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Pedersen: “Pogacar, Van Aert and Van der Poel are more talented than me, but not unbeatable”

Pedersen: “Pogacar, Van Aert and Van der Poel are more talented than me, but not unbeatable”

Four years have passed since then Mads Pedersen (27 years) was crowned World champion “surprised” just as many cataloged the Dane’s success in Yorkshire. Time has disproved this theory. Or rather, Pedersen himself, with a formula that never fails: victories. Last year he closed the circle of triumphs in the Grand Tours, one goal fewer on a list that was for 2024 points to the Spring Classics and the Paris Olympics. In Calpe, the Dane spoke to the media, among other things, during the Lidl Trek team’s preparatory training camp AS.

—How do you deal with the new Lidl Trek megastructure?

“We are more than 150 people concentrated here.” Mechanics, technicians, runners, nutritionists… A great structure. All the people here will help us have a great season.

—There’s a lot of talk about Lidl Trek nutritionists…

“I had never consulted a nutritionist before. I let them do the work, they tell me what to do and I can concentrate on what I’m good at. I also received full support from the team in everything. These additional nutritionists may not help me, but they can help more people on the team. I’m trying to find the latest news. We have new nutritionists, we have more people like that and the team is looking at other teams that are doing well, like Jumbo, and trying to implement the good things from other teams here.

— Do you think you will be very hungry?

“We can sit next to a dessert and know we can’t eat it. Every now and then I also like to eat a cake. Maybe it’s the mental part, I have to say no, but it’s not a big problem. I tell them that in the evening, when I finish Roubaix, I have chips, ice cream and everything (laughs). I am human too. I also have to live my life.

—Do you think these new methods will bring you closer to defeating the Pogacars, Van Aert or Van der Poel?

—I can’t tell you exactly what I need to change to have a chance of winning in the end. Honestly, these guys are just more talented than me, but they’re not unbeatable.

—Are the Olympic Games one of your goals?

Definitely yes. I want to go there and have options to get it. I won’t say it’s my main goal of the year right now. I want to focus on the spring classics. And in two or three months the Olympic Games will come. First I’ll focus on the classics and then the games.

—Do you know the new Danish talent your team has signed: Albert Philipsen?

-Yes. He lives not far from my home. He is a runner with a great future who will accompany us from 2025. I had already heard of him and now I will see him at work up close. It’s very good for the team to have this talent with us. I believe in him and think it will be good for him to be part of the Lidl Trek because we have a cyclocross team, a development team and a UCI team. You will learn a lot here. I didn’t run with him because I’m 11 years older than him. But they talked to me about him and told me he’s a great kid and I know he has a great future ahead of him, although it’s too early to tell. He’s 17 years old, he still has a year of junior ahead of him, we have to give him time.

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