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New Finnish champion Henttala to debut national jersey at Sibiu Tour

Newly crowned champion of Finland Joonas Henttala is proudly set to give the first outing to his new jersey for Team Novo Nordisk at the upcoming Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania.

The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team line up for their first appearance at what will be the 10th edition of the four-day stage race that runs entirely in and around the historic city and the surrounding hills.

“It’s really exciting for us to be racing at the Sibiu Tour for the first time,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “We love going to new places and spreading our message to help change diabetes and inspire, educate and empower everyone affected around the world, so to be able to do that for that the first time in Romania is really special.”

“Joonas is the first of our riders to win a national championship while racing for Team Novo Nordisk and the Sibiu Tour will be his first race in his new Finnish champions jersey, so we will be making history at the weekend in more ways the one!”

On the subject of national champions, former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor lines up on the back of last weekend’s GP Citta di Lugano alongside Spanish climber David Lozano and Italian sprinter Andrea Peron.

“I am looking forward to taking part in this race for the first time,” began Peron. “I’ve heard quite a bit about it from Peter who did well here some years ago and he said that it’s a beautiful race with some really hard and diverse terrain.”

“After crashing quite hard in Estonia, I had a period of recuperation and training at home in Padova before GP Lugano last Sunday. Lugano was tough, but the idea was to test my knee and see if it held up and whether there were any lingering problems. There wasn’t, which is great and apart from missing a little top-end race rhythm I feel ready to go.”

Young Australian Declan Irvine has enjoyed some excellent performances in staring of recent races and completes the line up with 24-year-old Veronese Umberto Poli.

The Sibiu Cycling Tour kicks off with a short downtown prologue run over the ancient city center cobbles before heading out into the hilly surrounding countryside for three long road stages and a challenging summit finish at Paltinis coming early on stage two.

Team Novo Nordisk at the Sibiu Cycling Tour, 3rd – 6th July:

Joonas Henttala (FIN, 29)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 22)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Umberto Poli (IT, 24)

Stages:

Saturday 3rd July, Stage 1 – Prologue: Sibiu, 2.5km

Sunday 4th July, Stage 2: Sibiu – Paltinis, 177.9km

Monday 5th July, Stage 3: Sibiu – Balea Lac, 187.5km

Tuesday 6th July, Stage 4: Sibiu – Sibiu, 205.3km

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Henttala storms to victory to become champion of Finland

Joonas Henttala finally realized a long-held dream on Sunday when he won the road race at Finland’s National Road Championships, powering away from Ukko Peltonen to claim his first national title and first professional victory.

A special victory for a special year as 2021 marks the 100th anniversary since the discovery of insulin. What a way for Henttala and Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team to proudly show what is possible with diabetes with their first ever national road champions jersey.

“It really is a dream come true,” began Henttala. “I have been trying for a long time to win this jersey and after coming very close in the past, it’s so good to finally stand on the top step of the podium and celebrate. I am extremely proud to be national champion, I consider it to be a great honor and as an athlete competing with diabetes it’s very special to achieve this win in 2021.”

“I would like to say a huge thank you to my wife Lotta and my family and all at Team Novo Nordisk for the infrastructure and support we athletes receive, it’s second to none and allows us to compete week in week out at this level. And also, to my local club here in Finland, IBD Cycling Club who supported me all day today and made the race really hard from the flag drop.”

Henttala escaped with Peltonen on the final laps of the 171 kilometre course and was clearly the stronger of the two. Each time Peltonen attacked, Henttala was able to shut him down before biding his time to unleash the race winning attack in the final few hundred meters.

“I had super legs for the first time this year,” continued Henttala. “It feels insanely good. It’s been a difficult year so far and I put all my energy into this day. The route suited me really well, hard circuits with punchy climbs and I knew that Ukko is very strong, so if I could get away with him, we had a good chance of staying away.

“He put in some strong attacks and despite starting to cramp a little in the final kilometers, I managed to save enough energy to go all out in the last 300 hundred meters. I knew I had to be in a good position for the final corner and I had his draft before coming around and I knew I had the edge at that point.”

Since the team’s inception as Team Novo Nordisk in 2013 they have stuck with a roster made up entirely of athletes with type 1 diabetes, making this first champions jersey an extra important achievement and milestone many thought they would never reach.

“This is a thoroughly well-deserved victory for Joonas,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “He has been working very hard towards this for many years and finally he’s on the top step of the podium wearing a very special jersey which he will proudly wear for what will be an unforgettable year for him.”

“It’s a very special day, not only for Joonas, but for all of us at Team Novo Nordisk and our extended family around the world. We are very proud of Joonas’ achievement in an important year that the marks the 100th anniversary since the discovery of insulin and 100 years of life for everyone affected by diabetes around the world.”

“Our message is very clear: diabetes will not stop you from achieving your dreams! Congratulations to all and thank you from the entire Team Novo Nordisk family!”

Photo credit: https://pyoraily.fi/uutiset/joonas-henttala-miesten-maantieajon-suomen-mestariksi/

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com