Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 2
Start/Finish: Dubai/Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
Distance: 190 kilometers
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE —Charles Planet put Team Novo Nordisk’s Changing Diabetes jersey on display for the second consecutive day when he starred in the main breakaway on Stage 2 of the Dubai Tour. Team Novo Nordisk ranks second overall in the team classification competition.
Similar to Stage 1, the 190-kilometer stage began directly with attacks. Initially, three riders escaped and several Team Novo Nordisk riders launched sequential counterattacks. It was Planet’s move that stuck, and he successfully bridged up to the break, which eventually grew to six riders.
The break quickly earned a maximum gap of 6:40. Through both the first and second intermediate sprints, Planet finished second. He now sits second overall in the Intermediate Sprints Jersey classification behind Nathan Van Hooydonck (BMC Racing Team).
Inside the final 50 kilometers, Planet launched an attack on his fellow breakaway riders and only two riders were able to follow. The trio stayed together until the chasing peloton swept them up with nine km remaining.
In the sprint finish, Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) took the win with Team Novo Nordisk’s Mehdi Benhamouda finishing as the team’s best-placed rider in 12th place.
“After 150 km, I could see the other riders in the breakaway were tired, so I went full gas to see who wanted to race until the end. I knew it would be a bunch sprint, but I figured it was worth pushing it. If you never try, you never win.”
“Our strategy was to put someone in the breakaway. We weren’t planning on putting Charles up there because we wanted him to recover after yesterday’s amazing performance but a race is a race. He did a great job and spent all day fighting in the breakaway.
We would have liked to be in the top 10, but it isn’t easy; we are racing against the best sprinters in the world. What is important is to see how much the team has improved since last year and it is a good sign.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the Dubai Tour on Thursday with Stage 3. The 180-kilometer stage begins at Skydive Dubai and features two intermediate sprints before finishing at Fujairah.
Stage 2: Rider CGM Data*
Quentin Valognes: 4:35:13 (0:42 behind the stage winner)
1) Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors): 4:34:31
2) Dylan Groenewegen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo): ”
3) Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team): ”
12) Mehdi Benhamouda: “
(Photos: ©TDWSport/Getty Images)