Teams & Riders King Albert I of Denmark thread


*Bleep* it. It is time. Time to take the knee, and bow down to the king. Torn as to what title to give this thread. The Jasper is no longer the best Philipsen-thread, or The AWP alarm thread. Instead, let's call a spade a spade. Albert, thy strength befits a crown. Therefore, King Albert I, a name familiar to Belgians, it is. I don't feel the need to type another thesis, and therefore allow me to copy and paste an excerpt from my preview post to the road race in Glasgow:

Watch out. The super talent is here. Albert, oh Albert. Albert Withen, or Albert Philipsen? I was completely confused. One database calls him Albert Philipsen, the other Albert Withen and Feltet stuck to Albert Withen Philipsen for a long time. The bottom stone had to go up. How does this work? After checking with some Danish friends, it turns out that we should call him Albert Withen. I think it sounds less nice than Albert Philipsen, but that doesn't matter. This kid is an incredibly repulsive beyond measure fantastic phenomenon, and he's only a freshman. The goal is two golds, here in the road race and later this week on the mountain bike. I'll give him a good chance. Barring bad luck, there will really be nothing to do on the mountain bike, despite a far from ideal starting row. However, it already started this year in the CX. As a complete nono he was there at the start in Hoogerheide, never driven a cross of significance. From the last row he eventually rode to an 8th place, just 44 seconds behind Bisiaux. Fast forward to the Peace Race, and he will be involved in bunch sprints, in the time trial, in the queen stage to Lotimerice. In the end, he just missed out on the podium, as Senna Remijn took quite a few bonuses in the last stage and bounced over him. Less than a week later it was time for the World Cup in Nove Mesto. At the very back of course, because as a newcomer he has no points. Blink his eyes twice and he was already ahead, past world #1 Sivert Ekroll. Talked out of the wheel and on to victory. In a hurry he also became Danish champion twice, before his magnum opus took place in Anadia, at the European championship. The starting position was a bit more favorable this time, somewhere from row 6 or so. It took him two laps to get into the #1 position before eventually going on to a one-minute victory. That is really unseen. You understand, Albert Withen is a genius.​

The deed is done, Albert is now a two time world champion, and they are the first of many. Discuss a legend in the making.

I would have gone with "The Beast Withen", but I'm not a Belgian kinderlokker.

Is he a bigger talent than Jan Christen?
Yes, absolutely. They are very alike in background and while Christen is special, Withen Philipsen is just a level above. I have never seen anything like it, and I mean it. Though it seems likely they will take a different path as professionals. Everything is still to be determined of course at such a young age, but based on comments Withen Philipsen wants to continue down this road of a multidiscipline classic specialist like Pidcock and Van der Poel, whereas Christen wants to follow the line of Pogacar.

Not that it matters, because they are both so gifted in every area and the riders they wish to follow meet each other at all big races anyway. Withen Philipsen nearly broke the KoM on Coll de Rates, for instance. He is off the charts. If he wishes to do so, he can absolutely become world champion in CX next year too.
I know Denmark famously used to have lots of exciting juniors and espoirs riders who did not live up to the expectations later on, so one should be careful with these super young riders. But I have never seen a Danish junior who compares to Withen Philipsen. Not even Mads Pedersen leading the world ranking for u19 gave off the same vibes. Very excited to follow his development
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
And he's a first year junior.....his lap times have been impressive, sometimes of U23 level. I would think he could have a good winter in CX if he chooses to do so.

I did see a quote on Twitter from a Dane who was trying to dampen expectations - saying Andreassen was also exceptional as a junior, and is only now good. To be fair, I don't think he was as good as Albert....
Wonder what his program will be next year, though I can’t see it being much different than this year. Reckon he his eyes on winning Roubaix and the Peace Race, not much else to do with other big races clashing with the mtb. Options are rather limited with Tscherning.
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan