Wet and filthy stage three in Hungary brings out the TNN train

The rain came down across northeastern Hungary on stage three of the Tour de Hongrie with Team Novo Nordisk shaking off the raindrops over the closing kilometers to provide sprinter Andrea Peron with an almost perfect lead out train into the final.

Almost perfect. Almost because of an untimely and unfortunate mechanical with 300m to go as Peron freewheeled to the line as the sprint unfolded around him.

Andrea Peron:

“The guys were incredible today. Truly. I don’t remember the last time we were all lined out at the front like that over the last ten kilometers. One by one the guys emptied themselves and peeled off right up to the final kilometer. I was in a great position going into the sprint and it’s just bad luck that I had a mechanical at that moment.”

“It can happen to anyone and we’re already looking ahead to tomorrow, it will be the last opportunity to try and do something in the sprint and If we ride like we did today we’ve got every chance of achieving a result.”

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“We did everything right today and had some bad luck there at the end. Of course, it’s disappointing because Andrea was so well positioned and after the work the guys did bringing him to the front, he had every chance of a good result, but it happens and it’s already past.”

“Tomorrow is another chance, and it will be a longer day and hopefully in much drier conditions. We need to stay organized like we did today and collectively save our energy to work for Andrea in the final to give him the opportunity to do his sprint from the best possible position.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Peron fourth on stage four as TNN teamwork comes to the fore

Someone once said that cycling is a team sport and even though the results table only shows the individual, the whole team make that result possible and Team Novo Nordisk showed that in spades today as Andrea Peron’s teammates carved a way through the carnage to set the Italian up for fourth place in the sprint at the International Tour of Hellas.

Andrea Peron:

“My legs are feeling it a little today, but thanks to the amazing work of the team today I was able to have a chance again in the sprint and we came very close to another podium.  A hairs width in the end and fourth is a little bit disappointing but the reality is that it’s another positive result, another top ten and there’s a great buzz within the team at the moment, that I’m loving.”

“Sam, David and Lucas were all working for me throughout the last 20km to keep me in a good position and then Joonas and Peter took over in that last 5km and it was Peter again who produced that vital final lead out into the last km. Fortunately the big crash occurred behind me, and the rest of the guys managed to avoid It too.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“So close again today, it really is so close we feel like we can almost touch it. If we keep working together like we did today, then I’m sure that a victory is coming. All the guys worked almost perfectly. We followed the complexion of the race nicely and worked when we needed too, particularly at the end when everyone came together for Andrea.”

“Peter has been reborn as a lead out man here at the Tour of Hellas and his experience, knowhow and bike handling have been very useful in the closing kilometers here in Greece. One more stage to go and it’s going to be very tough, 3,000m of climbing in 156km, so we will try our best see how the day plays out.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

TNN turn attention to Tour of Turkey

Team Novo Nordisk head to the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Sunday with memories of Italian sprinter Andrea Peron’s stellar performance on last year’s final stage still fresh in the memory and another challenging route ahead.

Eight tough stages await the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team with plenty of mixed terrain on the menu that will hopefully mean plenty of opportunities for Peron and experienced Spanish climber David Lozano who arrives fresh from the snow of Navarre after the recent GP Miguel Indurain.

“The Tour of Turkey is always a highlight on our calendar and I’m excited to be back racing at one of our favourite races,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “We’ve had some very positive results recently and I hope we can keep that going next week.”

“We know the race well and along with the beautiful scenery there is going to be some challenging days over the course of the eight stages and good teamwork will be key to our goals of trying to position Andrea and David to give them the best chance possible of some good results. Our inspirational message has always been well received in Turkey and we’ll be doing our best to Drive Change in Diabetes throughout the race and show everyone what is possible.”

The Isle of Man’s second favourite son Sam Brand will be on hand in support with veteran Hungarian climber Peter Kusztor and young Italian neo-pro Filippo Ridolfo also ready for the rolling stages.

“We’re at that stage of the calendar where the races are coming thick and fast now,” said Peron. “And after some good results at the recent races in Greece we had a really tough day in Belgium at Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, but we have to take the rough with the smooth.”

“I’m looking forward to being back racing at the Tour of Turkey at the weekend, we came close to some good stage results there last year and it will be great if we can make the top ten this time around. It’s going to be eight days of hard racing, it always is, and we know what’s in store for us, but there should be some opportunities for us, and we’ll do our best to be in the thick of the action when it counts.”

Verona native Umberto Poli and Kiwi Hamish Beadle complete the team with Beadle returning to roads he impressed on at the start of the year in the Tour of Antalya.

Topping out at close to 1,300km this year’s edition will be the 59th and starts on the southwest coast in Bodrum before following a tough route through much of the Aegean region and taking in Manisa and Gelibolu (Gallipoli) before turning East for the traditional final stage in Istanbul.

