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When it comes to the classic cycling paradox—where it's a team effort but only one person takes the glory—no one feels it more intensely than lead-out specialists like Michael Mørkøv (Soudal Quick-Step).

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Being a lead-out specialist might not earn you the flashiest accolades, and you might not find yourself on the winner's podium, but the recognition and job satisfaction are definitely there. Playing a pivotal role in securing major wins can be even more rewarding than chasing after smaller victories yourself.
After all, no other rider gets as consistently close to seeing a teammate succeed as a lead-out man in a bunch sprint, often watching their leader raise his arms in the air just meters ahead of them. In 2021 alone, Mørkøv led out teammate Sam Bennett in all seven of his victories, and for five of Mark Cavendish's impressive ten wins, including all four Tour de France stages the Manxman conquered. His support also propelled Fabio Jakobsen to several wins in 2022 and 2023.
But there's another side to Mørkøv—he's also a rockstar on the track with Olympic gold in Madison at Tokyo, four World Championship gold medals, and one at the European Championship.
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What sets him apart is his journey. Unlike many of his peers who transitioned from being sprinters to lead-out maestros, Mørkøv took a different route. Back in 2012, during the Tour, he showed his prowess as a chaser in breakaways and even wore the Polka Dot jersey (King of the Mountains) for six days.
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Meet Michael Mørkøv, the lead-out specialist that every sprinter dreams of having by their side. The 38-year-old Dane is not the biggest star of the peloton, but he's definitely the master of propelling his sprinter to victory in those heart-pounding final moments.

During this episode of the Castelli Podcast, the Olympic Madison gold champion opens up about lead-out strategies, how he became the ultimate lead-out man, his most cherished victories, his favorite Castelli gear.

We'll also delve behind the scenes and learn about the Dane's methods for enduring over 20 hours of weekly training during the chilly winter months in Denmark, and much more

We're sure you'll find plenty to glean from our conversation with Michael, adding to your enjoyment as you watch those exciting sprint finishes. Enjoy every bit of it. Ciao!
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