Cycling

Michael Mørkøv wants to help Fabio Jakobsen like he did Mark Cavendish

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Michael Mørkøv hopes to pave the way to victory for Fabio Jakobsen just as he did for Mark Cavendish.

With Cavendish leaving Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl for 2023, Jakobsen is already the top sprinter on the team bus heading into next season.

Even with the arrival of Tim Merlier, Jakobsen is expected to lead the group sprints on big dates like the Tour de France.

Talking to the Danish newspaper feltMørkøv sees a new challenge in working more efficiently with Jakobsen going into next season to achieve more wins.

“Fabio and I haven’t really raced much together. Usually we have run a couple of races a year together for the last four years, but we haven’t had continuous periods,” said Mørkøv. Feltet.dk.

“I have told the team that from next year I would like to race even more with Fabio, so that we can gain some experience together, also in the smaller races. Then we will be more ready for the most important races.”

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Jakobsen met the pressure in the Tour de France, earning the first sprint opportunity in the 2022 edition on stage 2.

However, Jakobsen fell short of the top step in his other sprint opportunities, finishing fifth, 13th and ninth in the next three sprint opportunities in what was a very competitive sprint field on Tour in 2022. He was also flat in the Champs-Élysées with 13 He also finished fifth in the green-dot jersey competition behind the unstoppable Wout van Aert.

Mørkøv is recognized as the best leader of the group. The arrival of Casper Pedersen in 2023 will only reinforce the Quick-Step train.

Some of his best moments came with Cavendish, who won the Tour again in 2021 when he won four stages and tied Eddy Merckx for the all-time record of 34 wins thanks in part to Mørkøv.

Cavendish is still searching for a 2023 squad, and there are renewed rumors that he could rejoin Ineos Grenadiers in their quest to top the Merckx brand next season with a possible move to B&B Hotels now on the rocks.

Mørkøv, 37, will remain at Quick-Step until at least 2023.

Mørkøv admitted that he hopes he and Jakobsen, who often likes to follow in each other’s footsteps instead of being led by their heads, can find a connection similar to the one he enjoyed with Cavendish.

“I think it’s a matter of adaptation on both sides,” Mørkøv said. “I don’t want to take away any of his instincts.”

Mørkøv pointed to how Jakobsen navigated his wheels to win Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in the spring as an example of how his teammate can often claw his way to victory.

“He runs his own sprint without the help of others. He almost takes the lead himself and wins by a landslide. I won’t take that away from you. Therefore, I will never ask him to follow me 100 percent, if there is something else that works for him,” Mørkøv said.

“But it is clear that we will have to find a way in which we can both get the most out of each other.”

Mørkøv, who also clinched Olympic gold in Madison’s comeback at the 2020 Olympics with Lasse Norman Hansen, says he’s not done yet.

“I am by no means about to finish my career,” he said. “I want to be the best version of myself next year and I’m motivated to become that.”

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