Race: Tour of Slovakia – Stage 2
Distance: 227 kilometers
Ružomberok, Slovakia — Team Novo Nordisk fought bravely on the longest stage of the 2019 edition of Tour of Slovakia and Andrea Peron finished just outside the top 20 in a technical sprint finish.
Low temperatures of under 8 degrees Celsius and intermittent rain greeted the peloton at the start line in Bardejov. The race was on from the start and for over an hour several riders tried to attack and break clear. Team Novo Nordisk was attentive at the front and both Umberto Poli and Charles Planet covered some moves that ultimately didn’t stick.
Eventually Rémy Rochas (Delko Marseille), Martin Salmon (Development Sunweb) and Idar Andersen (Uno-X) got the all clear and swiftly established a healthy gap that ballooned up to nine minutes with 155km to go.
As the gap began to decrease Deceuninck – Quick-Step upped the pace in the bunch and created an echelon with 45 km to go after all five categorised climbs of the day had been overcome. Andrea Peron, Charles Planet and Peter Kusztor made the split and rode in a select group of 30 riders. In the end, however, the field came back together and the breakaway was caught just outside the last 20 km.
The technical uphill finish with a cobbled surface made for a very demanding bunch sprint and Eduard Grosu (Delko Marseille) anticipated his rivals and won ahead of Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick Step). Andrea Peron was in the mix but found himself too far back when he initiated the sprint and crossed the finish line in 21st position.
The world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team will continue to show what’s possible with diabetes in Slovakia when they take on the penultimate stage this Friday a 200,6 km ordeal starting in Ružomberok and finishing in Hlohovec.
“It was cold and rainy from the start. We faced really cold temperatures all day and we tried hard to be in the break but sadly we missed the right move. At around 160 km to go, after the last climb Deceuninck – Quick-Step made an echelon and me, Charles (Planet) and Peter (Kusztor) made the split. We were just around 30 riders at the front but sadly they stopped pulling and it all came back together. In the last 5 km it was really difficult to stay in position and it was not a good sprint for me. I tried to do my best but I was a bit too far back in the last 1000 meters.”
Stage 2 Classification
1st – Eduard Grosu (Delko Marseille) – 05:46:42
2nd – Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 0:00:00
3rd – Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ)- 0:00:00
8th – Andrea Peron – 0:00:09
(Photos: René Vigneron)