Jonas Vingegaard omitted from Danish men’s Olympic team as Mikkel Bjerg secures final spot


Two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard has not been selected for the Olympic Games in Paris. Instead, Mikkel Bjerg will take up the last of Denmark’s four allocated places. Bjerg will ride the road race on 3 August alongside Mads Pedersen, Mattias Skjelmose and Michael Mørkøv, who had already been announced by the Danish Olympic committee. Mørkøv will also compete on the track.

It will be Bjerg’s first Olympic Games, and he will also represent Denmark in the individual time trial on 27 July. In November last year, Vingegaard mentioned his interest in the Olympics, telling the Danish news agency Ritzau, “I hope that I will be selected, but it will not surprise me if I am not. It may well be that the national coach chooses four others instead.” Vingegaard, currently training at altitude in Tignes, is recovering from an injury sustained in a crash during the Itzulia Basque Country in April, preparing to defend his Tour de France title.

Mads Pedersen
Mads Pedersen

All in for Mads Pedersen

Hopes for a Danish medal at the Olympic Games in Paris are largely pinned on 2019 world champion Mads Pedersen. The 28-year-old is well suited to the classics-style course around Paris, which includes the short, sharp Côte de la Butte Montmartre on the closing laps. Bjerg is set to play a supporting role for Pedersen in the road race.

“I look forward to helping Mads. I am an assistant rider on a daily basis and specialise in just that. I know I can make a difference to the team. We have a strong Danish team, and we must show that we are ready to fight for the medals in Paris,” Bjerg said on the Denmark Sport Federation’s website.

Last month, Bjerg played a key role in Tadej Pogačar’s Giro d’Italia win. However, he has decided to skip the Tour de France to focus on the Olympic Games. Bjerg has his own goals in Paris for the individual time trial, where he is considered an outsider for a medal.

“I look forward to the time trial. I have worked with time trials for 10 years, and I know what it takes to ‘peak’ in that discipline,” said Bjerg. “I am incredibly proud to be going to the Olympics. I have gone all in. Since December, I have only been at home for 14 days, and otherwise, I have just been at races and training camps. I chose to ride the Giro d’Italia and skip the Tour de France to be completely ready for the Olympics. That’s why I’m also really relieved to be selected.”