First victory of 2022 Gives TNN confidence ahead of Tour de Pologne
27 July 2022
The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team goes into WorldTour stage race the Tour de Pologne with renewed vigour and confidence after Andrea Peron’s stunning win at GP Kranj in Slovenia on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Italian sprinter has been waiting a long time for his first professional win and after many close calls it could not have come at a better moment. Team Novo Nordisk will line up in Kielce on Saturday for the start of the weeklong WorldTour race on an upward curve, as the two biggest objectives of the season arrive.
“We’ve got big races coming back-to-back now,” said the beaming Italian. “Tour de Pologne and The Tour of Denmark have been our major season goals since January, so to arrive at this moment on the back of a race win at GP Kranj is invaluable. Because it gives us a lot of confidence and it’s important for us to keep this momentum going.”
Peron was supported by a strong team in Kranj on Sunday and another standout performance form veteran Peter Kusztor went a long way to setting Peron up for the win. Kustzor lines up in support again in Poland alongside Italian rouleur Umberto Poli and Spanish climber David Lozano.
“Obviously we’re all very proud of what Andrea and the team achieved on Sunday,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “Hard work and perseverance pay’s off and victory at GP Kranj is proof of that, but now the focus is on Tour de Pologne and it’s a big race where we’ll be up against the world’s best, so we need to keep it going now and race as we did on Sunday on every stage.”
“We have a strong team lining up, but this year almost every stage is either over or close to 200km and it’s going to be hot, so it’s going to be a real challenge not only for our riders, but also our staff to keep the guys hydrated and firing on all cylinders. That’s what we have to do embrace the challenge and make sure we are ready for it.”
First year pro Matyas Kopecky gets ready to make his WorldTour debut with Brit Sam Brand also lining up as he looks for a good performance in support of Peron ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Dutchman Gerd de Keijzer returns to racing to after a lengthy recovery from Covid 19 and completes the team.
“The team we have for Poland is versatile and we have good depth,” continued Peron. “We’ve got options for stage results and breakaways and if we ride as well as we did on Sunday, I think we can create some opportunities for ourselves. It’s a WorldTour race, the highest level there is, and we know it’s going to be tough.”
Tough it certainly will be, with over 1,200 km to be covered in seven days of racing as the 79th edition covers climbs, fast finishing circuits, classics style stages and an uphill individual time trial on the penultimate stage to throw the overall contenders into either panic or glory. Whichever way it plays out, Team Novo Nordisk will be there on the hunt and driving change in diabetes.
Team Novo Nordisk at Tour de Pologne, 30th July – 5th August:
Sam Brand (GBR, 31)
Gerd de Keijzer (NED, 28)
David Lozano (ESP, 33)
Matyas Kopecky (CZ, 19)
Peter Kusztor (HIN, 37)
Andrea Peron (IT, 33)
Umberto Poli (IT, 25)
Saturday 30th July, Stage 1: Kielce – Lublin, 218.8km
Sunday 31st July, Stage 2: Chelm – Zamosc, 203.9km
Monday 1st August, Stage 3: Krasnik – Przemysl, 229.7km
Tuesday 2nd August, Stage 4: Lesko – Sanok, 176.8km
Wednesday 3rd August, Stage 5: Lancut – Rzeszow, 205km
Thursday 4th August, Stage 6 (ITT): Szaflary – Wierch Rusinski, 11.8km
Friday 5th August, Stage7: Valsir – Krakow, 175km