Irvine in the break and in the mix for TNN in France

02 April 2024

The Region Pays de la Loire Tour started well for Team Novo Nordisk with Aussie Declan Irvine dancing his way into the early breakaway and racking up some bonus points and seconds before Matyas Kopecky sprinted to 12th in the finale.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“We wanted to get Declan up the road today and try to get on the board with the intermediate sprints and gain some seconds which he did and did well. The bunch let the move go very early and they had no difficulties.”

“If we can do more of the same in the coming days, keep getting out front and scoring points in the sprints then we have a chance of a good result overall. There’s no really hilly stages and that suits us. 

“Matyas and Andrea worked well together all day and Andrea really showed his experience throughout the stage, shielding Matyas and guiding him into a good position for the sprint. He just couldn’t break out of the box there in the final, but we’ve had a good start today.”

Declan Irvine:

“Massimo and Gennady told me repeatedly this morning to get in the break and get some points and bonus seconds, we knew it was important and we’re happy we pulled it off. ”

“I was a little frustrated towards the end because maybe without the crosswind section where our lead really fell, we could maybe have stayed out front for the last sprint and that could have been three more seconds.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“Andrea was immense today. Absolute class. He looked after me perfectly and I’m very confident on his wheel at speed in the bunch. I was in a great position at the end, good legs, feeling the adrenaline…”

“But, it was a long and narrow finish and as the front slowed down some guys came from behind and I was closed down. In front and either side, so I never really got going. We’ll try again tomorrow and if we go like today then we will have a good chance.” 

Photo credits: @cassandradonne

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