Team Novo Nordisk at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 10th – 17th April:

Hamish Beadle (NZL, 23)

Sam Brand (GBR, 31)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 37)

David Lozano (ESP, 33)

Andrea Peron (IT, 33)

Umberto Poli (IT, 25)

Filippo Ridolfo (IT, 20)


Sunday 10TH April, Stage 1: Bodrum – Kusadasi, 202km

Monday 11th April, Stage 2: Selcuk (Efes) – Alacati, 156.4km

Tuesday 12th April, Stage 3: Cesme – Izmir (Karsiyaka), 117.9km

Wednesday 13th April, Stage 4: Izmir (Konak) – Manisa, 156.2km

Thursday 14th April. Stage 5: Manisa – Ayvalik, 186.1km

Friday 15th April, Stage 6: Edremit (Akcay) – Eceabat, 201.5km

Saturday 16th April, Stage 7: Gelibolu – Tekirdag, 131.3km

Sunday 17th April, Stage 8: Istanbul – Istanbul, 137.8km

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

TNN ambassador Romain Gioux continues to show athletic prowess

Team Novo Nordisk ambassador, Romain Gioux continues to show what’s possible with diabetes while competing in IRONMAN 70.3 events in Europe.

The Frenchman took part in IRONMAN 70.3 Vichy where an impressive 4th place in his age group earned him a qualifying slot to the World Championships in St George, Utah next year.

Three weeks later he impressed even further by winning his age group in IRONMAN 70.3 Nice.

“Nice was a bonus because the qualification for World championships was already done,” Gioux said. “I arrived there in good shape, without pressure and everything went well.

“The sea swim went very well even though this is my weak point. I came out of the water with an average of 1min40 per 100m. The bike part went smoothly and was well managed. My favorite part, the run, was perfectly managed and kept a linear pace till the end of the race, without any moment of weakness which is a big positive when compared to the majority of competitors. I finished 27th out of 1700 competitors overall, 4th overall in all age groups and I won my age group.”

Gioux is a former professional cyclist with Team Novo Nordisk. At thirty, he was working in the corporate world as a Communications Manager. His life changed forever when TNN Co-founder and CEO Phil Southerland called him offering him a professional contract.

He says he achieved the dream of every cyclist, to race professionally and is grateful for it. Some of his highlights include being in a breakaway during a mountainous stage of Tirreno Adriatico and rubbing shoulders with big-name riders in the Tour of California.  

An inner ear problem, unfortunately, put an end to his cycling career sooner than he would have hoped. The 35-year-old said despite retirement, he remains active as it makes the management of diabetes so much easier.

“Even when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in hospital, my first question to the doctor was ‘can I continue to do sport?’ For me, it’s key to my life.”

“The recent results are important because I am a competitor but the most important thing for me is to show that despite living with type 1 diabetes, you have to believe in your dreams, and go for it. I am an example that also with diabetes it is possible to do wonderful things.”

Making an impact on the diabetes community is important to Gioux as people reach out to him for advice daily. 

“A  40-year-old guy who was diagnosed a few months ago reached out to me. He was at a complete loss as he thought he would have to stop sport. Then he came across my social media profiles. Since then, he has started sports again. He is less afraid because he sees that it is possible. Seeing the impact that sharing my experience with type 1 has on other people is extremely inspiring to me.”

— Xylon Vaneyck to www.teamnovonordisk.com

2021 draws to a close at CRO-Race as new generation comes through for TNN

The 2021 season may be ending with Team Novo Nordisk’s final race at the Tour of Croatia next week, but as one chapter closes another begins with Italian Filippo Ridolfo set to join Devo teammate Robbe Ceurens as a stagiaire and offer a glimpse into the future of the worlds’ first all diabetes professional cycling team.

The 19-year-old Italian from Udine has enjoyed a stellar season racing for the TNN development team, including back-to-back top ten stage results at the Five Rings of Moscow and consistent top 20 finishes at Travers les Hauts de France, Tour of South Boheme and the Tour of Bulgaria. Earning his chance to race with the senior professionals before the curtain falls on the 2021 season.

“I can’t believe it,” said Ridolfo. “There’s so much competition from my teammates in the devo team, so to be here, set to race with the professionals at the Tour of Croatia is incredible and I’m very proud to be offered this opportunity. I will try to honor it as best I can. I’m super motivated for it.”

A strong Italian contingent will be at the fore in Croatia to help guide Ridolfo with the experienced and in from Andrea Peron set to lead the team and Veronese rouleur Umberto Poli also in tow alongside classy Spanish climber David Lozano.

It’s always quite strange saying it, no matter how many years go by,” began General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “But the last race of the season is here, and it always holds some kind of special significance, like one page turning. We’ve come through another year and made our mark, changing diabetes and carrying our message wherever we go.”

“But 2021 was special, 100 years since the discovery of insulin and we wanted to do two things. Get in the breakaway at Milan-Sanremo and we wanted to win. I’m proud to say we did it. Charles Planet and Andrea Peron led the break at Milan-Sanremo for over 200km and Joonas Henttala soloed to victory at the Finnish National Championships in his TNN jersey giving us all a victory to remember and our first national champions jersey.

