Danish cyclist Sørensen admits to doping

Four-time Danish National Road Race winner Nicki Sørensen admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs ahead of the release of a major report on the scope of doping in Danish cycling.

Danish cyclist Sørensen admits to doping
Nicki Sørensen in a 2013 race. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix
Danish former professional road cyclist Nicki Sørensen on Monday admitted to doping, one day before the release of a major report by Denmark's anti-doping agency.
“I have doped, I have fully admitted that. I'm sorry for that and I wish I had done differently,” he told Danish tabloid BT.
Sørensen, who won four Danish National Road Race Championships between 2003 and 2011, denied his former team principal Bjarne Riis had encouraged him to do so.
“It happened in the early years of my career, more than ten years back. It was my own decision to do it,” he said.
Former Tinkoff-Saxo manager Riis won the 1996 Tour de France but admitted in 2007 that he used the banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) to secure victory.
Danish anti-doping agency ADD is due to release a report on the use of doping substances in Danish cycling on Tuesday.
Three years in the making, the study will be the biggest of its kind in the Scandinavian country.
“I have told ADD about my own experiences. I have done that to relieve my own conscience and also because I wanted to help cycling,” Sørensen said.
The highlight of Sørensen's career were individual stage wins at the 2009 Tour de France and 2005 Vuelta a Espana.
He ended his 15-year professional career, in which he finished 20th overall at the 2002 Tour de France, at the end of last season before becoming a coach with Tinkoff.

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‘The Vikings also wore helmets’: Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad

The Danish Road Safety Council has put the Scandinavian country's Viking past to a hilarious new use: convincing macho Danish men to wear cycle helmets.

'The Vikings also wore helmets': Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad
Svend the Viking does not want to ruin his braids. Photo: &Co

The council’s new advert, “Helmet has always been a good idea”, brings together two somewhat incongruous aspects of Danish life — the country’s love of cycling and its Viking past, using humour to show up some of the silly reasons people give themselves not to wear cycle helmets. 

The advert starts with the imposing Viking chief Svend rousing his men for their next invasion of England. To rhythmic chanting and the blowing of horns, he mounts his steed, brandishing his thick and heavy sword. 

Then, suddenly, his young son comes running bearing his helmet. Svend ignores him, and utters a cry: “To the ships!”. 

After a pause, one of his men nervously asks: “shouldn’t you have a helmet on, Svend?”. 

“No, it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch,” Svend responds sheepishly. 

“I’m a careful rider,” he adds, slightly desperately.

“What do I do when I get there? Run around in a silly helmet?” he adds. 

Then he roars, “It ruins my braids!” 

It’s only when his wife comes out that he finally dons his gleaming headpiece and with the cheers of his fellow marauders all around him makes his way to the longships. 

Then the slogan — “A helmet has been a good idea for all time” — appears on the screen in rune-like writing.