Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) is focussed and ready to represent his world champion’s jersey in 2020.
Pedersen, 24 years old, went into the world championships in Yorkshire a relative unknown, and as he entered the final sprint for victory with proven classics specialist Matteo Trentin and powerhouse Stefan Küng, he was the bottom of everyone’s bets. Now in 2020 he rides with new expectations from others and of himself as the rainbow jersey draws the world’s attention.
“[Ths year], it’s full focus about being ready for the classics and showing off the jersey, and to show that I can wear the jersey with pride, and be one of the best riders in the classics,” Pedersen said on the Trek Better with Bikes podcast.
Pedersen is provisionally set to be showing his stripes at the season-opening Tour Down Under, Paris-Nice, and then visiting his favored territory of the cobblestones, where he lines up for Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He is also hoping to start the Tour de France for the first time this year.
“I’m really looking forward to try [to race the Tour], and I think in this jersey it’s going to be a crazy experience,” he said.
As the Dane comes out of his off-season, he admits he needs to go into the season in better shape than in 2019, but has learned from last year’s mistakes.
“With this jersey or not, I have to change a lot this year definitely,” he said. “I did the wrong preparation for the season last year, I was overweight at the beginning of the season, but I learned a lot about myself and how to do it. I believe that the way I want to do it is the right way to do it.”
Pedersen is keen to impress in 2020. His 2019 season was largely low-key, registering anonymous results through the classics and a number of week-long races. He hit form just in time, winning the 1.1 Grand Prix d’Isbergues race the weekend before the world championships. It was his only trip to the top step of the podium so far that season. His victory the following weekend in an epic Yorkshire storm was of a far different scale.
The Dane clearly has the motor to register big wins however, and scooped a host of major results through his earlier career. His palmares includes a win at Paris-Roubaix juniors and silver in the junior world championships road race, and victory at Gent-Wevelgem U23s.
Pedersen knows there will be external pressure on him in 2020, but claims it’s no more of a burden than the pressure he puts on himself.
“The pressure, I try to let out,” he said. “I always have some pressure from my personal side to myself. If I manage to go to the goal with this pressure from myself, then the pressure from other people is also is taken [off], because I also want to win Roubaix, be on the podium at Flanders, I also want to be one of the best guys.”
Pedersen comes out of his off-season ready to represent his world champion status to the best of his abilities. With monument and grand tour ambitions for 2020, he’ll be hoping that the rainbow jersey propels him to breakthroughs to match his performance in Yorkshire last year.
“It’s time to get focussed again and try to win some bike races,” he said.