Bjarne Riis has been pleased with the debut season of Danish phenomenon Jacob Fuglsang; so pleased, in fact, that he’s signed him up for a three-year contract extension.
The 24-year-old Dane will stay in a Saxo Bank jersey through the 2012 season, which is good news for Riis, who is always on the hunt for promising Danish talent.
Riis was so impressed with Fuglsang, a former mountain bike racer who switched to the road following the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, that he’s predicting big things in the future.
“Jakob is without a doubt one of the biggest talents in cycling and this season he has underlined his huge potential. To make a top professional debut like this is hardly seen before and I have no doubt that Jacob can go far in the sport,” Riis said in a team release.
“Without overestimating, I would not be surprised if he is seen in the forefront of the Tour de France within a few years,” Riis predicted. “To extend his contract with another three years is a huge win for the team and I am sure he will take another major step up the rankings next year. Jakob is well on his way to becoming a complete rider.”
Fuglsang certainly lived up to expectations, winning the Tour of Slovenia and defending his title at the Tour of Denmark (which he won in 2008 on an amateur team).
He also rode well at the Dauphiné Libéré and the Vuelta a España throughout his impressive rookie debut.
“I am enormously grateful for the perspective the extension with Team Saxo Bank offers my career. Now I know that I’ll get the best development opportunities for the next three years on a team I truly care for,” he said. “I am proud of what I have achieved this year and it’s no secret that the conditions on Team Saxo Bank suit me perfectly. It has been a natural choice for me to extend and I am looking forward to another three years on the team.”