A tough ending in Slovakia as TNN look ahead to the last race of the season

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“It ended up being a tougher final stage than expected.

“There was an early attack, with a group of 25 riders gaining an increasing advantage over the peloton, which was eventually forced to give up the fight for the stage. Our boys tried but didn’t make it in the break. They did a good job in staying together, keeping the pace, which today was really fast, and crossing the line with the rest of the bunch.”

“It’s not the final we hoped for, but now we need to keep focus and put all our energies on the last race of this season: Tour of Croatia.”

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“Today was crazy, there’s no other way to put it.”

When we started, we knew it would have been a tough last day. The pace kept increasing also when approaching the climb. I really wanted to have another chance in the final sprint and with my teammates we did our best to keep up and stay up front, but it was absolutely full gas and we didn’t make it.

“We have now Tour of Croatia coming up. It’s gonna be the last race for our 2021 season and we want to give it all to show what’s possible with diabetes.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

One for the history books: Einhorn books biggest career-win in the last stage in Slovakia

The 23-year-old Israeli sprinter, Itamar Einhorn, won the last stage in the Tour of Slovakia! It was the biggest victory in his career, especially given the competition he beat in the final few hundred meters of the race.

Einhorn beat three-time world champion Peter Sagan (second) and Cees Bol (third) in the sprint which was made up of a selected group of riders.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“We again raced exactly according to the plan we set before the race. We raced with the legs and with the brain, and it worked out perfectly today. I am very happy with this victory!”

The stage exploded early, but Einhorn digested the hilly and fast start very well. The wind began to play a role afterward. That’s when the Israeli sprinter moved into the breakaway that would make it all the way to the finish line.

The break contained most of the GC-contenders, and ISN’s Chris Froome and Krists Neilands.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Peter Sagan (SVK – Bora – Hansgrohe) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“The team did so well to get me in the breakaway. Chris and Krists then were phenomenal. They kept me sheltered from the wind in the open sections and gave me absolutely everything I needed to save energy for my sprint.”

The 23-year-old then launched his sprint from the wheel of Peter Sagan. He overtook him and left sprinters Kaden Groves and Cees Bol behind.

Neilands was the first one jumping into his arms after the finish. Soon after, Froome joined the party at the finish.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 4th stage Trencianske Teplice – Trnava 159,2 km – 19/09/2021 – Itamar Einhorn (ISR – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

Froome: “What a great day for Israel Start-Up Nation. It was great to be out there in the front with the three of us. I am very happy Einhorn could finish it off!”

Neilands: “What a fantastic day. We believed in him all the time. The way Itamar sprinted to the line was just impressive!”

Einhorn had already come close to a good result a few times in Slovakia. He showed his power in the prologue, finishing eleventh.

He then got sixth place in stage 1. In the second stage, the Israeli rider did not get a chance to sprint, as several riders crashed in front of him in the final. In stage 3 Einhorn was right there amongst the biggest sprinters: seventh. In the fourth stage, he beat them all.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Another top 20 for Peron on stage 3 at Tour of Slovakia

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“It was a hard one today, no doubt about it. Close to 200km and very wet, cold conditions, but I quite like it when it’s epic and full gas. I’m feeling good and to get inside the top 20 again is very positive.”

“We’ve been working well together the last couple of days and although it would be great to break into the top 10, we have to be pleased. It’s a really competitive field of sprinters here and as we saw yesterday the finals are very nervous. The last few km we were flying and it was a battle just to hold position at the front.”

“One more stage to come tomorrow and one more chance to try and get up there, we’ll give it our all and hope we can leave with another good result.”

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“Another tough day on the saddles, with over nearly 200 kilometers and bad weather conditions almost all the way.

But our boys did well, worked together to protect Andrea and to bring him to the final sprint up front. They showed good teamwork which got paid off with the top 20 of Andrea.

Tomorrow is the final road stage and also the flattest. Chances are it will finish in a sprint again and we want to have the chance to go with Andrea and aim to a top ten.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Come back faster: Einhorn’s revenge in Slovakia

What do you do when you lose your chance for a sprint one day? You come back faster in the next stage. That’s what Itamar Einhorn did in stage 3 of the Tour of Slovakia.

After an unavoidable crash in the peloton yesterday, Einhorn was extra committed to getting a result in the mass sprint today. And so were his teammates.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 3rd Stage Dolny Kubin – Povazska Bystrica193,2 km – 18/09/2021 – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

Sprint coach Greg Henderson was particularly content with what he saw from Israel Start-Up Nation in stage 3. “Great lead-out”, he commented. “With a little bit of extra training, Einhorn will go and win stages like these in the future. He is getting consistent in his positioning in the finals, and that’s what counts now.”

The team did an excellent job in the final, indeed. ISN rode very well and brought Einhorn in the best imaginable position in the last kilometer.

The Israeli sprinter went through the corner with 400 meters to go in first position. “We took the same position into the corner as we planned before the race.”

“I just came too short with the speed for the final 100 meters. I am happy to be in the mix and I’m sure the win will come soon”, Einhorn said after another cold and rainy day in Slovakia.


— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Peron avoids crash in the finale and brings home 12th place on Tour of Slovakia stage 2

Andrea Peron (ITA)

“After yesterday disappointment, my motivation was high and I really wanted to do well.”

The legs felt good and I was able to keep the pace and stay in the bunch until the very end. There was a crash in the last curve but thankfully I managed to avoid it and didn’t affect my sprint.” 

A top 10 would have been amazing, but I gave my best.That was a strong group and the 12th place is a good result. I am mostly happy I felt better than the previous days and now I want to stay focused and keep this pace in the two final stages.”

