I had anticipated that Mads might be feeling a bit fatigued at the end of the second week, but if he was, he didn’t show it. Instead he bounced out of the Trek-Segafredo bus to talk to me with a beaming smile on his face – a consummate professional.
Sheree: It’s the end of the second week of the Giro, how’s it been?
Mads: Good. Warm. Nice.
Sheree: You said at the start you were here to help your teammates and we’ve seen you working hard for them.
Mads: Yeah, you know that’s my job. I have to do it and I enjoy it. Every day we’re doing a good job. We’re having fun on the bike. I’m happy so far.
Sheree: At VeloVoices we’ve been impressed with your work-rate. Did you know you were our Rider of Race on stage six?
Mads: I didn’t know that. It’s nice to hear [smiles more widely].
Sheree: We don’t bestow such honours lightly. It’s a very prestigious award and it comes with a prize – cake.
Mads: We can’t keep eating cake! [They demolished some of my brownies yesterday.]
It’s obvious the team hold Mads in high regard. Team leader Bauke Molema paid tribute to him after Sunday’s punishing stage 15, saying:
It was perfect today. I think as a team we did a really good job. Before the first climb already with Mads (Pedersen) and Jasper (Stuyven) who brought all the climbers in a good position at the front…
The team refer to Mads and Jasper as “the team’s two biggest engines”, which is, of course, quite a compliment. We wish Mads well for the final week and are sure he’ll reach Milan, an amazing achievement for someone of his tender years. Be sure to keep a look out for him in forthcoming races, he’s special.
(Header Image: Stage 6 Tomorrow We Go Again featuring Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven ©Michael Valenti Cycling Artist)