pro cycling

I’m calling it…Mads Pederson: double World Champion!

Mads Pederson Cyclist

Last September, 2019, the World Championship Road Race took place in Yorkshire. You might remember it? If you were there, you may have clothing on your radiator that has very nearly dried out.

To say it rained would be like saying Dominic Cummings is problematic; if rain could mastermind the collective nervous breakdown of an entire nation, that was it.

Had Noah turned up in Harrogate with his fancy boat and onboard petting zoo, hawking for a spot of business in a fanzone packed with bored kids dragged for a day at the bike race, he’d have been swept away before you could say Betty’s Tea Room.

Biblical Shmiblical; this was Northern England rain.

Noah wouldn’t have lasted five minutes up ‘ere.

Embed from Getty Images

Perhaps unsurprisingly it was a big northern European, raised in cold, wet climes, who won the thing. Denmark’s Mads Pederson shivered atop the podium in that Rainbow Jersey knowing that his six hours of inhumane suffering were not in vain.

Earning, in true cycling style, not a massive cheque with lots of noughts on it, but a colourful t-shirt. In a sport full of murky corners the concept of winning and wearing the Rainbow Jersey for the ‘honour’ of it retains its charm.

It’s a lovely little punchline.

But they say the jersey is cursed.

That those who wear the stripes are neutered somewhat by the burden of it. It is said that the will and desire to win, that final half a percent that gets you over the line first, is snuffed out by the prestige, the fawning adulation, and the interminable obligation to media and sponsors.

Not half as much as a global pandemic, it turns out.

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The fact that Mads Pederson is unable to ride bike races decked out as World Champion is, of course, mind bogglingly inconsequential in the context of a global health crisis. It’s a shame for the lad though.

On that day, with that weather, there can’t be many Rainbow Jerseys that have been quite so earned as that one.

But thinking ahead there’s the very real chance that the World Champs of 2020 will never happen? Which surely means that our man Pederson gets to keep his t-shirt for another year?

Which, technically, would make him a double World Champion?

After braving those conditions last September, that his win should count double seems about right.


(Top Image: By filip bossuyt from Kortrijk, Belgium – 176 pedersen, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60717269)

5 comments on “I’m calling it…Mads Pederson: double World Champion!

  1. Clearly you didn’t watch the men’s road race in Florence 2013, more rain – yes that *is* possible – than even God’s own country. I interviewed Mads at 2017 Giro and was impressed by him. Aside from being a lovely lad, he had an old head on young shoulders.

    PS Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sheree! I remember Florence looking wet on the TV but I dispute that it could’ve been wetter than Harrogate 😉

      I’m not surprised to hear he’s a lovely lad…he looks like a polite, well behaved kind of chap!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Trust me, it was wetter. Mads is exactly that, the sort of lad any Mum would be proud to own, or have as a son-in-law.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. At lowly club, amateur time trialling level – the start for most cycling demi-gods in Britain – Ive ridden some very wet races but most bikies I know would have cried off in those conditions. Some of the puddles were deeper than the under 23s were tall.
    More great writing there, with an interesting question on how long he’s allowed to hold on the rainbow

    Liked by 1 person

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