Team Novo Nordisk Returns to Milan-San Remo
12 March 2016
Race: Milan-San Remo
Total Distance: 293 kilometers
Race Class: WT
Date: 19 March 2016
Team Novo Nordisk is set to return to Milan-San Remo, the longest single-day race on the UCI calendar, when the prestigious World Tour race kicks off in Milan on Saturday, March 19th. In 2015, Team Novo Nordisk made history when Kevin De Mesmaeker, Joonas Henttala, Javier Megias and Charles Planet became the first riders with type 1 diabetes to finish the nearly 300-kilometer race. Italian Andrea Peron also had a momentous day in his home country, riding the majority of the race in the day’s main breakaway.
“Season after season, our riders are learning more and getting stronger. At a race like Milan-San Remo, the weather is always a major factor, but we are a professional team and our athletes need to be ready for all conditions,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “I would love to see one of our riders in the breakaway, similar to last year, but we are looking into several scenarios. A detailed strategy will be made 24 hours before the start once we know more specific factors that could affect the race.”
The first of the five Monuments, or the oldest, hardest and most admired one-day races in cycling, Milan-San Remo is known as the Sprinter’s Classic due to its primarily flat course. While the race typically ends in a reduced bunch sprint, the course features two notable climbs, the Cipressa and Poggio. Both climbs come late in the race and tend to be decisive.
“We have several riders showing good form and the latest physiological tests are showing improvements. At the moment, we just need better luck,” Davidenko said. “We’ll be in the San Remo area a week before the race and we will study the course and the final. From there, we will select the best roster 24 hours before the start.”
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 13, Martijn Verschoor started Milan-San Remo in 2012 with Team Novo Nordisk’s predecessor, Team Type 1. The 30-year-old Dutchman has raced his entire career with diabetes and has a resume that includes accolades such as winning Stage 2 at the Tour de Beauce (2011), finishing fifth overall at the Tour of Estonia (2015), top five finishes on stages at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, Tour of South Africa and Tour of Hainan, and top 10 finishes on stages at the Dubai Tour, USA Pro Challenge, Tour of Qinghai Lake, Tour of China and Tour of Hainan.
“Milan-San Remo is one of the most historic and beautiful Classics in the cycling world. It is long and hard and every year explodes in the final 150km when the race reaches the coast,” Verschoor said. “If a big group goes on the attack at the start, I will not hesitate to join or help a teammate make the break. After that, we will look at how things are going at the bottom of the Cipressa. We have a good team, an amazing partner with Novo Nordisk, and a fantastic Italian bike sponsor, Colnago. We are ready to race.”
Team Novo Nordisk Preliminary Roster Milan – San Remo (March 19):
Scott Ambrose (NZL), Kevin De Mesmaeker (BEL), Joonas Henttala (FIN), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Martijn Verschoor (NED), Brian Kamstra (NED), Christopher Williams (AUS).