Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 5
Start/Finish: Dubai/Dubai United Arab Emirates
Distance: 132 kilometers
Dubai, UAE — An impressive ride in the breakaway by Team Novo Nordisk’s Quentin Valognes saw the young Frenchman secure the overall UAE Intermediate Sprint Classification jersey while teammate Andrea Peron sprinted to ninth on the final stage of the Dubai Tour.
Three Team Novo Nordisk riders – Valognes, Chris Williams and Charles Planet – entered Stage 5 still in contention for the jersey. From the start of Saturday’s 132-kilometer race, Team Novo Nordisk went on the attack and individually nearly the entire squad was off the front of the peloton trying to make the breakaway.
As Williams and Peron attempted to escape, they went through a disorganized left-hand turn that caused Williams to crash. Unfortunately, he was unable to resume racing.
The crash reshuffled the race and Valognes made it off the front with three other riders and quickly earned a gap. The 21-year-old neo-pro needed seven points to win the intermediate sprint jersey.
Through the first intermediate sprint, he was second, which meant he must win the final sprint. He timed his sprint perfectly and easily won the sprint. Soon the breakaway splintered and Valognes was swept up by the chasing peloton.
A crash in the final corner of the race created chaos within the sprinting peloton, but Peron maintained his line and was able to sprint for ninth place. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) won the stage and the overall Dubai Tour.
“The team spirit since Stage 1 has been unbelievable. We’ve been in every single breakaway and aggressive on every single stage. Our mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. It wasn’t just my performance; it was the performance of the whole team that shows we are changing diabetes.”
Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland
“I’m so proud of what the team did today because it was every single rider on the team attacking and fighting and finally Quentin got in the breakaway. He took some sprints, earned the jersey and helped us change diabetes for the world. A very proud day for Team Novo Nordisk, a great week for us in Dubai and an amazing way to show the world what is possible with diabetes.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, returns to racing on February 21st for the five-day Abu Dhabi Tour.
Medical Update – Chris Williams
“X-rays confirmed a fracture to his right angle. We are waiting for a follow-up evaluation to determine if it will require surgery. Additionally, he required stitches on his upper right leg. The plan is for him to be transferred home tomorrow and then we will re-evaluate him,” explained Team Novo Nordisk Doctor Peter Lagrou.
1st: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors): 3:05:28
2nd: Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin): same time as Viviani
3rd: Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport): same time as Viviani
9th: Andrea Peron: same time as Viviani
(Photos: ©TDWSport/Getty Images)