do well in Vejle and go for the GC based on that; Quaade might also finally target the GC. But if he's not recovered enough after his illness woes, he might want to focus on the ITT instead after missing the stage win by only one second last year.
    Reihs will be the team's road captain, Mortensen and Vinther will have more free roles. Breakaways, late attacks - anything to win a stage or take the #kom jersey. Carbel is the sprinter, while there will be no expectations on Mads Pedersen. He's here simply to learn.

    #trefor Team TreFor-Blue Water
    The brothers Asbjørn and Søren Kragh have a breakout season - it may be their last on Conti level. Both can do a good overall result, and might pick up a stage along the way. Michael Olsson is always at the front of races and also capable of a good GC. Alex Rasmussen goes for the ITT, but it remains to be seen if he's as good as he used to be.
    Patrick Clausen and Mark Sehested will support their leaders, but are capable of a good breakaway as well. Jonas Gregaard is the Danish U23 champion; this level of competition is a true test for him. Daniel Holm Foder is the team's road captain.

    #coloquick Team coloQuick
    Kamp has a great year and will be the undisputed leader. Würtz is looking to confirm his junior results and will a.o. target the ITT. Almindsø has also had a good season and could surprise with a good stage result. Odgaard and Herforth will be road captains, Broge, Nyvang and Moberg will populate the breakaways.

    #bornholm Team Almeborg-Bornholm
    Technic freak and weight weenie Toft is an outsider for the ITT, Christoffer Lisson and Mathias Dam Westergaard could also do well. Heine Winding is the race's Methusalem at 41; Djurhuus, Jesper Juul Andreasen, Ravnsholt and Bigum round out the team.

    #riwal Riwal Platform Cycling Team
    Brøchner, Aaen and Øllegaard will show up in the sprints; Mygind was 11th overall last year, Aistrup could go for the #kom jersey again (he won it in 2012). Youngsters Pedersen, Grøn and Bækhøj will probably try to make a breakaway.

    #teamdk Team Post Danmark
    The Danish national team can be described by the musketeers' phrase 'all for one, one for all'. The undisputed leader is #orica pro Magnus Cort who'll go for his 4th PDR stage win. U23 'foreigners' #seg Magnus Bak Klaris, #lotto Mathias Krigbaum and #mlp Kasper Asgreen could be allowed to take their own chances occasionally, while domestic riders Daniel Hartvig (IBT Isolering-Ridley), Nicolaj Moltke Steen, Jesper Schultz (both Team Jutlander Bank) and Frederik Zeuner (Herning CK)[2] will support Cort.
     1. son of Herman
     2. Go Zeuner! :cheer
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  • « Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 18:30 by LukasCPH »

    LukasCPH

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    http://www.feltet.dk/nyheder/trefor-blue_water_vi_har_12_ryttere_til_8_pladser/

    The #trefor squad will be announced tomorrow. 12 riders are/were fighting for the 8 spots.
    Both Kragh brothers, Olsson and Foder (who I forgot about, but who has an obvious role as road captain) are confirmed, but the remaining 4 places are between Clausen, Gregaard, Lander, Sehested, Rahbek, A. Rasmussen, T. Riis and Vinjebo.

    Alex R and Lander aren't the shoo-ins you'd think they would be ... but, it has to be said, neither has been particularly impressive this season.
    Where did it all go wrong for them? :(

    DS Allan Johansen says they'll go for the overall and stage wins, but with the TV broadcast, they will also go the 'safe route' of getting into breakaways and showing the jersey that way.
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  • LukasCPH

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    http://feltet.dk/nyheder/trefor_udtager_post_danmark_rundt_holdet_-_uden_lander/

    TTBW have left Lander out ... surprising at first glance, but he's really not performed this year.
    Yesterday he was dropped after 3 laps in the Hadsten post-Tour crit (and DNFed immediately). Alex R was dropped at the same time, but continued for 10 more laps - and he's on the PDR team.
    Looks like a lack of professionalism, and Lander might have trouble getting a new contract for next year (at least on the de facto pro terms he's on now).

