When Michael Mørkøv first became a professional on the road with Team Saxo Bank in 2009, he was a smart guy with a track background, remembers then-teammate and Bobby & Jens co-host Jens Voigt, but it wasn’t quite clear where he would fit into the team. Fast forward to 2021 and the Dane is the premier lead-out rider in the pro peloton and a key ingredient behind Mark Cavendish’s incredible run at the 2021 Tour de France. “To see him rise to where he is now in the sport of cycling, it could not have happened to a better person,” says co-host Bobby Julich, another former teammate.
Indeed, from Bobby & Jens’s discussion with Michael—who was generous enough to take some of his precious free time during the Tour’s second rest day for this interview—you get the sense of how humble and hardworking the Danish rider is, essential characteristics for someone whose job is to be the best at helping other people win.
And the list of people he has helped win is quite extensive, including stars like Marcel Kittel, Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani and now Mark Cavendish. In his career he has shown remarkable consistency regardless of who is on his wheel. But it doesn’t come easily.
“It’s so fragile, the difference between winning and losing,” says Michael about being a lead-out rider. But that’s what keeps him motivated, the possibility of success that comes with the risk of taking the wrong line and messing it up for his sprinter. And that narrow line between success and failure leads him to prepare in depth for every sprint stage.
That preparation has played no small part in Mark Cavendish’s return to his winning ways at the Tour, where he has won four stages and could break Eddy Merckx’s all-time stage win record of 34. It’s a return to form so unexpected that Michael notes that Cavendish wasn’t even included as an alternate in the collectible Panini Tour de France rider stickers for this year’s race.
Michael also discusses his Deceuninck–Quick-Step team’s success at this year’s race, his background in the sport and his goals for the Olympics and the rest of the year. It’s a can’t-miss interview providing an insider’s perspective on Mark Cavendish’s incredible 2021 Tour and more.