First in a series of athlete profiles is a look at veteran team leader, Jakob Fuglsang. First of all, how the heck does he pronounce his name? Fuglsang in Danish translates to “Birdsong”. The correct pronunciation is “fullsahn” with the two “Gs” being silent. Born in Denmark in 1985, the lanky Dane has had a long and successful career and shows no signs of slowing as 2020 was one of his best seasons ever. Jakob ended last season with some dramatic victories and finished 5th overall in the World Tour standings – a career best. He currently resides in Monaco with his wife Loulou and their 3-year old daughter Jamie.
Although Jakob began his cycling career on knobby tires, he quickly rose through the Junior ranks as a 2-time Danish Junior XC Champion and became the U23 World Champion in XC Mountain Biking in 2007. He backed up that victory with a win at the prestigious Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race in South Africa that year. Paired with Roal Paulissen, the strong duo dominated the event and these high-profile victories put him on the radar of the World Tour Cycling Teams.
Jakob joins the World Tour...
Jakob’s World Tour road racing career began in 2009. He focused on weeklong stage races and hilly one-day events. Highlights from his early days on the road include: 3-time overall winner of the Danmark Rundt, 2-Time - Danish National Time Trial Champion, 1st overall – Tour of Luxembourg and 1st overall - Tour of Austria.
The Astana Era begins...
In 2013, Jakob joined the powerhouse Team Astana. At first, he played the role of super domestique for star riders Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru but quickly showed his climbing prowess and was promoted to team leader where he could hunt for victories with the full support of the team. 2013 was Jakob’s first shot at the Tour de France and he delivered an excellent result with 7th place in the final GC. He had numerous top 5 results in World Tour races and won the silver medal in the dramatic Men’s Road Race in Rio in 2016.
First Monument win...
2017 was a breakout year for the Dane with the biggest win of his career taking the GC title at the Criterium du Dauphine. He would win the Dauphine again in 2019 as well as claiming the GC title in the Vuelta a Andulucia and the first Monument of his career with a solo victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He had a storming week at the Ardennes classics with podium finishes at La Fleche Wallone as well as the Amstel Gold Race. A 2nd place finish at the new classic, the Strade Bianche was another season highlight.
As we know, 2020 was a strange season. Jakob started strong with another impressive overall win at the Vuelta a Andulucia and added a second Monument to his Palmares with a strong solo win at Il Lombardia. Bad luck in the early stages of the Giro d’ Italia saw Jakob lose insurmountable time to go for that elusive Grand Tour podium spot but he fought on valiantly and finished the race in 6th overall.
What's next for Jakob?
So, what lies ahead in 2021 for our team leader? Jakob’s primary focus will be on upgrading the silver medal he won in Rio to gold in Tokyo. Jakob has already traveled to Japan to preview the Olympic road race course and feels confident that the hilly terrain will suit his attributes perfectly. He will use the Tour de France as training in hopes of hitting peak form just in time to go for gold. The Olympic road race will be held just 5 days after the finish of Le Tour. Look for Jakob to forego GC intentions at the TDF in favor of stage win opportunities in an effort to place a big bet on a medal in Tokyo.
In addition to the Olympics, Jakob will be hunting for wins at the Ardennes Classics. With monuments like Liege-Bastonge-Liege and Il Lombardia already amongst his palmares, look for Jakob to go all in at the Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallone.
Stay tuned here to learn more about the amazing athletes riding Limar Italia helmets.