Mikkel Bjerg took the gold in today´s Men´s U23 Time Trial. It is just great to be Danish in Norway.
Story by Kristian Arnesen Strømshoved
I had a superb day, and I think I paced the time trial perfectly, and now I'm here with the jersey so I´m just super happy, Mikkel Bjerg said at the press conference.
The sky was a bit heavier over Bergen but the weather cleared and the sun appeared just in time for the Men´s U23 Time Trial.
Danish Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen got the honour to lead out as the first cyclist on the course. But focus quickly shifted toward his countryman Mikkel Bjerg. The young Dane also grabbing the silver at the European Road Championships in Herning, pushed through the course with the aim of setting his sights on the “hot set”.
When all riders had crossed the finishing line the Dane was still in the same seat. But now as the winner of the gold medal and cherished rainbow jersey. Following him in second and third was American Brandon McNulty and French rider Corentin Ermanult.
Starting early, more than 2.5 hours before the supposedly best contenders of the day, Bjerg passed the first intermediate point well ahead of all riders so far. It would become a long wait in the hot seat for the Danish champion.
The course, going a distance of 37.2 kilometre, included two laps, one short and one long, and it would once again prove the Birkelundsbakken to be a decisive moment of the race. For one of the riders the climb came later than expected.
I was sure we were doing the longer lap first, so I was ready for that, but then it was the short lap first. So, it became a bit of change for me mentally, said Norweigan talent Iver Knotten after reaching finish.
The race became somewhat worse for American Neilson Powless who was on a good pace after climbing the Birkelundsbakken climb. On the way down he crashed and had to wait for a back-up bike, losing too much time to contend for the medals.
Bergen may have hoped for a red, white and blue at the top of the podium however the crowd cheered loud for the red and white cyclist of the day, Mikkel Bjerg when getting his gold medal.
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