Helper takes win in Denmark

There are mixed fortunes for Team CSC racing on home roads in Denmark as Allan Johansen wins the GP

There are mixed fortunes for Team CSC racing on home roads in Denmark as Allan Johansen wins the GP


Allan Johansen is the type of rider whose job it is to loyally work for others, but in Saturday's Grand Prix Herning the CSC rider got the opportunity to ride his own race and used it to the fullest, writes Susanne Horsdal.

With about 30 kilometres to go of the 199km race, Johansen, together with Skil's Rik Reinerink, took off from a front group on one of the gravel roads that is the speciality of this race. The Dutchman and the Dane had a perfect understanding and quickly opened a gap that meant the race would be decided between the two of them. But instead of waiting for a final sprint, Johansen dropped Reinerink about six kilometres from the finish line and crossed it solo.

"I felt confident that I could beat him, but I've been in a sprint duel with him before and it's always a little dangerous to take someone with you to a sprint. That's why I decided to drop him before, and all the way I felt that I had that extra in the legs," explained Johansen, who's managed to keep his form from the cobbled spring classics.

One of the riders helping Johansen was Stuart O'Grady, who's just returned to racing following his crash in Tirreno-Adriatico that cost him four broken ribs and a broken collarbone. But the long absence from racing (O'Grady only returned at the Rund um Kln on April 17 before Herning) didn't keep him from putting in his share of the work.

"Stuart rode fantastic and worked a lot for me. He could probably have won if he'd been saving strength during the race like I did today," admitted Johansen.

While O'Grady is returning from injury, another CSC-rider bit the dust on Saturday. Martin Pedersen crashed heavily when entering one of the gravel roads at high speed. The result was two fractures to the collarbone that'll need an operation.

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