|New Sports Director with Lots of Experience
[26.02 12:42] He has never worked as a sports director before and he has not raced himself for a number of years now, but nonetheless Team CSC's new sports director Jørgen V. Pedersen brings with him lots of experience. This past weekend Pedersen kicked off his new career in Tour du Haut Var.
The path leading him to his new job this season has been an interesting one for the sympathetic 47-year-old Dane, who as a highlight in his career held the yellow jersey for five days in Tour de France, 1986 - as the second Dane ever – the first being his fellow sports director at Team CSC, Kim Andersen.
He began his career as a pro cyclist back in 1984 with Davide Boifava as a sports director at the Carrera crew, with Giro-winner Roberto Visentini and Guido Bontempi as the big profiles. The following year he got his debut in Tour de France, where he besides his five days in yellow in 1986 also won a stage in 1987. He also won a stage in Paris-Nice, Vuelta a Espana as well as a second place in Tour of Denmark during his career.
But in 1990 his cycling career came to an end after a serious accident. But that was the beginning of a just as successful career as a “civilian” within the sport.
"I quit cycling after a bad accident during Tour de Loire in 1990, where I crashed into a car and broke my jaws, my arms, my legs and a few other bones. I still can't feel my one cheek, because I tore some nerves there," explains Pedersen and continues:
"Prior to that I'd been training in Hans Henrik Palm's fitness center in Copenhagen and had become friends with him. He visited me at the hospital and asked me if I was going back to cycling again. I told him no, not really - I'd had enough. So in stead I was introduced to the fitness industry in which I've worked for about 15 years," says Jørgen V. Pedersen, who has co-owned Form & Fitness and later fitness.dk, which was sold to Parken Sport & Entertainment in 2006.
Already a number of years back there was talk about Jørgen V. joining Team CSC, when he contacted his old colleague, Bjarne Riis and offered his assistance.
"I called and spoke to Bjarne a few years ago, and then all of a sudden he calls me up and asks if I want to work with him on the sponsorship with Nobili in 2006, where I've been responsible for the contact between the team and the sponsor. It has been a fun and interesting job," says Pedersen.
"Then, when Tristan Hoffman announced this fall, that he was leaving his job as a sports director Bjarne had to find a replacement. And in the end he asked me and we have come to an agreement, which in a way completes the circle for me after having started as a rider myself," says the Dane, who has the following comments about his own strengths and expectations:
"A lot has happened within the cycling sport since I was a rider and of course I'll have to get my self up to speed, so I'll be taking it slow at the beginning watching and learning from the other sports directors. I've got quite a lot of contacts through my previous job – especially in Italy - so I won't have a problem with all the practical stuff. But life as a rider is very different from when I was a neo-pro living in a small room with no heating or phone in the early eighties. So it's probably a whole other mentality now as well. But I'm very much looking forward to it all," finishes Pedersen, who has his first big assignment in Tirreno-Adriatico.