Race: Tour de Korea, stage 1
Start/Finish: Yeosu/Gunsan, Korea
GUNSAN, KOREA – Team Novo Nordisk returned to the UCI Asia 2017 calendar on Wednesday at the Tour de Korea, a 5-day, 2.1 stage race in a 20-team peloton. With just six riders per squad, the racing is fast and open to quick changes of tempo and speed.
A 5-man breakaway with more than nine minutes advantage on the peloton was captured at 20km to the finish, chased down by teams interested in the flat, wide finish. Spanish rider Jon Aberasturi won the stage in a field sprint and takes the first leader’s jersey of the Tour de Korea.
Mehdi Benhamouda crashed at 30km to go, and had to change bikes before he was able to rejoin the peloton. With under 10k to go Chris Williams also crashed, but both riders were unhurt and will start stage two on Thursday.
“The objective today was to finish in the front, help Andrea in the sprint and save the legs for stage two. It was fast in the end, with a lot of crashes, and I crashed with 30k to go. It was hard to come back, but I did my best to come back to help the team in the finish. I’m happy to finish.”
Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Lionel Marie
“The early breakaway got nine minutes on the peloton, but the sprint teams brought them back with 20k to go. Today was the longest stage of the race, and also the first stage, and the guys look easy and strong on the bike. The next days will have some more climbing and look like good chances for us to get in the breakaway.”
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the Tour de Korea through Sunday, with a final stage in Seoul.
- Jon Aberasturi 1st : (Team UKYO) : 5:24:43
- Nicolas Marini 2nd : (Nippo – Vini Fantini) : st
- Kyoung Ho Park 3rd : (Geumsan Insan Cello) : st
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Andrea Peron : 17th : st
- David Lozano: 45th: st
- Charles Planet : 56th: st
- Mehdi Benhamouda: 58th : st
- Rik Van Ijzendoorn: 99th : st
- Chris Williams: 117th: 5:10 back