    #trefor TreFor-Blue Water:
    Asbjørn Kragh Andersen
    Søren Kragh Andersen
    Michael Olsson
    Alex Rasmussen
    Daniel Foder
    Mark Sehested Pedersen
    Patrick Clausen
    Jonas Gregaard Wilsly

    Pretty much who I'd have picked myself too.
    They're going for the GC with Søren Kragh as leader and Asbjørn Kragh & Olsson as co-leaders. The target is a top-5, the dream is to win.

    I've updated the team analysis.
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  • LukasCPH

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    http://cykelmagasinet.dk/michael-valgren-koerer-alligevel-post-danmark-rundt

    Cykelmagasinet say that #tinkoff Valgren may ride PDR after all. Not official yet, though.
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  • LukasCPH

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    They also did an interview with #cult Rasmus Guldhammer:
    http://cykelmagasinet.dk/guldhammer-droemmer-om-at-vinde-i-vejle

    Unsurprisingly, his big goal is stage 3 in his hometown Vejle. :)
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  • LukasCPH

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    http://cykelmagasinet.dk/michael-valgren-koerer-alligevel-post-danmark-rundt

    Cykelmagasinet say that #tinkoff Valgren may ride PDR after all. Not official yet, though.
    This has just been retweeted by Valgren himself:
    https://twitter.com/NFLming/status/627595057386909696
    Looks like it's true then. :win
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  • LukasCPH

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    http://feltet.dk/nyheder/breschel_afsloerer_taktikken_til_post_danmark_rundt/

    Breschel says that #tinkoff has no clear leader, and (almost) everybody will get his chance. They'll ride for Chris Juul-Jensen and Jay McCarthy in GC, though.


    http://feltet.dk/nyheder/valgren_alligevel_til_start_i_post_danmark_rundt/

    Valgren replaces Zaugg, so the defending champion will start after all.
    But he won't become the team's leader just because of his win last year, but instead support Juul-Jensen at first. Then they'll see how he feels after the first stages.


    Race preview on Feltet.dk (in *dk Danish)
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  • Not My Circus

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    Valgren replaces Zaugg, so the defending champion will start after all.
    But he won't become the team's leader just because of his win last year, but instead support Juul-Jensen at first. Then they'll see how he feels after the first stages.

    Hmmm, I do wonder about this....  Valgren's or the the team's decision after the showing in the Crits?

    While I'm a firm believer in being flexible enough to switch to plan B mid race - I think it's better they at least start with some sort of plan A. The 'everyone has a chance, let's leave it for the road to sort out' worries me.
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  • LukasCPH

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    The 'everyone has a chance, let's leave it for the road to sort out' worries me.
    I can see your point.
    But they do have a plan A - Chris JJ will go for the overall. But the others (McCarthy, and definitely also Valgren) won't sit up on the Vejle stage; and Breschel wants a stage win, so if he hasn't won until then, neither will he. Depending on how the race pans out, #tinkoff could have several riders in with a shout before the ITT (when Breschel's GC challenge will surely falter) ... but Juul-Jensen, McCarthy, Valgren, even Mørkøv could have a chance. And in an ITT, there are no team tactics.

    Also, the best-laid plans could be torn asunder by stage 1 already.
    Here's the weather forecast for tomorrow:



    Just below 20°C. Not a lot of wind sadly (and what there is comes from southeast/south, so no real crosswinds at the coast); but rain, and lots of it.
    I think it won't be the crosswind carnage we were hoping for, but some riders could still lose their GC chances.
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  • Not My Circus

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    I can see your point.
    But they do have a plan A - Chris JJ will go for the overall. But the others (McCarthy, and definitely also Valgren)

    But of course...
    However, unless Breschel either gains a bucket of time somewhere, rides the TT of his life and other people have a stinker... he's not really a GC threat. But stage wins??/ HELL YEA and lots of them. Valgren will most certainly do as he wishes (I can't forget last year, I know it's unfair and most likely unpopular, but... pfft). I'd love for CJJJ to win this, but if I'm brutally honest I think the best chance for a 'home GC win' will lie away from Tinkoff - Bak for choice. Never sure about Birdsong on home roads these days ;p, and the team are 'not the strongest'.

