Teams & Riders Jakob Fuglsang discussion thread

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Last 4 Fuglsang blogs:

Monday:
Tuesday:
Wednesday:
Thursday:

I must admit, I enjoy them a great deal. It's interesting to get a daily inside view, from an athlete competing at the highest level.
 
Fuglsang writes in the newspaper B.T. that he is disappointed about the Giro, despite a few successes during the race:

- I actually think this was the last time I went for a good result in the general classification in one of the big stage races. I think I'll get more out of going for stage wins.

- At this Giro for example I might have had a chance of winning two or three stages in the right breakaway. That would have been worth more than a sixth place in the classification.
 
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At least he learned the right lesson. With the lack of spillover from his improvements in classics and one-week races (although that still was 'just' on par with Buchmann) to GTs, in hindsight he should have ridden the Vuelta instead and focused on the Ardennes classics after the WC. Maybe he would have been even better in the latter then. It would also have allowed him to race RvV. Alternatively he could have ridden the Tour as prep and as a helper, but obviously he should still have ridden Lombardia, and with his win there it has still been a good season all in all.
 
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Fuglsang should focus on Basque Country & Switzerland next season and fully peak for it!

I think his all-consuming goal next year is the Olympics.

I think he views it as a once in a lifetime chance, on a route that suits him perfectly, and with such limited team sizes, that none of the bigger climbing nations can really benefit (too many captains).

It probably means he will ride the Tour stage hunting - and occasionally giving Vlasov a hand - rather than doing GC.

Secondary goal might very well be Flanders, which to most riders is THE monument.

2022 would probably be dedicated to giving Roubaix a shot, and then riding his last ever GT GC, in the Tour starting in Denmark.
 
Soren Kragh Andersen was chosen as the best Danish rider of 2020. Last year it was Mads Pedersen. Fuglsang was picked in 2017, but all in all, and considering his successes in recent years, he hasn't won as many awards as he could (and should) have. Valgren has won twice since 2010, and I don't think anyone would consider Valgren a more successful rider than Fuglsang.

* 2019: Mads Pedersen.

* 2018: Michael Valgren.

* 2017: Jakob Fuglsang.

* 2016: Amalie Dideriksen.

* 2015: Mads Würtz Schmidt.

* 2014: Michael Valgren.

* 2013: Amalie Dideriksen.

* 2012: Lasse Norman Hansen.

* 2011: Lars Bak.

* 2010: Matti Breschel.
 
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Soren Kragh Andersen was chosen as the best Danish rider of 2020. Last year it was Mads Pedersen. Fuglsang was picked in 2017, but all in all, and considering his successes in recent years, he hasn't won as many awards as he could (and should) have. Valgren has won twice since 2010, and I don't think anyone would consider Valgren a more successful rider than Fuglsang.

* 2019: Mads Pedersen.

* 2018: Michael Valgren.

* 2017: Jakob Fuglsang.

* 2016: Amalie Dideriksen.

* 2015: Mads Würtz Schmidt.

* 2014: Michael Valgren.

* 2013: Amalie Dideriksen.

* 2012: Lasse Norman Hansen.

* 2011: Lars Bak.

* 2010: Matti Breschel.
It is outrageous. A poll on Feltet.dk had SKA ahead of Fuglsang in 2020 as well, which I honestly find very strange. But I suppose it says a lot about the spite that some Danish cycling fans carry over the great escape from Saxo Bank to Leopard.

I don't think we have ever had a Dane finishing in the top 5 of the World Rankings for 2 years straight. Not even Rolf achieved this, but somehow the consistency of top results (which is arguably what makes up the distinction between a very good rider like SKA or Mads P and a top class rider like Fuglsang) is not enough for Fuglsang to win the award. If there was any justice to that award, Fugsang would have been the rider of the year since 2011.

By the way, all Danish fans should give the newest Forhjulslir-podcast about the greatest Danish cyclist ever a listen. I don't think I'll be spoiling anything if I say that Fuglsang is a nominee.
 
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I suppose one of the reasons is that people are more likely to remember victories rather than consistency. And while Fuglsang and Kragh were tied on wins last season - four each - three of Fuglsang's wins came way, way back in the "beforetime".
I think there are many reasons for the lack of appeal that Fuglsang has to many Danish cycling 'fans'.

First, let me just say that in terms of wins only, I completely follow that SKA has had the better season. Winning 4 World Tour wins (when 2 of them are in the Tour) is bigger than winning a monument and 3 ProSeries wins, regardless of when the wins were achieved.

If we break down the individual performances, I'd also add Mads P's victory in Gent Wevelgem to the mix. I find that Mads P's victory, the 2 Tour stage wins for SKA and Fuglsang's Il Lombardia triumph are all three equally impressive for a Danish rider to achieve. While both Mads P and SKA had to tactically outmaneuver a tougher opposition in order to earn their victories, Fuglsang won a monument by simply being stronger than anybody else (almost a déja vu from Liege).


Now, does the casual cycling fan see it this way? I believe not.

