Sibiu Tour wraps with downtown sprint at sunset

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“We’ve had a great time at Sibiu Cycling Tour and our first time racing in Romania. It was important for us to try and get our message across while we were here, and I think we have done that. With the support of our sponsors Novo Nordisk, we were able to take part in some extra race activities while the guys showed what we can do on the road.”

“David climbed well early in the race on the mountain stages and then he was up there again today after we got caught behind the late crash in the final kilometer. Our intention was to go with Andrea and try for the sprint, but the splits on the last climbs and then the crash meant that David was our best-placed guy. In the end, we have had a positive week and the guys worked well for each other.”

Andrea Peron:

“It’s a shame I couldn’t go for the sprint today I was feeling pretty good and motivated to go for it, but we split on the climbs and then went full gas to get back in but lost the opportunity with the crash. The finish was so technical, we knew that before, but to be honest I thought if we could get back to the front before we entered Sibiu, we would be ok, but it wasn’t to be.”

David Lozano:

“I’m not a sprinter at all, but I tried to hold on in the front group just to hold position and make sure we finished well on GC and I think we did that. We had a good week overall, it’s a hard race, it surprised me how hard it is, but Bora certainly made it a hard week of racing and I’m happy that we could be up there competing and holding our own.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Lozano climbs strongly as Sibiu Tour Queen Stage soars over 2,000 meters

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“That was a very hard stage for us, it started quite fast and even as it slowed a little when the breakaway went, it wasn’t for long. The climb up to Balea Lac was tough, 23 kilometers and over 2,000 meters, it was cold, and we just tried to do our best for David and make sure that the guys who had done their jobs finished at their own pace.”

“David rode very well, top 35 and we survived and that’s the important thing, tomorrow is the final stage also the longest and the flattest. Chances are it will conclude in a sprint in central Sibiu and we want to have the chance to go with Andrea and try for a top ten.”

David Lozano:

“To be honest I was quite tired from yesterday’s effort, but the team did a really great job again today and Andrea & Umberto were working hard for me going onto the bottom of the big climb to keep me a good position and the three of us were in the front 30 or 40 riders at that point.”

“I really started to feel the climb after around ten kilometers, it was really draining on the legs, but I kept to my own pace and I feel proud of finishing in the top 35 on one of the longest climbs in Europe.”

“To go well on 25 kilometer climbs like Balea Lac you need to train at altitude and repeatedly do those long climbs until your body is used to it, so considering I haven’t been up at altitude, I am happy with today’s ride.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Selections made on first summit finish at the Sibiu Tour

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“It took a while for the breakaway to form today, but when it did things settled down for a while and unsurprisingly Bora took the initiative and kept them on a short leash. After yesterday’s ride in the prologue, Declan wanted to try and stay up there as long as he could and we tried to support him in that endeavor, but on a long climb like the last one…it was always going to be hard.”

“The race split to pieces before the final climb and we tried to support David as best we could with Andrea and Umberto, and they did well. David finished in a good group and it looks like he has carried  form from Lugano, we’ll see tomorrow as it’s a going to be another hard stage with an even tougher climb at the end.”

David Lozano:

“The pace was really high over the first five kilometers of the last climb and I was with the leaders as long as I could, but I needed to manage my effort, so I eased a little to keep my own rhythm and try to pace myself to the line. That worked pretty well, and I hope we can recover well for tomorrow because it will be even harder than today.”

“I have to say a big chapeau to Andrea and Umberto who worked really hard for me going onto the climb, they did a great job on what wasn’t an easy day. The break was quite big and that meant that Bora and Qhubeka drove the pace early and especially over the first climbs which were shorter, but steeper than the last one. We came through and we are smiling.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Irvine produces strong ride for 12th in Sibiu Tour Prologue

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“It’s great to get our first time at the Sibiu Tour underway. A short and flat prologue, this one doesn’t suit us particularly well and our aim was to get all the guys through without any problem, so I am pleased that we managed to do that and Declan putting in a strong ride made for a good start for us.”

“The course was quite technical due to the cobbles, turns and medieval archways and we were fortunate that the rain held off until the very last riders because the wet surface made it very difficult and dangerous. Tomorrow is a hard stage with the first uphill finish of the race, and we will do our best to help Peter and David position well with the other climbers.”

Declan Irvine:

“We got to the start quite early and I was able to do a few laps of the course to recon and I think that really helped, because it was pretty technical but also a course that you could carry a lot of speed into if you approached it with the right amount of courage.”

“I still think I braked a little bit too much though, as soon as I finished, I was cursing myself because there was a corner that you could really fly through and as I was coming into it, I saw a puddle and dabbed the brakes, but in the end, it wasn’t that bad.

“I’m still pleased though, it would’ve been nice to start in the top ten, but we’re talking hundredths of a second differences, so 12th and third-best young rider is still pretty satisfying.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

New Finnish champion Henttala to debut national jersey at Sibiu Tour

Newly crowned champion of Finland Joonas Henttala is proudly set to give the first outing to his new jersey for Team Novo Nordisk at the upcoming Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania.

The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team line up for their first appearance at what will be the 10th edition of the four-day stage race that runs entirely in and around the historic city and the surrounding hills.

“It’s really exciting for us to be racing at the Sibiu Tour for the first time,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “We love going to new places and spreading our message to help change diabetes and inspire, educate and empower everyone affected around the world, so to be able to do that for that the first time in Romania is really special.”

“Joonas is the first of our riders to win a national championship while racing for Team Novo Nordisk and the Sibiu Tour will be his first race in his new Finnish champions jersey, so we will be making history at the weekend in more ways the one!”

On the subject of national champions, former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor lines up on the back of last weekend’s GP Citta di Lugano alongside Spanish climber David Lozano and Italian sprinter Andrea Peron.

“I am looking forward to taking part in this race for the first time,” began Peron. “I’ve heard quite a bit about it from Peter who did well here some years ago and he said that it’s a beautiful race with some really hard and diverse terrain.”

“After crashing quite hard in Estonia, I had a period of recuperation and training at home in Padova before GP Lugano last Sunday. Lugano was tough, but the idea was to test my knee and see if it held up and whether there were any lingering problems. There wasn’t, which is great and apart from missing a little top-end race rhythm I feel ready to go.”

Young Australian Declan Irvine has enjoyed some excellent performances in staring of recent races and completes the line up with 24-year-old Veronese Umberto Poli.

The Sibiu Cycling Tour kicks off with a short downtown prologue run over the ancient city center cobbles before heading out into the hilly surrounding countryside for three long road stages and a challenging summit finish at Paltinis coming early on stage two.

Team Novo Nordisk at the Sibiu Cycling Tour, 3rd – 6th July:

Joonas Henttala (FIN, 29)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 22)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Umberto Poli (IT, 24)


Saturday 3rd July, Stage 1 – Prologue: Sibiu, 2.5km

Sunday 4th July, Stage 2: Sibiu – Paltinis, 177.9km

Monday 5th July, Stage 3: Sibiu – Balea Lac, 187.5km

Tuesday 6th July, Stage 4: Sibiu – Sibiu, 205.3km

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com