FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Dane Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) says that with the rainbow jersey comes additional pressure to make sure that his pre-season goes perfectly.
Pedersen entered 2019 overweight, a mistake that he does not want to repeat going into 2020 as world champion.
“I’m really looking forward to the new year,” Pedersen told VeloNews.
“The classics this year was super-bad. So now it’s time to show that I can have the level as I had in world championships in the whole spring classics and yeah, now it’s really time to take another step and show that I can be in the finals.”
It capped off a year that did not go well. Already eyes were on him in 2018, when he placed second to Niki Terpstra in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. However, he began to fly under the radar without many results. He suffered in 2019 due to a few mistakes, some still unknown.
“Definitely over-weight,” he said of his form staring the 2019 season. “Yes. And then yeah, maybe also over-trained, this we don’t know because I don’t think it was over-training but definitely something was wrong.
“It was not only overweight, something else was also wrong but now I showed in the worlds that I’m back on track and I know the right direction again.”
The extra weight of the rainbow jersey has crushed riders in the past, but newlywed Pedersen says that because of this and the botched 2019 season, he needs to get the 2020 pre-season right.
“Life changed more with the marriage than the world title,” he added. “Of course it’s the title of the show so people are looking a little bit more at me but I tried to keep both legs on ground and stay the same Mads as before. But the marriage definitely changed a lot for me and my wife.”
Trek-Segafredo changes in 2020. John Degenkolb will leave the team for Lotto-Soudal and Pedersen will look to strongmen like Ryan Mullen and Kiel Reijnen for support in the classics.
In the grand tours, Vincenzo Nibali will add a punch to the roster that includes Bauke Mollema and Richie Porte.
The team also signed 18-year-old Quinn Simmons, winner of the junior world title a few days before Pedersen lived a rainbow dream.