First, there is the 'problem' that it was Il Lombardia, that Fuglsang won - a race that does not have much identity in Denmark. I do not think that many Danish cycling 'fans' even watched Il Lombardia on August 15th. There were probably more people tuned into Dauphiné that day (another extremely tedious Dauphiné stage, might I say).

Second, as you say he has had a season of consistency with many top results, but only one big win. The dominant victory from Andalusia would be forgotten, had it not been for the pre-race polemics that arised surround the now debunked Ferrari rumour and investigation. Watching Fuglsang take his first win of the season in his first race after the shitstorm he'd been through was quite impressive, but still it is a relatively small race to follow if you are not into cycling on a deeper level.

Third, there is the Leopard-move. The fact that the escape from Saxo Bank effectively ended the team as we knew it has contributed to Fuglsang as a 'Judas' figure in the eyes of many Danish cycling fans. Fuglsang was part of the gang of riders along with the Schlecks, Cancellara and O' Grady, who really embodied the Saxo Bank team back in the days and this team spirit was essentially lost when Contador arrived with his Spanish armada. Still, many Danish fans clung to supporting Saxo Bank but with a sense of feeling betrayed by riders such as Fuglsang.

Fourth, in combintation with the Leopard move, there is the mystique surrounding Jakob Fuglsang. There is this aura around Fuglsang, which is hard to describe. He is a rather detached and quiet figure, who appears complex on the inside. Like he is always hiding a little bit of himself and is secretly laughing of the circus that unwinds before his eyes. He also clearly knows how talented he is and sometimes points this out in more subtle ways. I believe this attitude can come across as arrogant or slightly elitist to many people, especially Danes, who are famous for their quick negative responses to anyone who dare display self-belief. In addition, Fuglsang is born in Switzerland, married with a Luxembourger and he rarely sets his feet on Danish ground - not exactly ingredients that make him the trademark Danish person.

I managed to find this piece from last year, if anyone is interested. It is a tribute (in Danish) to Fuglsang, which describes his qualities from a more intellectual perspective than what is usually heard on classic cycling podcasts.
https://castbox.fm/episode/Fanbrev-til-Jakob-Fuglsang.-Danskeren,-der-kan-vinde-Tour-de-France,-har-givet-mig-lyst-til-at-kede-mig-id489374-id168268195?country=dk
 
First, there is the 'problem' that it was Il Lombardia, that Fuglsang won - a race that does not have much identity in Denmark. I do not think that many Danish cycling 'fans' even watched Il Lombardia on August 15th. There were probably more people tuned into Dauphiné that day (another extremely tedious Dauphiné stage, might I say).
Might also have something to do with Dauphiné being on TV2 (or at least TV2 Sport), and Lombardia "only" on Eurosport.

Third, there is the Leopard-move. The fact that the escape from Saxo Bank effectively ended the team as we knew it has contributed to Fuglsang as a 'Judas' figure in the eyes of many Danish cycling fans. Fuglsang was part of the gang of riders along with the Schlecks, Cancellara and O' Grady, who really embodied the Saxo Bank team back in the days and this team spirit was essentially lost when Contador arrived with his Spanish armada. Still, many Danish fans clung to supporting Saxo Bank but with a sense of feeling betrayed by riders such as Fuglsang.
Funny thing is; for me... I think that's basically around the time that I realised that I'm not going to stop liking riders just because they change teams.

But anyway, how cool is it that we're actually having a conversation about who was the best Danish rider? As I mentioned above; not that many years ago simply having one (or a few) good result(s) was enough to make someone a clear candidate.
 
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Might also have something to do with Dauphiné being on TV2 (or at least TV2 Sport), and Lombardia "only" on Eurosport.



Funny thing is; for me... I think that's basically around the time that I realised that I'm not going to stop liking riders just because they change teams.

But anyway, how cool is it that we're actually having a conversation about who was the best Danish rider? As I mentioned above; not that many years ago simply having one (or a few) good result(s) was enough to make someone a clear candidate.
Or just pulling the bunch a lot of the time...
 
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I think there are many reasons for the lack of appeal that Fuglsang has to many Danish cycling 'fans'.

First, let me just say that in terms of wins only, I completely follow that SKA has had the better season. Winning 4 World Tour wins (when 2 of them are in the Tour) is bigger than winning a monument and 3 ProSeries wins, regardless of when the wins were achieved.

If we break down the individual performances, I'd also add Mads P's victory in Gent Wevelgem to the mix. I find that Mads P's victory, the 2 Tour stage wins for SKA and Fuglsang's Il Lombardia triumph are all three equally impressive for a Danish rider to achieve. While both Mads P and SKA had to tactically outmaneuver a tougher opposition in order to earn their victories, Fuglsang won a monument by simply being stronger than anybody else (almost a déja vu from Liege).


Now, does the casual cycling fan see it this way? I believe not.

First, there is the 'problem' that it was Il Lombardia, that Fuglsang won - a race that does not have much identity in Denmark. I do not think that many Danish cycling 'fans' even watched Il Lombardia on August 15th. There were probably more people tuned into Dauphiné that day (another extremely tedious Dauphiné stage, might I say).

Second, as you say he has had a season of consistency with many top results, but only one big win. The dominant victory from Andalusia would be forgotten, had it not been for the pre-race polemics that arised surround the now debunked Ferrari rumour and investigation. Watching Fuglsang take his first win of the season in his first race after the shitstorm he'd been through was quite impressive, but still it is a relatively small race to follow if you are not into cycling on a deeper level.

Third, there is the Leopard-move. The fact that the escape from Saxo Bank effectively ended the team as we knew it has contributed to Fuglsang as a 'Judas' figure in the eyes of many Danish cycling fans. Fuglsang was part of the gang of riders along with the Schlecks, Cancellara and O' Grady, who really embodied the Saxo Bank team back in the days and this team spirit was essentially lost when Contador arrived with his Spanish armada. Still, many Danish fans clung to supporting Saxo Bank but with a sense of feeling betrayed by riders such as Fuglsang.

Fourth, in combintation with the Leopard move, there is the mystique surrounding Jakob Fuglsang. There is this aura around Fuglsang, which is hard to describe. He is a rather detached and quiet figure, who appears complex on the inside. Like he is always hiding a little bit of himself and is secretly laughing of the circus that unwinds before his eyes. He also clearly knows how talented he is and sometimes points this out in more subtle ways. I believe this attitude can come across as arrogant or slightly elitist to many people, especially Danes, who are famous for their quick negative responses to anyone who dare display self-belief. In addition, Fuglsang is born in Switzerland, married with a Luxembourger and he rarely sets his feet on Danish ground - not exactly ingredients that make him the trademark Danish person.

I managed to find this piece from last year, if anyone is interested. It is a tribute (in Danish) to Fuglsang, which describes his qualities from a more intellectual perspective than what is usually heard on classic cycling podcasts.
https://castbox.fm/episode/Fanbrev-til-Jakob-Fuglsang.-Danskeren,-der-kan-vinde-Tour-de-France,-har-givet-mig-lyst-til-at-kede-mig-id489374-id168268195?country=dk
Lombardia alone is of course greater than two average Tour stages. But it's not a very viewed race, and it was by far the weakest edition (perhaps of any monument) in recent times. Still, Fuglsang was not just the Danish rider with the best season, but clearly so. Maybe that would be evident to more if he medalled the WC or did something of note in the Giro.

I don't really buy the significance of his leotard move. Cancellara is still adored by the majority of Danish fans.


What's wrong with Fuglsang is not that he is shy, but that he comes across as feeling sorry for himself and always with a chip on his shoulder. Totally opposite Rolf Sørensen, he has no generosity.
 
Soren Kragh Andersen was chosen as the best Danish rider of 2020. Last year it was Mads Pedersen. Fuglsang was picked in 2017, but all in all, and considering his successes in recent years, he hasn't won as many awards as he could (and should) have. Valgren has won twice since 2010, and I don't think anyone would consider Valgren a more successful rider than Fuglsang.

* 2019: Mads Pedersen.

* 2018: Michael Valgren.

* 2017: Jakob Fuglsang.

* 2016: Amalie Dideriksen.

* 2015: Mads Würtz Schmidt.

* 2014: Michael Valgren.

* 2013: Amalie Dideriksen.

* 2012: Lasse Norman Hansen.

* 2011: Lars Bak.

* 2010: Matti Breschel.
IMHO the most ridiculous is naming Pedersen as 2019 Danish Cyclist of the Year ahead of Fugslang. Fuglsang also won big races (LBL and Dauphine) and had tons of good places in relevant races, while Pedersen just landed that win which, as iconic as it might be, doesn't surpass the achievements Jakob landed.
 
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IMHO the most ridiculous is naming Pedersen as 2019 Danish Cyclist of the Year ahead of Fugslang. Fuglsang also won big races (LBL and Dauphine) and had tons of good places in relevant races, while Pedersen just landed that win which, as iconic as it might be, doesn't surpass the achievements Jakob landed.
Indeed.

He would have deserved it more this year (yes, RhD, I know), honestly.
 
Might also have something to do with Dauphiné being on TV2 (or at least TV2 Sport), and Lombardia "only" on Eurosport.



Funny thing is; for me... I think that's basically around the time that I realised that I'm not going to stop liking riders just because they change teams.

But anyway, how cool is it that we're actually having a conversation about who was the best Danish rider? As I mentioned above; not that many years ago simply having one (or a few) good result(s) was enough to make someone a clear candidate.
Yes. I can honestly admit I did not watch too much of Dauphiné this year. After the first uphill finish on Col de Porte, I felt that there was no reason to watch it. Luckily, I did find myself bored enough to turn on for the last stage though, as Roglic abandonment saved the stage and made it enjoyable, and, at times, comical to watch (thanks Thibaut Pinot).

But the whole Leopard-move never really moved me either. I remember having a very neutral relationship to the Saxo Bank team after the core group of riders left the team, as they were, in my opinion, emblematic of the spirit of the team. My response to them leaving was not to side with anyone in bitterness, but rather to just keep cheering for the riders that I had learned to love. Whether or not they rode for a Luxembourg or Danish team had no impact on my opinions.
 

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