Casper Pedersen: The Road to Pro

Ever since I was a kid I have dreamed of making it big in cycling. I was fascinated by the Tour de France and other Grand Tours, cheering on Danish team Saxo-Bank, inspired by Fabian Cancellara.

It wasn’t until one of my school friends introduced me to the local cycling club that I picked it up as a sport. Friendship was a major reason why I fell in love with cycling. Sharing a passion and making together. It wasn’t long before I prioritized cycling over football. My first proper bike was a Cervélo which I rode to victory in my first ever race at the age of 14.

My hopes of becoming a professional were becoming more and more realistic as I progressed through the ranks. I really started chasing the dream and believing it was possible. As a junior I raced internationally, picking up some important victories along the way, such as my success at the Track World Championships with a gold medal in the Omnium. I then spent a couple of years at the U23 level. During this period I completed my first pro race, the Tour of Denmark. It was an eye-opening experience. What struck me the most about this whole new form of racing was the composure of the pro riders - which obviously comes with years of experience. It was crazy sharing a peloton with them. It’s funny how back then it was an overwhelming experience and today it’s part and parcel of the job. But the standout result that opened a lot of doors for me in terms of signing a pro contract was a victory at the European Championships in 2017.

As for future victories, I have always dreamed of winning Paris-Roubaix, partly because of my second place in the Junior edition that gave me a real taste for the cobbles.