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Late move decides stage three of Tour of Hellas

Knowing something may happen and being in a position to prevent it is often not as simple as it sounds. That much can be said for the third stage of the International Tour of Hellas as a group of 17 riders attacked on the final climb and held off the chasing pack to contest the result.

Team Novo Nordisk led the chase alongside Trek Segafredo and Bornholm, and despite their combined efforts the stage had gone with the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team looking ahead to tomorrow’s stage four.

Peter Kusztor:

“We were straight onto a climb again today and the peloton split almost straight away, but it came back together again on the descent and from there it was calm until the final climb, and then it exploded.”

“There were two guys already out front when the attacks came, 15 guys went and formed the selection and that was it. We pulled and we weren’t the only ones, but they held onto around 50seconds all the way to the line. I don’t know what more we could have done today, we emptied the tank in the chase, but the group was strong and chapeau to them.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Well, as it so often happens you go from the highs to the lows in the blink of an eye. Especially in a cycling stage race because each day can be different to the next and you really need to be prepared for everything. Of course, that’s easier said than done and today ended up being a day where a few teams were caught out.”

“We had ridden solidly up until the last climb and even though Peter and David were close to the front, the attacks came sharp, and they came fast so we had no choice but to chase. It didn’t happen today and tomorrow looks all set for a sprint finale so we must be switched on and focused on working for Andrea.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Peron & Lozano roll hard on the climbs to finish with the leaders at Hellas Tour

A hot and hilly opening stage of the International Hellas Tour traversed the ancient Island of Crete from the capital Heraklion to the picturesque port of Chania where a technical finish awaited on the seafront.

Italian sprinter Andrea Peron and Spanish climber David Lozano produced a good showing for Team Novo Nordisk, forming part of an elite reduced group that formed over the climbs and tried in vain to chase down the remnants of the breakaway.

David Lozano:

“I felt a lot better today than in Turkey that’s for sure. It was hot, straight onto a climb and the pace was high from the start, but we did a good job today. The guys supported me and Andrea really well and to be honest everyone in our group thought the breakaway was already caught.”

“We hit 2,900m elevation in 179km and the group of four guys were really moving out front. Andrea and I were in the reduced favorites group and we collaborated well together. When we hit the descent to the finish, it was technical and we thought we would be fighting for the stage result, so to find out at the finish that one guy remained and he won…was a bit deflating. But we’re in good shape and we go again tomorrow.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“That was a good start from us today. The guys followed instructions and worked hard with both Andrea and David right up there with the favorites group.

“The race was split very early because we were straight onto the climbs and I was surprised that one guy from the break managed to stay out front, but that’s the race today and we showed good signs. So that’s what we will carry forward into tomorrow’s stage two.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Greek odyssey concludes for Team Novo Nordisk at the Tour of Hellas

After close to three weeks racing and training on the Greek island of Rhodes in March, Team Novo Nordisk head back to Greece for the International Hellas Tour next week as 2022 marks the return of the stage race after a ten-year absence.

Taking place over five days of racing that will start on the Island of Crete before heading to mainland Greece and a finish on the shores of Lake Pamvotis in historical Ioannina, the Hellas Tour will have something of everything in terms of terrain and cover 858km as the peloton takes in 28 cities.

Hot on the heels of an impressive Tour of Turkey that included a top ten on the sprint on stage five, Italian Andrea Peron will lead the team alongside Spanish climber David Lozano with Brit Sam Brand and Finnish champion Joonas Henttala both returning to the Hellenic shores.

“It’s important for us to maintain the good momentum we have built up recently,” began General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “And a busy racing program should help us do that. We’re very happy to be back racing in Greece after the International Rhodes Cycling events in March and this time it’s quite special as this will be the first time in ten years that the Hellas Tour has been held.”

“The guys have done very well so far this year and we have managed to hit most of our targets in each race we have participated in. We’re heading a little into the unknown here due to the long period since the last edition, but our approach will be the same; work together to achieve our goals and do our best to drive change in diabetes by producing the best results possible.”

French climber Lucas Dauge comes into the team after racing with the TNN devo team in Serbia at Belgrade – Banjaluka last week, lending talent and experience to the next generation of professional cyclists who live and race with type 1 diabetes.

“We’re looking forward to be back racing on the Greek roads,” said Brand. “We had some good results at the Rhodes Tour in March and more recently at the Tour of Turkey, so we’re in a good place and the focus will be on keeping that run going.”

“From what I’ve seen the parcours looks tough and we know that it will be important to stay switched on from the opening stage. It’s exciting to be taking part in the return edition of the race and it would be great to create some opportunities for ourselves, but it will be my job to help Andrea – he’s been going really well this year – and also to try and get up the road in the break if the chance presents itself.”

Team Novo Nordisk at the Tour of Hellas 27th April to 1st May:

Sam Brand (GBR, 31)

Lucas Dauge (FR, 25)

Joonas Henttala (FIN, 30)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 37)

David Lozano (ESP, 33)

Andrea Peron (IT, 33)

Stages:

Wednesday 27th April, Stage1: Heraklion – Chania, 190.1km

Thursday 28th April, Stage 2: Olympic Sports Complex – Itea, 165km

Friday 29th April, Stage 3: Delphi – Karditsa, 172.5km

Saturday 30th April, Stage 4: Karditsa – Larissa, 176.5km

Sunday 1st May, Stage 5: Kalabaka – Ioannina, 154.5km

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com