Northern semi classics campaign opens with GP Criquelion

29 February 2024

After 2023 marked the best performances from Team Novo Nordisk racing on Belgian roads, the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team returns for their first outing at GP Criquelion and a race that will mark the start of a busy spring campaign.

21-year-old Czech starlet Matyas Kopecky will lead the team at the 29th edition, alongside the trusted and talented Italian Filippo Ridolfo and exciting neo pro Alessandro Perracchione, giving the squad a youthful flavour with the gaze fixed firmly on the future and rider development.

“This will be our first-time racing at GP Criquelion,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “And no matter how exciting it will be to take part at a new race for us, we’re under no illusions about how tough it will be. But if we want to do well in the semi classics type of race, we need to start our spring as early as possible and give the riders the best platform to succeed.”

“Matyas produced some strong performances in the northern races last year, Scheldeprijs and Hageland being the standout results and this year’s program of racing will be key to his and our other young rider’s development.”

Local rider Quinten De Graeve heads up the supporting cast alongside Australian Declan Irvine, American Logan Phippen and 32-year-old Manxman Sam Brand who all bring experience to the line up.

“The springing classics style of races are definitely my favourite kind of race,” began Kopecky. “They suit my characteristics really well and this next block of racing in Belgium and France form my first big objectives for the season, starting with GP Criquelion on Saturday. It’s where I feel most comfortable, and I am looking forward immensely to be back racing in Belgium.”

“We have a nice team lining up and I’m personally hoping for lots of wind and echelons – I love that! It makes for exciting racing, and you need to be switched on from the first kilometer in those conditions.”

Team Novo Nordisk at GP Criquelion Saturday 2nd March:

Sam Brand (GBR, 32)

Quinten De Graeve (BEL, 23)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 24)

Matyas Kopecky (CZ, 21)

Alessandro Perracchione (IT, 19)

Logan Phippen (USA, 31)

Filippo Ridolfo (IT, 22)

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