The Danish sensation is the irst rider to win back- to- back U23 world time trial titles
The consecutive world titles are probably the best place to start…
Yes, Mikkel was a double under-23 TT world champion before he’d even left his teens (he’s 20 now). No rider had won two titles in the class, let alone back-to-back, in 23 years of the event. He retained the title he won in Bergen in 2017 in Innsbruck this September.
He’s a time triallist then?
Racing against the clock is certainly his speciality. The Copenhagenborn rider was second in the junior world TT race in 2016, having swapped swimming for cycling due to a knee injury. A year later, he took the rainbow jersey in his first year at U23 level, emphatically winning by over a minute. Retaining the jersey was the target of 2018; so much so, he flew to Austria 10 days before the race to get to know the course inside out.
Does the WorldTour beckon?
Not just yet. Mikkel signed with Hagens Berman Axeon last year through the 2019 season, and sees the ProConti team as the best place to manage his development. “I don’t want to be the U23 world champion that never did anything after winning the title, so I’ve kind of taken it step-by-step,” he told Cyclingnews earlier this year.
How’s his road racing?
Turning himself into a rounded racer has been part of the objective this year. His season started well with a win in March at the one-day Rabobank Dorpenomloop Rucphen from a sprint. But Mikkel admits he’s got a lot to learn about tactics and riding in the bunch. His spring was derailed when he crashed at Nokere Koerse, and he was left with a broken hand. Yet on his return, he was soon back doing what he does best against the clock: he was sixth in the TT at the Tour of California behind a string of WorldTour riders. In October, he set a new Danish Hour Record, covering 53.73km.
Anything else to note?
In a case of six degrees of separation, this spring Mikkel got engaged to Cervélo Bigla rider and fellow Dane Emma Norsgaard. She is the sister of Mathias Norsgaard, who just so happened to win bronze in the U23 Worlds TT in Innsbruck behind Mikkel.