U23 world champion Bjerg aiming for top result in Tour of California time trial

Development team Hagens Berman Axeon is making the most of its return to the Amgen Tour of California this year after a one-year absence, with sprinter Jasper Philipsen finishing sixth in the stage 1 bunch sprint and Sean Bennett claiming second on the stage 3 romp to Laguna Seca Raceway on Tuesday.

Now reigning under-23 time trial world champion Mikkel Bjerg is hoping to keep the momentum rolling with a top performance in Wednesday’s 34.7km race against the clock in San Jose.

“I’m super-excited,” Bjerg told Cyclingnews earlier this week. “It’s been on my mind for the last couple of weeks now, just getting ready and getting my shape better and better every day. I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to put in a respectable performance.”

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For Bjerg, “respectable” doesn’t come with a specific result attached. He told Cyclingnews he’s more focused on continuing to improve.

“For me, it’s mostly about the development,” he said. “I don’t want to be the under-23 world champion that never did anything after winning the title, so I’ve kind of just taken it step-by-step and tried to see if I could raise my level a bit for the season. With my hand injury, with the broken hand, it was a bit tough to come back, but I think I’ve found some really good shape and brought it here to California.”

Bjerg broke his hand racing in Belgium at Nokere Koerse in mid-March and has only put in nine racing days since, but the 19-year-old, who still needs to wrap his hand before each race, said he’s ready to take on his first WorldTour time trial, especially on a long course that is well-suited to his skills.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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