    I'll have a good think about it later today...




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  • LukasCPH

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    I think the best chance for a 'home GC win' will lie away from Tinkoff - Bak for choice.
    I agree on that. Bak has been oh-so-close the last two years, he'll be very motivated.
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  • DB-Coop

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    But of course...
    However, unless Breschel either gains a bucket of time somewhere, rides the TT of his life and other people have a stinker... he's not really a GC threat. But stage wins??/ HELL YEA and lots of them. Valgren will most certainly do as he wishes (I can't forget last year, I know it's unfair and most likely unpopular, but... pfft). I'd love for CJJJ to win this, but if I'm brutally honest I think the best chance for a 'home GC win' will lie away from Tinkoff - Bak for choice. Never sure about Birdsong on home roads these days ;p, and the team are 'not the strongest'.

    I'll have a good think about it later today...

    I think last year illustrated why it makes sense to simply spread the love for Tinkoff, when the sixth stage came about the team was in a great possition with riders in 1st, 3rd and 5th. Basically they could let the rider in 5th chase any break with someone dangerous below 5th and have the rider in 3rd trail the rider in 4th. In turn the rider in the lead just had to watch the guy in second for the team to be sure of winning with either Boaro, CJJ or Valgren.

    I'd say CJJ is the favorites of the Danes because of his TT, however EBH would be my pick, he really can do everything needed to win in Denmark. It will be interesting to see if they will try to lead out Bos, the better sprinter, or will lead out EBH with the hope of taking seconds for GC along with win/placing. I would say they would do the latter. Also that MTN team is crazy strong.
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  • LukasCPH

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    It will be interesting to see if they will try to lead out Bos, the better sprinter, or will lead out EBH with the hope of taking seconds for GC along with win/placing. I would say they would do the latter. Also that MTN team is crazy strong.
    The team's race preview points to EBH, Ciolek and Sbaragli, while Bos is 'returning after injury'. So they'll probably ride for these three. :)
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  • LukasCPH

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    The final startlist is out on the race website.[1]

    Valgren gets the 1, otherwise it's all as expected.

    Post Merge: August 03, 2015, 18:41
    I've edited the team analysis to reflect the last startlist changes.


    Also, here are 3 short articles from #cult about Carbel, Guldhammer and Pedersen:
    Carbel looking for revenge in Copenhagen
    Guldhammer targeting Tour of Denmark overall result
    Pedersen pledges loyalty to team objectives in Tour of Denmark
     1. and only available as an Excel file download ... nobody is going to download a file for that, folks! :fp
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  • « Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 18:41 by LukasCPH, Reason: Merged DoublePost »

    LukasCPH

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    And finally, it's time for another edition of Fus' favourites. I'll put my predictions for the overall classification and for stage 1 up now, and will add my stage predictions every morning.

    General classification
    :* :* :* :* Fuglsang, Boasson Hagen
    :* :* :* Bak, Juul-Jensen, Guldhammer
    :* :* Nordhaug, Marcato, S. Kragh, Gerdemann
    :* Battaglin, Olsson, Kamp, McCarthy, Gasparotto

    Stage 1
    Rain, some wind, and a tricky finishing circuit all mean that some sprinters won't be as good as on a more straightforward flat stage. The bad weather could play in favour of Swift and Ciolek who thrive in rainy races, but Boasson Hagen is still my first pick for the win. I judge Ruffoni and Kreder to be the better sprinters of the rest, while Cort will be highly motivated on home soil.

    :* :* :* Boasson Hagen
    :* :* Swift, Ciolek
    :* Ruffoni, R. Kreder, Cort
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  • DB-Coop

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    Last year I was pretty successful in calling winners/high placers in this race. I will once again pick a rider for each stage and an overall podium and we will see how I do.

    Stage 1: Michael Carbel
    Stage 2: Ben Swift
    Stage 3: Jakob Fuglsang
    Stage 4: Matti Breschel
    Stage 5: Chris Juul-Jensen
    Stage 6: Edvald Boason-Hagen

    Overall: Edvald Boason-Hagen (With bonus seconds on the last stage)
    2nd: Chris Juul-Jensen
    3rd: Jakob Fuglsang
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  • kevchenko13

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    Simply phenomenal work on this Lukas.  Chapeau. 

