Team Novo Nordisk Gains Solid Experience During Dubai Tour
04 February 2017
Race: Dubai Tour, Stage 5
Start/Finish: Dubai International Marine Club/Dubai City Walk, UAE
Distance: 124 kilometers
Dubai, UAE — Saturday’s final stage of the Dubai Tour was a classic route that wove the peloton through the old and new sections of Dubai. A four-man breakaway escaped relatively early into the 124-kilometer stage and built up an ample gap. Team Novo Nordisk was on the front and helped bring back this quartet, which was caught inside the final 10-km. Heading into the finish along Dubai City Walk, the World Tour sprint trains battled it out for position with Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) winning his third stage of the race and securing the overall race victory.
Quentin Valognes (who was the youngest rider in the 2017 Dubai Tour) finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider on the stage and 11th overall in the Best Young Rider classification, out of nearly 50 riders. Team Novo Nordisk finished 8th in team general classification.
“This is a new kind of cycling for me, so I didn’t know where I would be or how I would do. My first goal in Dubai was to be the best I could be, but on the first day, I saw that without a team it was impossible. So we started working on the train, and day-by-day, step-by-step, we got better. If you watch the race you can see the first day was chaotic, the second day better, the third day a little better still, and today was really great. My teammates did exactly what we planned to do, and I now see how hard it is in the finish and what I can do myself to improve.”
“We tried to get Quentin to the front before the U-turn at 15km to go because after that there were crosswinds and everyone was trying to move up in the gutter, which is really dangerous. We had six guys together when we came out of that turn. We’re learning to trust each other, not lose wheels and if it doesn’t work out in the end, it doesn’t work out. We leave trusting each other more, learned more and it’ll pay off one day.”
Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko
“We definitely learned a lot during this race, especially when it came to racing in the wind. This was a good first race for Quentin, who is the youngest rider in the race, because it was flat and allowed him to learn how to race at these speeds in the peloton. We hoped for a better place, but again, we are a young team. The guys worked on racing together as a team, rode all together throughout the race, protected their sprinter and helped him in the finish of each stage. We are leaving with better knowledge and experience.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, returns to racing on February 12th with the Italian one-day race, Trofeo Laigueglia.
- 1st: Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors): 2:34:12
- 2nd: Elia Viviani (Team Sky): same time as Kittel
- 3rd: Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team): same time as Kittel
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- Quentin Valognes: 34th: 0:06 behind Kittel
- Charles Planet: 47th: 0:06 behind Kittel
- Joonas Henttala: 52nd: 0:06 behind Kittel
- David Lozano: 54th: 0:06 behind Kittel
- Umberto Poli: 64th: 0:14 behind Kittel
- Gerd de Keijzer: 96th: 1:07 behind Kittel
- Chris Williams: 112nd: 2:16 behind Kittel