Ceurens to debut as stagiaire for Team Novo Nordisk at Tour of Denmark
06 August 2021
Young Belgian puncheur Robbe Ceurens is set to make his first appearance for the Team Novo Nordisk professional team at the upcoming PostNord Danmark Rundt – Tour of Denmark next week, after a breakthrough season with the TNN Development team.
Home of the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling teams principal sponsor, Novo Nordisk, the Tour of Denmark represents one of the most important races on the calendar for the American team. Making the breakaway, shooting for the top ten and carrying the Changing Diabetes message are all on the agenda from the opening stage in Struer on the coast of Jutland to regal Frederiksberg for the final day individual time trial.
“The Tour of Denmark is always a hugely important race for us,” said Vassili Davidenko. “It is a great opportunity for us to show our thanks and appreciation to Novo Nordisk for all their support and try to give something back with some strong performances. It’s going to be amazing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin with our sponsors who are long standing healthcare pioneers on their home soil.“
“What’s extra special and also extremely satisfying for us is that after an impressive season so far, we will have one of our development riders, Robbe Ceurens racing as a stagiare with the pro team in Denmark. It’s one of the key pillars of our philosophy to develop young talent and help these athletes progress, so for Robbe to have earned this chance is wonderful and backs up that our structure is solid and in good working order.“
“We know it will be a hard race, it always is, but we have our goals and objectives and it’s crucial that we show ourselves and do our best to share our message of educating, empowering and inspiring everyone affected by diabetes.”
The 20-year-old Belgian has produced some fine performances for the Devo team in 2021 and is excited to be stepping up in such a big race for the team to race alongside experienced leaders like David Lozano, Italian sprinter Andrea Peron and former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor.
“For sure I am really excited about the opportunity to race as a stagiare at the Tour of Denmark,” said Ceurens. “That’s what the dream is. To come through the pipeline, the development team and then achieve the chance to race for the senior professional team and prove yourself. I know it’s going to be a very tough race, but I can’t wait to get on the start line.“
“It’s a dream come true to start a race on this level, the fact that the pro team gives me this opportunity means they believe in my abilities and that gives me such a boost. I’m really motivated, and I’m looking forward to make my debut in a pro race.”
A great example for Ceurens is young Australian Declan Irvine who came through the ranks and has enjoyed what can be considered a breakthrough season this year with strong rides in every race and the 22-year-old will be alongside Ceurens in Denmark with Italian Umberto Poli and Brit Sam Brand completing the line-up.
“I remember my first real pro race,” said Irvine. “At the Tour of China in 2018, you can’t help but feel excited and nervous, despite how many races you’ve done in the past as a junior or devo, there’s nothing like pinning a number on as a professional and rolling out of the neutral zone as the flag drops. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Covering close to 800 kilometers over five days of racing, the parcours will be challenging and suited to the big, powerful riders of the peloton, but one rider who won’t be intimidated is Ceurens as the Belgian looks to take it all in and enjoy the experience.
“The moment I will stand on the podium during the team presentation,” concluded Ceurens. “Or ride between all those pro riders during the stages, I will start realizing how far I’ve come already, and I can show people that it’s possible to compete at the highest level of sport with diabetes and achieve your dreams.”
“After stepping up to Continental level this year with the Devo team we mainly focused on UCI races in Europe. This was already such a big step forward for us and I really enjoyed my season racing these bigger races, so for me and all the other devo riders we gained so much experience and learned to enjoy everything that came our way and learn as much as you can.”
Team Novo Nordisk at the Tour of Denmark, 10th – 14th August:
Sam Brand (GBR, 30)
Robbe Ceurens (BEL, 20)
Declan Irvine (AUS, 22)
Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)
David Lozano (ESP, 32)
Andrea Peron (IT, 32)
Umberto Poli (IT, 24)
Tour of Denmark stages:
Tuesday 10th August, Stage 1: Struer – Esbjerg, 175.9km
Wednesday 11th August, Stage 2: Ribe – Sønderborg, 183.4km
Thursday 12th August, Stage 3: Tønder – Vejle, 219.2km
Friday 13th August, Stage 4: Holbaek – Kalundberg, 190km
Saturday 15th August, Stage 5: Frederiksberg, 10.8km (ITT)