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)
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