    Swift could do with a win after Sunday's disappointment.  He has had so many seconds and thirds in the last couple of seasons.
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  • Not My Circus

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    I think last year illustrated why it makes sense to simply spread the love for Tinkoff...
    Oh I get it was a team tactic...  but having never been much of 'team' as opposed to an 'individual rider' supporter - I just didn't like the outcome on the day  ;)
     
    Quote
    EBH would be my pick, he really can do everything needed to win in Denmark.
    except win....  :P

    Being serious he does have the skill set, and as you say MTN are strong. Besides my CQ team needs Eddie in DK and Elissonde in Poland
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  • « Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 02:01 by Not My Circus »

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    I agree on that. Bak has been oh-so-close the last two years, he'll be very motivated.

    last year's edition was fairly unusual though with that *dk #tinkoff hanky-panky in the end, and the breakaway staying clear on the final stage for that reason. And two years ago all decent time trialists but Kelderman were dropped on the Vejle stage, which is probably unlikely to happen this year.

    Usually we should have a sprint on every stage again but Veijle - three of them flat, one uphill. So under normal circumstances Bak will end up with next to no bonus or time gains on the other gc contenders. And his time trial is nothing special as well. I can't really see him winning this.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    DB-Coop

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    last year's edition was fairly unusual though with that *dk #tinkoff hanky-panky in the end, and the breakaway staying clear on the final stage for that reason. And two years ago all decent time trialists but Kelderman were dropped on the Vejle stage, which is probably unlikely to happen this year.

    Usually we should have a sprint on every stage again but Veijle - three of them flat, one uphill. So under normal circumstances Bak will end up with next to no bonus or time gains on the other gc contenders. And his time trial is nothing special as well. I can't really see him winning this.

    The thing is that while this years peloton has been dubbed 'the strongest in years' it is not certain that the problem of past years is gone, basically the drop off in the level of riders is steep, meaning that A: Gaps in the finals happens more often in the peloton, ie. positioning matter a lot B: It has the last few years been possible to attack the pack in the last few km's because the chasers are weaker collectively than say three good riders attacking. This might be solved this year as more teams look strong, but really apart from MTN, Sky and Tinkoff (maybe) who has the teams to chase back a strong serge by three riders with 3 km to go? It won't happen on stage 1 or 6 likely to be sprints, but I think stage 2 to Aarhus is already a place where an attack on the climb on the finish circuit could make it home. But I agree as far as Bak will have to be lucky to win it, but his ITT should net him top 5-10 ish.
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  • Not My Circus

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    It's here. It's here. It's really REALLY REALLY HERE

    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    I have read the wonderful preview by LukasCPH and the comments by DB-Coop & search with great interest, and promised myself that I would try and come up with something resembling sensible proper comments on the race.... but the day has dawned, I'm WAAAAAAYYYYY too excited and you know what? I'm just going to go with it.
    This is the one race I want to enjoy and not worry too much about because there are so many things to love about it.

    Midge's Wishlist

    The racing will be the usual madness. The mix in the ability of teams will make it hard to control things in the latter end of the stages: Stage 2 is harder than it looks, and it's all about Kiddesvej and the TT

    Matti will get his stage win, thus increasing his lead in the all time stage winner standings... and his chances of a new contract

    Jakob may actually get a podium place, if he remembers how to race on home roads in a non WT race and doesn't fall into a picnic basket again

    Stage winners.... Danish of course  ;)
    The exception to the above statements are MTNQ (seriously, they mean business) and Europcar (Dan Craven \o/ )

    Cult have to get a new sponsor

    1st yellow jersey? Hmmmm Carbel, Cort or Kragh of the S variety

    No one I like to miss the splits

    For people to fall in love with the Danish race as much as I did **  <3 <3 <3

    Not much to ask for is it??

    POST DANMARK RUNDT #BringItOn

    ** Does not require fangirl tendencies
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