Back to the Arrow of Brabant with Kopecky looking to go deep

08 April 2024

Team Novo Nordisk make the short jump from France to Belgium this week for a return to the Flanders Classic Brabantse Pijl with a versatile team aiming to support budding one day specialist Matyas Kopecky deep into the race.

The 21-year-old will be without the invaluable team captain Andrea Peron on Wednesday but experienced veteran Peter Kusztor returns alongside kiwi Hamish Beadle and Australian Declan Irvine as the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team look to maintain the recent form.

“We’ve produced some very positive and consistent performances over the last few weeks and it’s good to see hard work turning into progress results wise,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “Brabantse Pijl is always a big race for us and a big challenge for the riders.”

“We will be all in for Matyas and our goal as a team is to get him to the brutal closing circuits in the best position and shape as possible. It’s not a final made for sprinters, but Matyas is showing his versatility this year and he has a strong passion for the classics, so we will give him all the support we can.”

Local talent Quinten de Graeve completes the team for the 195km race together with Manxman Sam Brand and Italian rouleur Umberto Poli making his first appearance of the 2024 season.

“As a rider you always want to do the biggest races you can,” said Kopecky “And Brabantse Pijl is probably our biggest one day race on the calendar and a major target of the spring period. There’s a lot of prestigious history associated with the race and that prestige remains even if the date on the calendar is different.”

“A good result won’t be easy, the final circuits are hilly and very tough – not ideal for the bigger guys like me, but if we can race as a team as we have done recently in France then we stand a chance of fighting to be in the selection at the end. We’ll see, we know it will explode on the final laps around Overijse and for sure it’s gonna be a real challenge.”

Team Novo Nordisk at Brabantse Pijl, Wednesday 10th April:

Hamish Beadle (NZ, 26)

Sam Brand (GBR, 32)

Quinten De Graeve (BEL, 23)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 25)

Matyas Kopecky (CZ, 21)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 39)

Umberto Poli (IT, 27)

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