Team Novo Nordisk Motivated for Results at Tour of California
06 May 2017
Race: Tour of California (14 – 20 May 2017)
Total Distance: 926.8 kilometers (575.9 miles)
Race Class: WT
As an American-registered team, the prestigious Tour of California stands out as one of the most important races on Team Novo Nordisk’s calendar. The race is the only World Tour event taking place on home soil, so when the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team lines up in Sacramento on Sunday, May 14th, its squad is looking for results.
In last year’s race, Javier Megias finished 14th overall while teammate Martijn Verschoor sprinted to fifth on Stage 1 beating out the likes of Peter Sagan, Niccolo Bonifazio, Mark Cavendish and Alexander Kristoff. In previous years, Charles Planet wore the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey and former Team Novo Nordisk teammate Kevin De Mesmaeker scored a podium finish when he took third on Stage 4 (2015).
In its 12th edition, the Tour of California will test riders with more than 9,100 meters (approximately 30,000 feet) of climbing over seven stages. Seventeen teams, including 12 World Tour squads, will compete across 926.8 kilometers (575.9 miles). Team Novo Nordisk’s roster for the race includes Romain Gioux (FRA), Joonas Henttala (FIN), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Martijn Verschoor (NED) and Chris Williams (AUS). The 30-year-old Gioux is making his Tour of California debut.
“We are racing our fourth Tour of California and most our riders have raced here before. This means they have better knowledge of the race and better prepared for the competition,” Team Novo Nordisk’s General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “Now that it is a World Tour race, it will be tougher, but we still expect some surprises from the pro continental and continental teams. We have planned our entire season around this race and designed our programs specifically so the riders arrive in California with top form. We are ready for a tough race.”
Team Novo Nordisk’s David Lozano, who has raced in the past four editions of the race, said that the Tour of California is one of his favorite races of the season because of the big roads and nice landscapes. Yet the 28-year-old Spaniard realizes this year’s edition comes with new challenges.
“For the team, this is one of the most important races of the season; you might even say it’s the most important race. We are an American team, and this is the biggest American race. That adds a lot of pressure,” Lozano said. “One of the reasons I love this race is that it’s the opposite of European races with wider roads and smooth pavement, but now there are more World Tour teams and shorter stages, which means a totally different race. The pace will be high every day and teams will have to play with more ambitious strategies.”
Stage 1 kicks off on Sunday, May 14th with a 167.4-km race around Sacramento in what should be a sprint finish in front of California’s Capitol Building.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Amgen Tour of California (May 14-20):
Romain Gioux (French), Joonas Henttala (Finnish), David Lozano (Spanish), Javier Megias (Spanish), Andrea Peron (Italian), Charles Planet (French), Martijn Verschoor (Dutch), Chris Williams (Australian).
Sport Directors: Lionel Marie (French), Massimo Podenzana (Italian).