Team Novo Nordisk Opens 2018 Season at Dubai Tour
28 January 2018
Race: Dubai Tour (February 6-10, 2018)
Country: United Arab Emirates
Total Distance: 841 kilometers
Race Class: 2.HC
Team Novo Nordisk is taking a balanced squad of sprinters and climbers to its fourth appearance at the Dubai Tour when the five-day race kicks off on Tuesday, February 6th.
“This is our fourth time racing at the Dubai Tour, and we decided to switch up our typical race calendar to make our season debut at the UAE race,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “Dubai Tour is always a good race for the team with its fairly flat parcours and remarkable organization. Over the years, we’ve earned top 10 finishes and featured in many breakaways, and we are heading into this year’s race with the same ambitions to race aggressively, make breakaways and earn our best finishes against some of the top sprinters in the world.”
Following a 15-day training camp in Altea, Spain, Team Novo Nordisk heads to Dubai with an seven-man squad featuring Mehdi Benhamouda (FRA), Brian Kamstra (NED), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Umberto Poli (ITA), Quentin Valognes (FRA) and Chris Williams (AUS). The sprinters include Benhamouda, Peron, and neo-pro Valognes; Benhamouda and Kamstra are making their Dubai Tour debuts.
Twenty-four-year-old Planet is racing his third Dubai Tour and said it is the ideal race to kick off his 2018 season.
“I can’t wait to pin on a race number again, and I’m eager to get a good result early in the season. My preparation has been perfect leading up to the race,” Planet said. “I’m hopeful we will race the Hatta Dam stage. It’s a good test for me after winter training and it suits me nicely. I’m looking forward to this stage and it’s my personal goal for the race.”
In its fifth edition, the Dubai Tour is a 2.HC UCI race where every stage of the 841-kilometer race begins at Skydive Dubai at the Dubai International Marine Club. Nine of the 16 teams invited to this year’s race are World Tour squads.
The profile is similar to last year’s edition with most stages taking place within the urban sections of Dubai and designed for sprinters. Last year’s queen stage was cancelled due to high winds and sandstorms, so hopefully Stage 4 with its uphill finish on the Hatta Dam will take place this year. The first and final stages end in the heart of Dubai in front of notable landmarks such as the Palm Jumeirah and City Walk Dubai. The race begins Tuesday, February 6 with a 167-km stage that finishes on the Palm Jumeirah.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Dubai Tour (February 6-10):
- Mehdi Benhamouda (France)
- Brian Kamstra (Netherlands)
- Andrea Peron (Italy)
- Charles Planet (France)
- Umberto Poli (Italy)
- Quentin Valognes (France)
- Chris Williams (Australia)
Sport Director: Vassili Davidenko (USA), Massimo Podenzana (ITA).