The most combative rider at the 2019 Tour of Poland Charles Planet, will lead Team Novo Nordisk proudly at his home race this week, the Tour de la Mirabelle.
The 27-year-old Frenchman will be looking to perform on home soil at the 18th edition of the four-day stage race (the third as the Tour de la Mirabelle) and if insider knowledge holds any benefit then Planet will certainly be looking to exploit that.
The prologue passes three kilometers from Planet’s home, stages one and three criss-cross his training roads and stage two passes through Vagney where his parents live. How’s that for local!
“I always love racing in France,” said Planet. “I feel a lot of pride wearing the Team Novo Nordisk jersey on home roads, especially that pass so close to where I live and train. It’s a special feeling and I’m super excited to race at the Tour de la Mirabelle.”
“I’ve recovered quite well after suffering from some sickness in Hungary and I am happy to say that the training has been good, so I feel like I’m on the right track. I’m looking forward to the prologue, the course suits me, and I like stage races that begin this way.”
A strong and versatile team line up in support with Spanish climber David Lozano and experienced Hungarian Peter Kusztor returning to France after a packed racing schedule.
Both Joonas Henttala and Switzerland’s Oliver Behringer come in after a solid block of training and Kiwi Hamish Beadle is finally set to make his full debut for the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team.
“We know it’s going to be a tough race,” continued Planet. “But we have a strong team, and it would be amazing if we can get a good result here, we keep working hard and coming very close and it’s only a matter of time before we make the breakthrough.”
Four days of racing across Lorraine from Moselle and into the Vosges will cover 529 kilometers and include 5780 meters of elevation, making for a challenging, but scenic route stacked with opportunities.
“We are really pleased to be making our first appearance at the Tour de la Mirabelle and be back racing in France,” said General manager Vassili Davidenko. “It will be great for Charles and the guys to be competing in an area where there will be a lot of local support for the team and the message we carry.”
“It will be a tough four days of racing, but we like the structure of the stages and the terrain and we have a good team lining up to try and make the most of the opportunities and get in the thick of the action.”
For Beadle, his first appearance as a fully-fledged professional has finally arrived, after coming through the Team Novo Nordisk development pipeline the 22-year-old turned pro in 2020 only to see the racing calendar slashed and his chances of pulling on the jersey on hold for another 12 months.
“It’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure,” began Beadle. “Last year was lost due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions and then this year, after making the move full time to Europe from New Zealand I spent the early months getting back into a solid training routine and trying to reach a level where I felt ready to race and now I feel like I’m there.”
“I can’t believe how much time it’s been since I last raced, I can’t wait to get stuck in with the boys. My goals will be pretty simple, do as much as I can for the boys, whether it be sprints, bottle boy or just getting in amongst it. It’s been a bit bumpy the last couple months with some health problems, but I’m back on track and keen to get into it.”
Team Novo Nordisk at the Tour de la Mirabelle, May 27th – 30th:
Hamish Beadle (NZ, 23)
Oliver Behringer (SUI, 25)
Joonas Henttala (FIN, 29)
Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)
David Lozano (ESP, 32)
Charles Planet (FR, 27)
Thursday May 27th, PROLOGUE: Tomblaine – 3.1km
Friday May 28th, Stage 1: Pont-a-Mousson – Lesmenils, 158.8km
Saturday May 29th, Stage 2: Neufchateau – Saint Amarin, 177km
Sunday May 30th, Stage 3: Chateau de Luneville – Damelevieres, 189.5km
— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com