PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
As the only ProTour team in the two Danish races, the GP S.A.T.S and CSC Classic, ridden over the weekend, Team CSC was the huge favourite to take a double victory. And on Saturday things went after plan, writes Susanne Horsdal.
The GP S.A.T.S, known for its gravel roads divided into pav sections, usually provides for plenty of splits in the peloton, and this year's edition was no exception. After just 36 kilometres, when the first pav section was reached, the peloton split into several groups.
But with 60 kilometres to go, CSC took matters into their hands and brought the pack back together. From there it became an elimination race, which resulted in victory for Danish champion Michael Blaudzun, celebrating his 32nd birthday that same day.
In Sunday's CSC Classic, raced around Aarhus in Jutland, it looked like a repeat performance as Team CSC had five riders in a 15-man breakaway with about 50 kilometres to go. But the smaller teams were not willing to surrender and constantly kept challenging Bjarne Riis' troops, who not only to make most of the running but also to control the race.
In the end, that proved too big a task and the race was decided in a five-man sprint that had no CSC representatives and with Brit Jeremy Hunt (MrBookmaker.com) as the favourite.
Hunt, however, had to settle with fourth while Dane Jacob Moe Rasmussen of Team GLS, a continental team, took the glory ahead of his countrymen Michael Reihs (Team Designa Koekken) and Rene Jorgensen (Team Barloworld) - all former Fakta riders.
"The weekend has been just fine for us. We're clearly the best team, but it's OK that we can't just do what we feel like. It's a good thing that others are challenging us," said CSC manager Riis.
Saturday's victor Blaudzun was less pleased. "It didn't go quite as we had expected. Sometimes it's easier to ride a little more defensively, but in this case we couldn't just ride neutrally."
For Blaudzun the win on Saturday was a confirmation that his form is there for the Giro, when he'll be back to being a domestique. "There I'll be working 100 per cent for Ivan Basso," said Blaudzun.
1 Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC 201km in 4.49.18
2 Joost van Leijen (Hol) Van Vliet 0.17
3 Jimmy Hansen (Den) GLS 0.31
4 Matti Breschel (Den) CSC 0.56
5 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof
6 Michael Reihs (Den) Designa Kokken
7 Jacob-Moe Rasmussen (Den) GLS
8 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) Flanders 0.57
9 Sven de Weerdt (Bel) Cyclingnews.com
10 Christophe Stevens (Bel) Skil-Moser
1. Jacob-Moe Rasmussen (Den) Team GLS 199.5km in 4.45.27
2 Michael Reihs (Den) Designa Kokken
3 Ren Jorgensen (Den) Barloworld
4 Jeremy Hunt (GB) MrBookmaker.com
5 Paul van Schalen (Hol) Axa
6 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) CSC 0.09
7 Christian Finnerup (Den) Designa Kokken
8 Michael Skelde (Den) Glud & Marstrand
9 Steffen Radochla (Ger) Wiesenhof 0.43
10 Allan-Bo Andresen (Den) Designa Kokken