Entradas

One day double header opens Belgian adventure for Team Novo Nordisk

Team Novo Nordisk hit the North next week with back-to-back one day races in Belgium at Dwars door het Hageland followed by Elfstedenronde.

The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team return to the hard and unforgiving cobbles for the first time since last year’s Brabantse Pijl prepared for some tough racing to lead them into the fast-approaching Baloise Belgium Tour.

These two races open up a solid ten-day block of racing in Belgium for us,” said Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov. “With the Baloise Belgium Tour coming up a couple of days later, we are hoping that Hageland and Elfstedenronde will get us back into the hard northern European style of racing and ready to hit the cobblestones once again.”

“We’ll be ready to go on Saturday, it’s going to be an intense weekend of racing, but it will be a great experience for some of our guys who haven’t raced in Belgium before and that will be invaluable for them and the team.’

American first year pro Logan Phippen returns for his first races since Belgrade Banjaluka with French puncheur Charles Planet and experienced teammate Joonas Henttala all coming straight from the recent Tour de la Mirabelle.

“I was a little bit disappointed with missing out on a top ten stage result at Mirabelle,” said Planet. “It’s my home race and I desperately wanted to do well there, but I struggled with some sickness after the Tour de Hongrie and that affected my preparation.”

“I’m over that now, recovered and fully focused on Belgium and these next races. We have a good team lining up and we’re motivated to make the most of the opportunities we will have throughout the three races.”

An untimely crash at last week’s Tour of Estonia makes sprinter Andrea Peron a doubt whilst 22-year-old Australian Declan Irvine put in a strong performance in Estonia last week and will be joined by Irishman Stephen Clancy and Italian all-rounder Umberto Poli.

First up is the 18th edition of Dwars door het Hageland on Saturday and a 180 kilometer parcours peppered with short, sharp bergs and closing with what are set to be very fast finishing circuits.

Rounding out the weekend is the 38th edition of the one-day semi classic Elfstedenronde, first held way back in 1943 and formerly known as the Bruges Cycling Classic. The race covers 193 kilometers and traditionally favours the sprinters.

Team Novo Nordisk at Dwars door het Hageland and Elfstedenronde, 5th & 6th June:

Stephen Clancy (IRL, 28)

Joonas Henttala (FIN, 29)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 22)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Logan Phippen (USA, 29)

Charles Planet (FR, 27)

Umberto Poli (IT, 24)

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Tour de Hongrie opens with a chaotic sprint and Peron just outside the top 20

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“Well, I think it’s fair to say that today woke the legs up! It was a pretty hard stage and like all the races we have done this year, it was very fast. We had two objectives today, we wanted to get up the road in the breakaway to try and have a chance of getting in the KOM jersey like last year and secondly to help Mehdi over the climbs and support him in the sprint at the end.”

“Three guys went away after around 30kilometers and we weren’t there, so Charles tried to bridge across, but those guys weren’t waiting and around and it was too much for him to do alone.

“By that point we knew we had left it too late to get any of the available KOM points and had to settle for trying to go for something in the sprint. Mehdi was caught too far back, so Andrea tried his best, but it was very hectic, and he was a little short of the top 20 guys.”

Andrea Peron

“We all tried to get something going with a breakaway right from the start today, but because of the early intermediate sprint the bunch didn’t want to let anything go and when the trio went, we were too far back and Charles tried to make it over, but he was wasting too much energy stuck in the middle on his own.”

“The final sprint was quite chaotic, fast and technical before the line and we initially wanted to work for Mehdi, but he had to hit the brakes on the last corner and fell back. I tried to adjust and move up to have a chance of the top ten, but there just wasn’t enough road. For sure we will try again tomorrow, every stage apart from Saturday will most likely end in a sprint and that’s three more chances for us.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com