The Danish Team Pursuit team triumphed in the World Championship final in Berlin by distancing New Zealand with 5 seconds in the final, and smashing the previous world champions, Australia’s world record with over 3 seconds. It became Denmark’s third world record in 30 hours…
The reinterpretation of ‘The Golden Four’ (‘Guldfireren’ in Danish) in the form of Lasse Norman Hansen, Julius Johansen, Frederik Rodenberg and Rasmus Lund delivered a true splendid performance in the Berlin Velodrom by laying down the 16 laps of the 250 meter long track in phantom time of 3.44,672.
A race that must be called the perfect race.
“I got it maybe half a lap too far out, but we followed the plan. Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow it up. But then we set a new world record, and you can’t afford to be too pessimistic. I’m just constantly thinking about what we could have done better,” stated the team’s strong finisher, Frederik Rodenberg after the first round to feltet.dk.
In the final, things already looked good from the start against the strong New Zealanders. After the first kilometer the Danes were one second ahead. A lead that expanded steadily over the next 3km. Frederik Rodenberg was allowed to do away with his pessimism and pull the team home the last kilometer for a time that you dare not dream of 3.44,672 – well below the magical 3.45 limit.
“It was something close to the perfect team race. We disposed the pulls perfectly. Julius and I finally got a hook in Frederik by shouting at him. I think it made him dispose better than he would have. I was almost shouting ‘calm down’ to him three times in a row. It wasn’t because I couldn’t keep up. But I knew he would explode before the final if he continued to speed up as much as he did at first, ” Norman explained to the feltet.dk after the race.
The Mythical Rainbow Stipes
In an Olympic year as 2020, the World Championships are not just a step on the road to Tokyo. Among cyclists, the rainbow stripes are something very special. Mythical to many. All riders have dreamed of seeing themselves pull the historic jersey over their head and let themselves be honored. That is why this victory also means something very special for Denmark’s most experienced rider, Lasse Norman.
“I’ve been trying to win this jersey for ten years. It’s a great feeling. I have both believed and hoped I would win earlier. It was really a jersey that was missing in the closet, I’m really, really happy,” Lasse Norman told feltet.dk, emphasizing the importance of the rainbow striped jersey, which can complement Norman’s other great track triumphs, which include the Olympic gold in Omnium (London, 2012), Olympic bronze in Omnium and Team Pursuit (Rio, 2016) World Championship silver in Omnium (Minsk, 2013) and World Championship silver in Team Pursuit (Cali, 2014).
“It feels absolutely fantastic. I don’t think there’s anything that can describe what happened right here. That’s what we’ve been fighting for so many years. Standing as a world champion to beat the world record is completely unreal. That is the best preparation for the Olympics,” Rasmus Lund told TV2 Sport.
Next Step: Tokyo
The Tokyo Olympics are the next goal for the Danish team, which could not have wished for a better self-confidence-building. And expectations are high:
“If you are the world champions and have set a great world record, it is difficult to jump out of a favorite role. The expectation for the Olympics must be a medal and it must be gold,” says Martin Elleberg Pedersen, director of the Danish Cycling Federation.
The Team Pursuit runs from August 3-5th 2020 in Tokyo.
Congratulations to the Danish team, all included, from Argon 18.