Team Novo Nordisk Faces Super Typhoon Lan at Japan Cup
22 October 2017
Race: Japan Cup Cycle Road Race
Start/Finish: Utsunomiya/Utsunomiya, Japan
Distance: 100 kilometers
UTSUNOMIYA, JAPAN – Team Novo Nordisk pushed through a Typhoon on Sunday at the Japan Cup, racing a hilly circuit in a warm rainstorm as thousands of fans braved extreme wet weather north of Tokyo to cheer the pro peloton.
Organizers shortened the planned 14 laps to 10 as the last of Super Typhoon Lan blew through the Pacific Ocean, with high winds and heavy rain forecast for the next two days. Saturday’s evening criterium in downtown Utsunomiya was mostly dry but overcast as Team Novo Nordisk put four riders in the top 20 to start the weekend.
On Sunday more than 30 Novo Nordisk employees from Japan joined the team for our fourth appearance at the Japan Cup, with many of them having ridden their own bicycles from Tokyo on Friday to spend the weekend with the riders.
Italian rider Marco Canola won the Japan Cup, ahead of Benjamin Prades of Spain and hometown hero Amezawa Takeaki of the incredibly popular Utsunomiya Blitzen team.
“We woke up knowing it was going to be a wet day, and we did our best to put Charles at the front for the finish. Coming to Japan is really exciting because there are so many fans on the side of the roads, even in the rain, and this year we had 30 friends from Novo Nordisk ride to the race to see us. It’s so cool to see how the company organizes itself to support us, and it’s really nice to be here.”
Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko:
“Charles and David stayed at the front with the leaders in three hours of rain, and our guys came off a great day Saturday to help at the Japan Cup. We are very proud to come here to Japan and race, and it’s a big honor to see so many fans from Novo Nordisk come and suffer with us in the rain.”
Team Novo Nordisk races next in China at the season-ending Tour of Hainan.
- Marco Canola (Nippo – Vini Fantini) 1st : 2:45;37
- Benjamin Prades (Team UKYO) 2nd : st
- Takeaki Amezawa (Utsunomiya Blitzen) 3rd : st
Team Novo Nordisk:
- Charles Planet 22nd : 1:16 back
- David Lozano 36th : 3:58
- Romain Gioux : dnf
- Chris Williams : dnf
- Rik Van Ijzendorn : dnf