The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team carry their message of inspiration and empowerment to France at the weekend for successive one day races at the Classic Grand Besancon Doubs and the Tour of Jura.
Following hot on the heels of two tough races in Belgium, Team Novo Nordisk will face similar challenges as they race through over the climbs and stunning river valleys of the Doubs with young French climber Lucas Dauge finally set to make his full debut for the pro team after a year beset by injuries and recuperation.
“I can’t believe it’s finally happening,” said Dauge. “I crashed way back in December 2020 in Girona during pre-season training and broke my Tibia and Fibula. I had two surgeries and a long period immobile, around three months before weeks of intense physio sessions to be able to walk again and rebuild my strength.”
“Starting from scratch was a real challenge, but I embraced it and although the process was very long, I stayed patient and worked hard, to be back at training on the bike this summer. My family, friends, physio, doctor and the team gave me a lot of support throughout this whole situation and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
There will be no pressure for Dauge as he eases back into racing with compatriot Mehdi Benahmouda also returning and racing in support of Spanish climber David Lozano and the versatile, in form Italian Andrea Peron, both set to lead the team.”
“We are very pleased that Lucas has made it back in time to race before the end of the season,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “It was such an unfortunate sequence of events and he has shown real determination and dedication to over-come the challenges in front of him this year and we are excited to have Lucas making his first senior appearance.”
After solid performances in Belgium Italian Umberto Poli also comes straight into the line-up for France with Swiss rouleur Oliver Behringer making the short to trip over the border to complete the team alongside former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor.
“This line-up has a good balance of experience and versatility,” continued Davidenko. “It’s important that our leaders step up and show what we can do at the weekend. Important for the team, but also for our younger guys like Lucas and Oliver who will be gaining more valuable experience at these challenging races.”
First up is the Classic Grand Besancon Doubs on Friday with 172.5 kilometers of repeated sharp climbs including the Côte D’Arguel and the Col de la Grande Côte.
For Saturday’s Tour du Jura the peloton will face some hilly circuits totalling 181.7 kilometers with ascents such as the Côte de Mancy which maybe short, but tops out with gradients of 22%, a wall by any another name.
The race takes place around the spa town of Lons le Saunier, surrounded by picturesque vineyards that cover the lower slopes of the local hills and the winding ancient roads.
“I am excited that I’m finally here, getting ready to pull on the Team Novo Nordisk jersey as a full professional for the first time,” concluded Dauge. “I know these races will be hard, I have been in this area before and it’s beautiful and very hilly, but I am very motivated to give it everything.”
Team Novo Nordisk at Classic Grand Besancon Doubs and the Tour of Jura, 3rd & 4th September:
Oliver Behringer (SUI, 25)
Mehdi Benhamouda (26)
Lucas Dauge (FR, 24)
Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)
David Lozano (ESP, 32)
Andrea Peron (IT, 32)
Umberto Poli (IT, 25)
— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com