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“It was a hard stage for our guys today. Longer than yesterday, with three categorised climbs and another finale for sprinters. Rain and cold didn’t make it any easier!

Our goal was to protect Andrea and have him ready for the final sprint. He did really well, took some risks and brought home a result that means a lot to us. Bravo Andrea! And now focus is on tomorrow stage.”

— tnn 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

Einhorn hunts for glory in explosive battles at Tour of Slovakia

An explosive prologue and an interesting first stage opened the Tour of Slovakia. Einhorn was very well in the mix.

With the knowledge that Einhorn got safely over the final climb in stage 1, Carl Fredrik Hagen gave it a good go and bridged the gap to the breakaway of the day. As he joined them, there were only two riders left from the original group of escapees.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 1st Stage Kosice – Kosice 158,4 km – 16/09/2021 – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

The three guys in the break defended a gap of twenty seconds over the peloton in which Israel Start-Up Nation didn’t have to bother about the chase. Chris Froome, Norman Vahtra, Krists Neilands, and Einhorn were very well positioned in the final twenty kilometers of racing, patiently waiting to see if Hagen would be caught or whether they could sprint for a stage victory.

After yesterday’s prologue, a stage win could have potentially put Einhorn in the leader’s jersey, as he was just a handful of seconds behind the leader after an impressive 1.6-kilometer-long effort in the streets of Kosice. However, competition is huge in Slovakia, with sprinters like Hodeg, Nizzolo, and local favorite Peter Sagan.

Hagen got reeled in with five kilometers to the line. From there, Froome, Neilands, and Norman brought Einhorn in the top-10 before the final turn. Einhorn was fast, overtook several competitors, and sprinted to sixth.

Tour de Slovaquie 2021 – 65th Edition – 1st Stage Kosice – Kosice 158,4 km – 16/09/2021 – Bora – Hansgrohe – Israel Start-Up Nation – photo Igor Stancik/BettiniPhoto©2021

“I could rely on my teammates today,” Einhorn said after the finish. “We were well positioned, but it was a big battle for the first spots in the pack towards the final turn. Just before that, Norman got a little bit boxed in. I came from too far back to go for the podium, but I felt fast.”

The strong finish gave Einhorn morale for the next few stages. “Tomorrow there is another chance. As a team, we are capable of doing better than the sixth place, and the second stage is a good one to prove it so.”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com

Team Novo Nordisk challenged by a very fast prologue at Tour of Slovakia

Stephen Clancy (IRL)

“This is my first participation at Tour of Slovakia, and I am very happy to be here to show what’s possible with diabetes.”

“Today’s prologue was short but intense. It was a very flat course with a tricky u-turn halfway covered in cobblestones and tramlines. The pressure was high but I did my best and I’m quite satisfied with my result.”

“This is my first participation at Tour of Slovakia, and I am very happy to be here and look forward the the road stages to show what’s possible with diabetes.”

Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana (ITA)

“We expected a fast start today and we got it. With less than 1.6 kilometres to go, this prologue required full power from start to finish and there was no space for error.”

“The boys were very focused, and ready to give it all. It was good to see some of our guys among the fastest riders crossing the line in less than two minutes from the start.”

“It was a good warm up to tomorrow’s stage,which will be a tough one.”

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Team BikeExchange gear up for first Tour of Slovakia appearance – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange will back Australian criterium champion Kaden Groves as they debut at the Tour of Slovakia.

With plenty of opportunities for sprint finishes across the four road stages, Italian Alexander Konychev will be a key member of the lead out train, while Michael Hepburn and Sam Bewley add their experience to the line-up.

Both Chris Juul-Jensen and Amund Grøndahl Jansen return to team duties for the first time since the Tour de France and Singaporean stagiaire Goh Choon Huat will get more European racing experience as he rounds out the seven-rider squad.  

Team BikeExchange at 2021 Tour of Slovakia:
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Amund Grondahl Jansen (NOR)
Kaden Groves (AUS)
Michael Hepburn (AUS)
Chris Juul Jensen (DEN)
Alex Konychev (ITA)
Goh Choon Huat (SG)

Kaden Groves
“I’m really looking forward to the Tour of Slovakia. It’s been a long time away from racing and it has been a rough year for me with injuries, so I’m very motivated and excited to be back with the team.

I think it will be a very nice race with the prologue, which we have a few guys who can do a really good time, and maybe take the jersey from the beginning.

Personally, I’ve been training very well in the last weeks and my goal for Slovakia is to try for a few stages and go for the podium with the great help coming from my strong teammates.”

Gene Bates – Sport Director
“This year’s route is not an overly selective one, we expect most of the stages to come down to a sprint of some sort. Given this, we expect fast racing and potentially a lot of attention at the intermediate sprints.

We have a strong team with powerful riders who will support our sprinter Kaden Groves. But, we have also a very adaptable team and, given some of the stage profiles, will be ready to change race strategy according to the evolution of the stage.

Kaden is in a good shape, he comes from a solid block of preparation, and he is happy to be participating in a race that should offer several opportunities to the sprinters”

2021 Tour of Slovakia Race Details:
Wednesday, 15th September: Prologue, Košice, 1.6km
Thursday, 16th September: Stage 1, Košice to Košice, 158km
Friday, 17th September: Stage 2, Spišské Podhradie to Dolny Kubin, 179km
Saturday, 18th September: Stage 3, Dolny Kubin to Povazska Bystrica, 193km
Sunday, 19th September: Stage 4, Trenčianske Teplice to Trnava, 159km

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com