Kyle Murphy returns to happy hunting ground – Rally Cycling

After a star-spangled stint back home, the team returns to Europe to contest a trio of Spanish one-day races before making a return to stage racing in Portugal and Denmark.

First stop on the program is the Ordizia Klasika in the Spanish Basque Country on July 25. It’s a happy hunting ground for Kyle Murphy who was runner-up at last year’s rescheduled and rain-soaked edition, powering ahead of a Grand Tour stage winner and other top European pros in the sprint for second.

“Last year, a lot of things were in my favor,” Murphy said. “We’d just come from the Volta a Portugal which gave me a massive bump in form. The course is on a circuit which means we can effectively preview it during the first few laps – which is hugely beneficial for us Americans racing far from home – and when it’s go time, we’re ready.”

Murphy, who feels like Spain is a second home to him, is psyched that Europe is starting to reopen.

“Now that I’m vaccinated, I’m looking forward to returning to Europe as it starts feeling safer and opening up more. Racing last year without crowds because of COVID was one thing, but now it should be even more exciting. I love racing in Spain.”

Ahead of the European campaign, Murphy reflected on a successful National Road Championships, where the team helped Joey Rosskopf take the title.

“We really wanted to come away with the jersey, but we had to race as if we didn’t care whether we won or lost in order to put pressure on the other teams. Nationals is a strange race, always hard to predict, but we were all on the ball and I think it showed. Joey is such a deserving winner.”

Not only did Rosskopf secure the iconic national champ’s jersey, but Murphy joined him on the podium in third place. It was a huge moment for the family man.

“Nationals was the first time that my young family has seen me race. It was incredibly motivating. They were on the climb and every lap it gave me something extra. After I knew Joey had the win cinched I still raced for the podium because I wanted to take my son up there so badly.”

Rosskopf will join Murphy at Ordizia to start the European campaign. After the Spanish one-days, the program splits. With half the team off to Portugal, the others will travel north for the five-stage Tour of Denmark, which Rally Cycling last raced in 2018 with great results.

Ordizia Klasika roster
Stephen Bassett
Robert Britton
Ben King
Gavin Mannion
Kyle Murphy
Joey Rosskopf
Keegan Swirbul

Upcoming European calendar
Ordiziako Klasika (July 25)
Vuelta a Castilla y León (July 29)
Circuito de Getxo (August 1)
Volta a Portugal (August 4-15)
Tour of Denmark (August 10-14)

— Kit Nicholson to rallycycling.com

Behringer happy with the chance to race on home soil at GP Lugano

Team Novo Nordisk head up to the shores of Lake Lugano in Switzerland at the weekend for a return appearance at the prestigious GP Citta di Lugano with home rider Oliver Behringer excited to make his debut in the one-day race.

The world’s first all diabetes team boast a solid history in the 40-year-old race with their best result coming back in 2015 with Javier Megias in 7th followed by back-to-back top 40 finishes by Spanish climber David Lozano in 2016 and 2017.

Lozano will be back on Sunday and leads a strong team with experienced Hungarian Peter Kusztor and Italian sprinter Andrea Peron both back in action.

“Racing at home is always special,” began Behringer. “I know a lot of guys that raced on those laps before and I always wanted to race there, too. I know this area a little bit from previous training camps in this area and it’s going to be a tough race. Being the only Swiss race we will do this year, I want it to be a good one for the team. One we will remember!”

This season is going well so far. I gained a lot of experience and had a good mix of racing and rest. I am sure that in the future this will help me to make another step forward. For now, I hope I can take profit from the race pace of all the previous races and take it as a last hard day before an easier period.”

Young Australian climber Sam Munday comes back into the team after a big block of training in Spain alongside Brit Sam Brand and versatile Italian Umberto Poli complete the line-up and after Joonas Henttala made history by winning the national championships in Finland on Sunday, the team will be carrying extra inspiration onto the lakeside roads.

“For sure this win gave everyone inspiration,” agreed Behringer. “We saw how quickly things can change. He hasn’t had his best season so far, but now we will only remember this win and rightly so. We will keep fighting to create more of these moments to remember.”

Following part of the traditional course from the first edition back in 1981 and part of the World Championships route from 1996, Sunday’s 180 kilometer parcours will be a tough war of attrition that usually whittles down the peloton to an elite bunch who go on to contest the final.

“We’re very happy to be returning to Switzerland for our fourth appearance at GP Citta di Lugano,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “It’s a great race that has been good to us in the past and it’s doubly exciting for us this year as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and also take to the start line with a home rider, Oliver Behringer.”

“After Joonas’ inspirational victory in the Finnish national championships on Sunday, we have renewed belief in the levels we can reach and what can be achieved by all people affected by diabetes around the world. GP Lugano is a hard race, but it is one that we know well, and we want to show ourselves at the weekend and try our best to be present at the business end of the race.”

Team Novo Nordisk at GP Citta di Lugano, Sunday 27th June:

Oliver Behringer (SUI, 25)

Sam Brand (GBR, 30)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Sam Munday (AUS, 23)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Umberto Poli (IT, 24)

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com