Race: Tour of California
Total Distance: 1,259.6 kilometers, 782.7 miles
Race Class: 2.HC
Team Novo Nordisk is taking an experienced eight-man squad to the Tour of California to race against some of the best cyclists in the world in May. The American stage race kicks off on May 15th in San Diego, California.
“The Tour of California has been on our priority list from the beginning of the season,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “Our strategy is for the riders to be in peak performance around this race and so far, everything is going according to plan. The team is strong and ready to race.”
This year, the eight-day 2.HC stage race is switching up its route to run from south to north. The 782.7-mile route features 65,000 feet of climbing, the most in race history, two back-to-back 125-mile plus stages, and an individual time trial, making this year’s Tour of California the toughest edition in its 11-year history.
“This year’s race is much more challenging than years past and the changes will have an effect on our team goals. We’re utilizing the same squad that raced here in 2015 in an effort to build upon past experience,” Davidenko said. “We have a strong roster and these riders have the best shot at getting results since they know more about what to expect and how to react during the race.”
Team Novo Nordisk’s roster includes Chris Williams (AUS), Joonas Henttala (FIN), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Stephen Clancy (IRL) and Martijn Verschoor (NED).
“Our climbers will be ready for the new challenges, and we believe our sprinting duo, Andrea and Martijn, are in good shape and ready to earn top results. Charles is coming up very strong and while Javier has had a bumpy season so far, he should be ready for California.”
The 31-year-old Verschoor, who took 10th on Stage 8 last year, said he is motivated to build upon those results and has his eye on a potential podium spot on one of the sprint stages.
“The Tour of California is an important race for many teams and the level of racing is very high. Team Novo Nordisk has American roots, and most of our riders have lived in the U.S. for a year or more, so it’s extra special for us to feel like we are racing at ‘home,’” Verschoor said. “This race is one of my favorites of the season and I hope I can make the podium this year. One of Team Novo Nordisk’s main goals is to win a stage and show the world what may be possible with diabetes.”
The Tour of California starts on Sunday, May 15th with a 106-mile sprint stage that begins and finishes in downtown San Diego.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Tour of California (May 15-22)
Chris Williams (AUS), Joonas Henttala (FIN), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Stephen Clancy (IRL) and Martijn Verschoor (NED).
Sport Director: Vassili Davidenko (USA), Pavel Cherkasov (USA).