“Now we’re here preparing for CRO-Race and looking to the future by giving an opportunity to another of our younger riders coming through from the development team, Filippo Ridolfo. Filippo has had a very positive season so far and he deserves his chance, but as we know from past experience this is a hard race and we want to finish on a high note. It will be important to for us to not switch off and remember that the season ends at the finish line in Zagreb. Not before.”

British stalwart Sam Brand will lead the supporting cast alongside Kiwi Hamish Beadle and French sprinter Mehdi Benhamouda completing the team.

“To be racing with these guys is a dream come true,” concluded Ridolfo. “I think it’s every child’s dream when they start riding a bike, and it was mine too, so now it’s coming true and I want to keep dreaming.”

It’s an objective that we give ourselves and I want to give my all in Croatia in whatever role I’m tasked with and utilize everything I’ve learnt with the development team to help the team achieve the best results.”

The 2021 edition will cover over 1,000km in six stages, making it one of the most testing ‘less than a week’ stage races on the calendar. Crossing the country east to west from Osijek in the region of Slavonia to the final stage in the capital, Zagreb.

Team Novo Nordisk at CRO-Race, 28th September – 3rd October:

Hamish Beadle (NZL, 23)

Mehdi Benhamouda (FR, 26)

Sam Brand (GBR, 30)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Umberto Poli (IT, 25)

Filippo Ridolfo (IT, 19)


Tuesday 28th September, Stage1: Osijek – Varaždin, 237km

Wednesday 29th September, Stage 2: Slunj – Otočac, 187km

Thursday 30th September, Stage 3: Primošten – Makarska, 167km

Friday 1st October, Stage 4: Zadar – Crikvenica, 197km

Saturday 2nd October, Stage 5: Rabac/Labin – Opatija, 137.5km

Sunday 3rd October, Stage 6: Samobor – Zagreb, 156.5km

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

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

TNN back to favoured hunting ground at Okolo Slovenska

Team Novo Nordisk are set for a swift return to stage racing action this week at the five-day Okolo Slovenska/Tour de Slovaquie as the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team looks to repeat some of their positive performances on Slovakian roads from previous years.

Last year’s edition saw Italian sprinter Andrea Peron consistently around the top ten and the versatile Paduan will line up again this time alongside in form Spanish climber David Lozano and fellow Italian Umberto Poli after a solid top 20 result at Sunday’s GP de Fourmies.

Okolo Slovenska is a race that has been good to us and not in terms of results,” said General Manager Vassili Davidekno. “We have always received great support from the Slovakian affiliates of our sponsors Novo Nordisk and that has allowed us to spread our message of inspiration to the Diabetes community in Slovakia. And we are very thankful for that.”

Irishman Stephen Clancy returns with Brit Sam Brand travelling straight from GP de Fourmies and Finnish champion Joonas Henttala and French sprinter Mehdi Benhamouda rounding out the squad.

“I like this race a lot,” said Peron. “There’s a good amount of diversity across the five stages and historically we have performed well in Slovakia, so we will definitely be aiming for more of the same.”

Totalling close to 700km of cross nation racing over all terrain, the 2021 edition mirrors previous years by starting with a short, fast prologue before getting down to business with four punchy road stages. The hardest of which comes on Saturday with 193.2km and four second category climbs to contend with.

“We know how challenging this race is,” continued Davidenko. “It’s not our first time, but every year can be different, and we need to be prepared for every outcome. 2021 continues to be a special year for us with the 100th anniversary of insulin and we return to this year’s race with our Finnish national road champion Joonas Henttala and a strong team ready to race. Stages like these can be great opportunities to get up the road in the breakaway and we have options for the climbs also the finals.”

Certainly, the two riders showing late season form are Lozano and Peron with each finishing at the front of reduced groups in recent races and the aim being to carry the form and confidence into these last objectives.

“Considering the crash, I was involved in at Besançon and how hard I went down,” explained Peron. “I am really happy with how it went at GP de Fourmies yesterday. I had a bit of a hard time training during the week and had some muscle pain in my inner thigh, but I felt really good in Fourmies and that’s the sensation that I’ll be looking to take with us to Slovakia.”

Team Novo Nordisk at Okolo Slovenska, 15th – 19th September:

Sam Brand (GBR, 30)

Mehdi Benhamouda (FR, 26)

Stephen Clancy (IRL, 29)

Joonas Henttala (FIN, 30)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Umberto Poli (IT, 25)


Wednesday 15th September, Prologue: Kosice – Kosice, 1.6km

Thursday 16th September, Stage 1: Kosice – Kosice, 158.4km

Friday 17th September, Stage 2: Spisske Podhradie – Dolny Kubin, 179.7km

Saturday 18th September, Stage 3: Dolny Kubin – Povazska Bystrica, 193.2km

Sunday 19th September, Stage 4: Trencianske Teplice – Trnava, 159.2km

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com