Michael Mørkøv wants to help Fabio Jakobsen like he did Mark Cavendish

Leadout ace admits he wants to race more often to find the winning groove with Jakobsen.

Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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Michael Mørkøv is hoping to pave the way to victory for Fabio Jakobsen just like he did for Mark Cavendish.

With Cavendish leaving Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl for 2023, Jakobsen is already the top sprinter inside the team bus going into next season.

Even with the arrival of Tim Merlier, it’s Jakobsen who is expected to lead the way in the bunch sprints at the major dates like the Tour de France.

Speaking to Danish newspaper Feltet, Mørkøv sees a new challenge in working more efficiently with Jakobsen going into next season to deliver more wins.

“Fabio and I haven’t really raced together very much. We have usually raced a couple of races a year together for the last four years, but we haven’t had continuous periods,” Mørkøv told Feltet.dk.

“I’ve told the team that from next year I’d like to race even more with Fabio, so we can gain some experience together, also in the smaller races. So then we will be sharper for the biggest races.”

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Jakobsen delivered on the pressure at the Tour de France, winning the first sprint opportunity in the 2022 edition in stage 2.

Jakobsen fell short of the top step in his other sprint chances, however, finishing fifth, 13th, and ninth in the next three sprint opportunities in what was a very competitive Tour sprinting field in 2022. He was also flat on the Champs-Élysées with 13th. He also finished fifth in the green points jersey competition behind the unstoppable Wout van Aert.

Mørkøv is renowned as the best leadout man in the bunch. The arrival of Casper Pedersen in 2023 will only bolster Quick-Step’s train.

Some of his best moments came with Cavendish, who reimposed himself on the Tour in 2021 when he won four stages and tied Eddy Merckx for the all-time mark of 34 wins thanks in part to Mørkøv.

Cavendish is still searching for a team for 2023, and there are rewnewed rumors he might rejoin Ineos Grenadiers in his quest to beat the Merckx mark next season with a likely move to B&B Hotels now on the rocks.

Mørkøv, 37, remains at Quick-Step through at least 2023.

Mørkøv admitted he hopes he and Jakobsen — who often likes to follow the wheels of others rather than come off a pure leadout — can find a similar connection that he enjoyed with Cavendish.

“I think that it is a question of adaptation from both sides,” Mørkøv said. “I don’t want to take any of his instincts away from him.”

Mørkøv pointed out how Jakobsen surfed the wheels to win Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in the spring as an example how his teammate can often freelance his way to victory.

“He runs his own sprint without any help from others. He almost drives the leadout for himself and wins by a landslide. I won’t take that away from him. Therefore, I will never ask him to follow me 100 percent, if there is something else that works for him,” Mørkøv said.

“But it is clear that we will have to find a way where we can both get the most out of each other.”

Mørkøv, who also struck Olympic gold in the return of the Madison in the 2020 Olympic Games with Lasse Norman Hansen, says he’s not done yet.

“I am by no means about to end my career,” he said. “I want to be the best version of myself next year, and I am motivated to become that.”

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