Lozano digs deep on last stage in Greece

Spanish climber David Lozano went deep on the mountainous final stage of the International Tour of Hellas to finish in the top 20 and climb up to 13th overall.

A great week of racing saw a fantastic team performance from Team Novo Nordisk that included a second and fourth place for Italian sprinter Andrea Peron, veteran climber Peter Kusztor turning into a late-career lead-out man and the final performance of Lozano wrapping the race up nicely.

David Lozano:

“It was a really hard day today, I know always say that about the Queen stage but all you have to do is look at the profile today to see how hard it was. We were straight onto the climb again and it split almost immediately. There were a four or five guys ahead of us in the breakaway but I made I it into the favorites group and stayed there.”

“I rode my own tempo even when the attacks came and felt pretty good even though weather started to play a part too, the organizers neutralized the race on the long descent and we had maybe half an hours wait before we got going again and then it was full gas.”

“We caught the break at the front and all was going well until I had a mechanical and then a bike change and had to chase for 5 or 6km to make it back in, but I made it just before the finish. That energy took away any chance of a higher finish, but we’ve still had a great week and the moral has been great here.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Really good effort from David today and I’m pleased to see him come through such a tough stage like this with a good result and he even moved up to eight places on GC. He wasn’t looking forward to the stage, but he put that to bed as soon as we started and rode very well.”

“All the guys did a good job this week. We showed great teamwork and positivity every stage and the way we kept pushing for a result after Andrea’s second place on stage two was great to see.”

— 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

Strong start for Lozano on the first road stage at Tour of Slovakia

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“With four categorised climbs in the menu today and a fast finish made for sprinters, today we had the whole team working for David and Andrea.

The guys did well and gave everything they had. Overall there was a good teamwork, and both David and Andrea managed to stay with the bunch until the last climb.

With more than 110km in the legs though, we knew the last GPM was going to be hard. Andrea lost his position just a few meters before the end of the climb, while David pushed until the end and joined the leading group in a fast final sprint bringing home the 22nd place. A good result for this first road stage.”

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“I’m a bit disappointed because I was feeling good and I was with the main group until the last climb. In the last 100 meters uphill I lost my position together with other two guys and finished behind.”

“I am happy for David, he rode strong until the end and seeing him crossing the line with the leaders is an extra boost for the next days.”

David Lozano (ESP)

“Today was tough, but the parcour suited me and I felt good. In the finale I was able to find and hold a good spot in the bunch and find my rhythm.

A pity missing the top 20 for just two positions, but we have three more days on the road to chase an even better result.

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Top 20 for Lozano at the Tour du Jura

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Hard day. We knew what was in store for us, but it didn’t change anything. Unfortunately Andrea paid for yesterday’s crash today and after being very active in the opening kilometers trying to get into the breakaway, it became apparent that he had problems with his thigh and was not pedaling fluidly.”

“Then we lost Peter to a crash and after trying to remount and continue, he unfortunately also had to abandon. On a positive note we had David who worked hard and finished really well and I have to say that Lucas impressed me very much in his first races with the pro team.”

“It’s clear that he has worked very hard on his recovery and also his training program. He struggled a little today, but I like what I saw from him.”

Andrea Peron:

“I’m really disappointed to be honest, I was going well yesterday until the crash and even after I managed to finish the race I thought, ok, I’ll be good to go tomorrow. But after the second attack to get in the breakaway I was in pain and had restricted movement in my right leg and couldn’t continue.”

Lucas Dauge:

“It’s been a great few days with the team. Being with the guys and above all getting back to racing, especially in the sunshine on French roads.”

“I didn’t know what to expect from my condition after so long without competition. I knew that I had put the work in and my only objective was to come through the races in the best shape possible.”

David Lozano:

“Today I felt better than yesterday out there. I think the course suited me really well and my last race was at the Tour du Limousin so France has been good to me lately.”

“The hills were pretty sharp and steep with gradients over 20%, but I like that when I’m feeling good so it wasn’t a problem. I hope we can have a good last few weeks of racing now and give our all for a result in Slovakia and Croatia.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com