Planet Shines in the Break at Abu Dhabi Tour Opener
21 February 2018
Race: Abu Dhabi Tour/Stage 1
Start/Finish: Madinat Zayed/Adnoc School, , United Arab Emirates
Distance: 189 kilometers
ABU DHABI, UAE — Team Novo Nordisk continued its 2018 race campaign in the Middle East on Wednesday, starting seven riders at the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Fresh off a strong winter training program and a successful debut earlier this month in Dubai, Charles Planet struck first for the world’s only all-diabetes professional cycling team when he jumped into a 5-man breakaway on a hot day in the desert.
Planet’s group stretched out their lead to nearly five minutes over the agile peloton of 139 riders, and kept a high pace as the race followed a straight but at times hilly course across towering sand dunes and sporadic palm tree oases.
With temperatures all day above 30ºC (High 80s F), Planet spent more than four hours in front of the peloton, struggling against wind and competitors through two intermediate checkpoints before pulling back to assist his teammates for the anticipated final sprint.
Against the best sprinters in the world on Wednesday it was TNN’s Andrea Peron who finished first for Team Novo Nordisk, posting a top 20 result on the first day of the five-stage race.
“In Dubai I was in the breakaway two times, and I felt stronger the second day. But today was a harder day. There was wind and the pace was pretty high, and I was with four strong guys with a lot of experience who raced really smart. For sure I’m not done yet.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at Abu Dhabi Tour on Thursday with stage 2, a 154-kilometer stage from Yas Mal to Yas Beach.
1st: Alexander Kristoff (UAE): 4:48:24
2nd: Andrea Guardini (Bardiani – CSF): same time as Kristoff
3rd: Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton – Scott): same time as Kristoff
16th: Andrea Peron: same time as Kristoff
(Photos: ©TDWSport/Getty Images)