Wout Poels leads Team Bahrain Victorious to Tour de Suisse

The 2021 Tour de Suisse will take place between 6th and 13th June 2021. It will be the 84th edition of the, and it’s expected to be another excellent rehearsal for the team ahead of the Tour de France.

The Tour de Suisse is the biggest cycling race in Switzerland, covering 1,300 kilometres over 8 stages. The first half of the race has a time trial and the potential for some spectacular sprint finishes. From then on, it takes on a series of challenging mountain stages, including a mountain time trial and the three-peaked alpine circuit of the Furka-Grimsel-Sustenpass.

The team heads to the race following fantastic results at the Giro d’Italia and the beginning of the Dauphine. The ambition is to keep that momentum going into the Tour de Suisse.

Wout Poels “I really look forward to racing again and be there on Tour de Suisse. I had an excellent training camp in Tenerife with the team, so everything is really on track. I feel really good so that I can look forward to racing at Tour de Suisse. It is always a hard race, and Switzerland is such a beautiful country. I want to give it a go and see what we can do in GC there. I’m looking forward to going racing again and testing the legs in racing mode. Hopefully, I will continue what the team has done on Giro and at Dauphiné. They go great with Sonny and other guys. Let’s see what we have and enjoy racing”.

Gino Mäder “I was recovering quite well after my Giro. I’m still a bit sore, and I still feel my ribs. And unfortunately, some pain is still present, but I believe it’s alright. I even spent some days in Italy training and did some testing what was really productive. Hard work should be a good investment for my home race Tour de Suisse. I’m super excited for it, but I cannot say what I can expect after a very successful first half of my season, Paris- Nice and my Giro stage win. I believe that after my Giro crash, I can get back soon in such shape. It’s difficult to predict anything for Swiss, obviously, but motivation is super high. I can probably profit a little bit from that, show myself in the best possible light and contribute to the team. I think we have a strong team. We have Wout there as a really good leader. He seems to be ready or at least seems to get ready towards Tour de France, so it makes me even more excited, and even more, it looks like a promising race for us. I do enjoy these days now ahead of my homeland race”.

Neil Stephens, Sports director; “Tour de Suisse is a very exciting race for us in one of the last races along with Dauphine before the Tour of France. Wout Poels is getting ready for this year’s Tour de France, and he really wants to excel at Tour de Suisse. He’s in great shape, he’s been training hard with the team at the altitude, and he’s ready to take on the challenge for the GC and maybe even shine in one of the stages. He will be supported on the mountains with Gino Mäder as our Giro d’Italia stage winner. He’s really looking forward to shining in the mountains and showing us what he’s got and also help and support Wout Poels.

Fred Wright has been going well throughout the year and supporting his other teammates, whether in the sprint or weather in the mountains. He’s really looking forward to trying to show his stuff to the team. He’s a very multitalented boy, and he’ll be looking to do his best in all sorts of terrains. Speaking of that the works of the whole team, they are also in great shape they have trained really hard through this period. Eros Capecchi, Hermann Pernsteiner, Domen Novak, and Stevie Willams are all really looking forward to the race and supporting the team really well throughout this Tour de Suisse. I’m very excited, and we are hoping to emphasize some really good results there”.

Team Bahrain Victorious will continue supporting the Greenhope Foundation – sports against cancer. The team will be sporting limited edition helmets, which will be auctioned, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Please visit www.greenhope.ch for more info.

Bahrain Victorious lineup for the Tour de Suisse: Eros Capecchi, Gino Mäder, Domen Novak, Hermann Pernsteiner, Wout Poels, Stevie Williams, Fred Wright

— Simona Mazzoleni to bahraincyclingteam.com

Planet leads Team Novo Nordisk on home roads at the Tour de la Mirabelle

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

Lozano leads from the front on Stage 3 in Hungary as late crash takes down Peron & Benahmouda

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

It’s been our intention since the first stage. To get someone up the road in the breakaway, show our jersey to the world and also ease the pressure on our guys in the bunch who are asked with looking after Andrea and Mehdi so they can try in the final sprint.”

“Today that plan worked out really nicely, it took a while for the move to go, but when it went David was at the front, attentive and he made it into the group. We knew there wasn’t much chance of the move staying away, the big sprinters teams would always want to bring things back together ahead of tomorrow’s Queen Stage.

“David worked hard, and he kept trying to drive the group on into the closing kilometers, but they were caught ten kilometers from the finish, then first Mehdi went down and then Andrea in the final kilometer. That finished our chances for the sprint. Thankfully they are both ok. Andrea finished, but Mehdi had to be taken for a check-up, so won’t start tomorrow.”

David Lozano:

“Man, we have been trying every day to get into the breakaway and despite our efforts it didn’t happen, so I am really happy that we made it today. It was hard, but the stage was relatively short, and I felt good out there.”

“At first there were only three of us out there, we attacked on a short rise after the first climb and then two more guys came across. As a quintet we worked well together, I tried to go for some KOM points and managed to pick up a couple, but the other guy had a better sprint than me. Still, it was great to get out front again, it’s been a while for me, and I enjoyed it.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com