Scorching Temperatures Test Team Novo Nordisk at Tour of Slovakia

29 June 2024

The penultimate day of the Tour of Slovakia was characterized by mountain primes. The 183 km route led from Partizánske to Ružomberok, moving the race into the central part of Slovakia. The hilly terrain of Vtáčnik and the Kremnica Mountains offered a generous number of hills, which posed a challenge for Team Novo Nordisk. The race ultimately finished in the historic Andrej Hlinka Square in Ružomberok.

“The peloton was active, trying to form a breakaway from the start, with several attacks. The temperatures were high throughout the day, so we focused mainly on proper hydration,” said the sport director Massimo Podenzana. “Eventually, the breakaway of the day was formed, and the peloton rode well. The situation became more difficult later when the pack’s pace significantly increased, reducing the breakaway’s lead. Many cyclists, some of our riders included, dropped on the climbs.”

Although the finish was flat, it was preceded by two ascents up Kalvária hill, where the maximum gradient reached up to 15%, so it was not expected that the classic sprinters would be the first to cross the line.

Podenzana continued, “7 km from the finish, the peloton was completely shattered. Our team tried to save as much energy as possible for tomorrow’s challenging mountain stage.”

Neo-pro Antonio Polga shared his thoughts on today’s stage, “It was a hot day, and I felt strong and had good sensations. I tried to stay with the group in the final 10 km, but the climb was tough.”

“However, I managed my energy well until the end and fought like a warrior to catch as many riders as I could on the last lap of the final circuit,” continued Polga. “I’m happy with my progress over the last few months, this was a good result. I’m motivated and confident that I will continue to improve as a rider in the coming months. I’m eager to see how far I can go.”

Photo credit: Okolo Slovenska/Sona Nikova

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