Team Novo Nordisk confirm 18-rider roster for 2022
20 December 2021
A balance of youth and experience characterizes the 18-rider squad for Team Novo Nordisk in 2022 with the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team bringing in four, new young faces to race and develop alongside existing talent.
A celebratory 2021 season was not without its challenges and uphill battles, but the main targets were achieved and achieved in some style. Italian Andrea Peron and Frenchman Charles Planet kicked things off in March by animating the breakaway at Milan-Sanremo and Joonas Henttala finally reached the apex by taking a solo victory in the road race at the Finnish national championships.
Those were the goals for the 100 years since the discovery of insulin. Get in the break at a monument and bring home a win. By no means were they only the season high points. Mehdi Benhamouda and Planet combining with flair for a top ten in Serbia, Declan Irvine stepping up to lead in Denmark and Peron rounding things off in style with 8th on the last stage of CRO-Race on the last day of the season were all emotional. But Sanremo and Henttala bringing home the team’s first national champions jersey provided the defining moments.
Leaders Planet, Peron and David Lozano all return to carry the baton into 2022 with new signings Filippo Ridolfo, Jan Dunnewind and Robbe Ceurens all making the step up from the development team to join talented U19 Czech road champion Matyas Kopecky who makes the jump straight into the pro team.
“We’re moving forward,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “It’s the most important thing and the best thing we can do. To progress you need to make changes, develop and give people the environment and opportunity to learn and grow. That’s what we’re doing and aiming to provide for our athletes, we’ve brought four fantastic new, young riders in and that’s a continuation of our development framework that we implemented ten years ago.”
“There’s no doubt that we set ourselves high targets for 2021 and to have achieved our two major goals with the breakaway in Sanremo and Joonas’ victory in the nationals was great, but we wanted more from an important year and our next steps will be about working towards hitting all our objectives and our mix of new faces and experienced talent will help us reach those goals.”
The defining characteristic of TNN is that every single rider races a world championship every day. Managing diabetes and performing at the highest level of professional cycling to give hope to a unique global community.
“Diabetes only chooses the champions,” began CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland. “But more importantly, it chooses people who are ready to embrace a challenge and repeatedly overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Every single rider for Team Novo Nordisk is that kind of champion, and we are unified behind our main goal for 2022, to have fun and to get back to having fun doing what we do.”
“2021 was a difficult year from the perspective of results, but an amazing year from the perspective of resilience. We’re professionals and we learn our lessons to help us make the necessary adjustments to set us up with the right platform to get back to the attacking style we have become known for. The theme we have set for 2022 is to have fun. Our riders are heroes to so many people affected by diabetes, and I want them all to truly embrace and enjoy the mark they are leaving on the world, via their passion, the bike.”
Time moves forward, not backwards. Professional cycling is no different and the new season lies ahead, filled with opportunities to develop and shine.
“The balance feels right this year,” continued Southerland. “We have hunger, talent, youth and experience. Key riders remaining and four young, exciting riders coming through with Filippo, Jan, Matyas and Robbe. All of those guys came through our own hero factory. Matyas is a notable exception having truly amazed us at Talent ID camp and earning a move straight to the pro team. These new riders know the team and are already part of the TNN family and they’re the latest testimony that our development system works.”
“Our experienced leaders are going to be just as important for our new faces as they are to our performances. We have Andrea consistent as ever and hungry for a new style of racing. David, who stepped up and showed himself in a big way this year, and of course the return of our own Captain Marvel, Charles who is ready to re-ignite the fire in Team Novo Nordisk.”
A long season is coming up with 2022 set to hold more race days as pro cycling looks to move on from the restrictions enforced by Covid in the last two years. Depth of the squad and strength in numbers will be vital, but one thing that won’t change is the message that Team Novo Nordisk carries around the world to every team presentation and every finish line.
“Year on year we show our capacity for making an impact on the world,” concluded Southerland. “We don’t need results to achieve our mission, but it excites me to see the hunger our riders show in their desire to make an impact in the races. Our message and our mission are unique, but our objectives once we hit the start line are the same as everyone else’s. We want to win, we’re here to win and we are ready to give everything to make that happen.”
“From the breakaway to the bunch sprints, you’ll be seeing the Team Novo Nordisk jersey next year and it’s our goal to keep driving change in diabetes and show our jersey as a platform to unite the diabetes world, while also inspiring the next generation of heroes to dream big.”
Team Novo Nordisk for 2022:
Hamish Beadle – NZL
Mehdi Benhamouda – FR
Sam Brand – GBR
Robbe Ceurens – BEL
Stephen Clancy – IRL
Lucas Dauge – FR
Jan Dunnewind – NED
Gerd de Keijzer – NED
Joonas Henttala – FIN
Declan Irvine – AUS
Matyas Kopecky – CZ
Peter Kusztor – HUN
David Lozano – ESP
Andrea Peron – IT
Logan Phippen – USA
Charles Planet – FR
Umberto Poli – IT
Filippo Ridolfo – IT
About Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.