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Michael Mørkøv after new record: “The track makes me a better rider”

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Mørkøv won the prestigious track cycling event Copenhagen SixDay’s Tuesday night. At the same time he made history by becoming the most winning Danish rider of all time in the race with five wins in total.

The powerful Dane, who’s been on Tinkoff-Saxo for seven seasons, is perhaps most widely known for his performances on the road. Here, Mørkøv has added a stage win at the Vuelta a España as well as a national championship to his résumé and gained considerable praises for his abilities as a supporting rider.

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But the 29-year old actually started out his career on the track cycling scene more than ten year’s ago and had this as his prime focus up until 2009, where he made the move to Tinkoff-Saxo and the World Tour. But Mørkøv has been able to keep alive his track ambitions during the winter months. So when the former track World Champion rode to victory at the velodrome in Ballerup for the fifth time it was naturally a big moment.

“It was an amazing feeling to become the most winning Dane at the Copenhagen SixDay’s, especially in front of a home audience that has supported me for many years”, says Michael Mørkøv. “My partner Alex Rasmussen and I started out the last day in second place. But we knew that we were able to increase the tempo in the long 70k pursuit – and so we did”.

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Track cycling is as diverse as road cycling. There are bulky sprinters, agile long distance riders and everything in between. The SixDay events offer an array of races, several times a day for six days – hence its name. The race includes events such as elimination races, pursuits, moter-paced races and the famous madison, where the partners are on the track at the same time sling-shooting each other into action.

“I simply love the SixDay’s. It’s pure cycling but it’s different from road racing. It’s more technical, often more tactical and you get into a certain mode, since you race, relax, prepare and race again several times a day. SixDay track racing is a classic métier in the sport of cycling, so it’s something that I’m very proud of”, tells Michael Mørkøv, who is now ready to commence the World Tour road season.
The track makes for a better rider on the road
One might think that the track would steal focus from Mørkøv’s career on the road. But according to the strong Dane it’s the exact opposite.

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The track makes for a better rider on the road
One might think that the track would steal focus from Mørkøv’s career on the road. But according to the strong Dane it’s the exact opposite.

“Without doubt, the track makes me a better road racer and vice versa. I come with important raw power and endurance, when I enter the track events after a good season on the road. And many of my technical abilities such as positioning myself are directly derived from my track experience on the other hand”, explains Mørkøv, who’s about to start his first race of the 2015 road season with Tinkoff-Saxo at the Tour of Qatar.

“Qatar is actually a good example of how the track helps me. I’m now able to enter the race with six very intense and diverse days in the legs. It’s perfect training. Last year I also rode on the track and I finished 5th overall in Qatar with a 2nd place in one of the very fast stages”.

Michael Mørkøv joins a strong Tinkoff-Saxo lineup at Qatar, which is the season opener for many of the riders in the squad. Among is Peter Sagan, who Michael is particularly excited to race with.

“I’m looking forward to pulling on the new team kit and ride for Sagan, who spearheads our team. It definitely commands respect to have a guy like him on the team. I have a good starting point, so I think I’m able to support him and do a great personal result at the same time”, concludes Mørkøv.

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