Mattias Skjelmose outraged after jury names him Danish ITT champion despite losing en-route: "I have offered Johan that he can have both the Champion's jersey and medal I was handed"

Danish National championships time trial brought a first major controversy of this week. Bahrain's Johan Price-Pejtersen clocked the best time on the 41.3 kilometers-long course in Herning, however was later disqualified for briefly using a bikepath next to the main road. This according to race jury gave the 25-year-old unfair advantage on one of the roundabouts and the final verdict was to disqualify the rider. Thus it's Mattias Skjelmose who'll wear the Danish flag in time trials for next 12 months.

Yet Skjelmose was not interested in holding a big party to celebrate his triumph, feeling like a big injustice happened to his good friend Price-Pejtersen. Following UCI rulebook, it's speicified that using sidewalks is prohibited under threat of DQ, however bikepaths are a bit of a grey zone. Not only that, there is evidence that many other riders (Skjelmose included) had to enter sidewalks in different parts of the course - either due to pure route design or for other reasons. Yet neither of them were ever really handed any penalty.

Going even further, we often times see riders use either bikepaths, drainage channels, sidewalks or sometimes even go even off-road during cobbled classics as riders fight to find anywhat solid surface, effectively gaining even greater advantage than Price-Pejtersen did. In accordance to the same rule which saw the Bahrain - Victorious rider disqualified, UCI would end DQing half of the field in races like Paris-Roubaix or Tour of Flanders, had they followed it even half as strictly. So once again, we end up in a situation where there are multiple implications of the same rule by UCI. Conclusion? Not a good sign towards the soon-to-be-introduced yellow cards system.

When asked post race about his Danish title, Mattias Skjelmose got angry and immediately terminated the interview with local TV2 Sport. "No, you had one chance. See you," said Skjelmose, who indicated beforehand that he "would not answer questions about the result and what happened."

However after cooling down, Skjelmose returned to share some of his thoughts online today: "Yesterday I was named Danish time trial champion for 2024, and that should really be fantastic, because it was with the clear ambition that I arrived at the start in Herning. But the problem is that I didn't win the way I wanted to," he begins his Instagram post.

"I gave it everything I had, but was less than two seconds behind Johan Price-Pejtersen when I crossed the finish line. The fact that Johan was subsequently disqualified for, according to the commissioners, having taken advantage of riding on the cycle path on part of the route, and that I thus got gold instead of silver, I neither can nor will I take responsibility for. It was not a decision I sought out or pushed for - on the contrary."

"On the other hand, I would like to express my great sympathy for Johan, who is not just a fantastic time trialist, as we saw yesterday, but whom I consider a good friend in the field. I have therefore offered Johan that he can have both the Champion's jersey and medal I was handed at the ceremony - to acknowledge his performance, so that it does not go down in history as pure annoyance."

Price-Pejtersen was seen as massive time trial prospect back in U23, winning European Championships twice (2019 and 2021) as well as World Championships in 2021. However his transition to pros saw him hit a bit of a ceiling, with only a couple time trial top 10s to his name after three seasons in WorldTour.

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