Being Pro: Mikkel Bjerg
Axeon's world champ
Team: Hagens Berman Axeon
Hometown: Copenhagen, Denmark
Congratulations! You won the World Championship U23 individual time trial for the second consecutive year. What did you learn from your first time winning in Bergen, and how did you apply that to maintain the jersey in Innsbruck?
The most important thing that I took away from my victory in Bergen had more to do with my time off the bike. I learned that if I do everything 100 percent (diet, training and recovery), then I will be the best U23 time trialist in the world. So, I knew going into the World Championships in Innsbruck that as long as I worked hard and did everything on and off the bike at 100 percent, then I could be one of the best in the world, and that gave me a lot of confidence going into the event.
How long did it take to appreciate that accomplishment?
The first time winning the World Championships, I couldn’t really believe it. And to be fair, to this date, I still can’t believe that I did it. I worked so hard to get that first World Championship title. When I won in Bergen, I just felt empty after the initial shock wore off.
But Innsbruck was a bit different, because I knew that I had it in me, and I could see that all of my numbers (power files) had improved since 2017. I knew that all of the other contenders had to improve as much as me, or even more. It made keeping the jersey feel that much better.
Although it’s an individual event, how did the Hagens Berman Axeon team and staff support that effort?
Hagens Berman Axeon gave me all the time I needed to prepare for the World Championships. I was allowed to pick my own race program aside from the team’s goals. Leading up to worlds, it gave me time and space to best prepare in my own way.
You also hold the Danish hour record at 53.73 kilometers. What kind of effort went into that?
The hour record is for me the ultimate cycling event. The biggest names in the sport have either attempted to set or actually set a new world record. And, I would love to leave my mark in cycling as a UCI world hour record holder.
What event would you like to win most in the future and why?
Time trialing is my favorite aspect of cycling. The biggest races for me are the elite individual time-trial World Championships, the Olympic individual time trial and the UCI hour record!
Any shout-outs to the people that have supported your career?
Big shout-out to my coach Thomas Dalsted, who always has supported my goals and ideas. Also, a big thanks to Hagens Berman Axeon for giving me the best possible setup to reach my goal of beating the UCI hour record.