Team Novo Nordisk Kicks Off 2016 Season with Australian Debut
25 January 2016
Race: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Jan 31) and Jayco Herald Sun Tour (Feb 3-7)
Total Distance: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: 174 km and Jayco Herald Sun Tour: 540.4 km
Race Class: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race: 1.HC and Jayco Herald Sun Tour: 2.1
Team Novo Nordisk is set to make its first appearance racing in Australia beginning with the one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and shortly followed by the five-day Jayco Herald Sun Tour. The roster for both races includes Team Novo Nordisk’s two Australian riders, James Glasspool and Chris Williams.
“It’s going to be our first appearance in Australia and these are great races to kick off our 2016 season,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “We are going into these races with limited knowledge but are excited for new events and a new experience. Like all professional teams, we will adapt to the new conditions quickly.”
Fresh from training camp in Calpe, Spain, Team Novo Nordisk is taking a motivated six-man squad looking to make an impact on the two Australian races. In addition to Glasspool and Williams, Team Novo Nordisk’s roster features Scott Ambrose (NZL), Corentin Cherhal (FRA), Gerd de Keijzer (NED), and Brian Kamstra (NED).
“These races, particularly the Sun Tour, have really stepped up the level of talent in the field,” Davidenko said. “We’ve set realistic goals and have a strategy in place to achieve them. Looking at our latest physiological tests, we made solid improvements since last winter and are looking forward to comparing ourselves to other riders in the race.”
Team Novo Nordisk’s squad includes five neo-pros, so the team will look to experienced veteran and Brisbane native Williams for guidance throughout the races. In his fifth year as a professional cyclist, 34-year-old Williams encompasses what it means to be a true domestique and excels at getting into breakaways.
“The World Tour riders will make these races challenging and all of the smaller Australian teams are in great shape after racing nationals in January. It means everyone arrives keen to race as hard as possible to test themselves against the pro riders. For me, this is actually the first time my friends and family will see me race with Team Novo Nordisk,” Williams said. “The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a nice rolling course, which suits my style of riding, but I know the wind will pick up and play its part in the race. As for the Sun Tour, I know one of my teammates already has an eye on the prologue.”
The one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a 174-kilometer race that begins and ends in Geelong. The design of the course is a traditional Classics style and ends with three circuits around part of the 2010 UCI World Championship Course.
On Wednesday February 3rd, the Jayco Herald Sun Tour kicks off with a 2.1-km prologue starting in Federation Square and ending at Queensbridge Square in the heart of Melbourne. The race then heads through the Yarra Valley for Stage 1 before a 144-km race across the farmlands of South Gippsland. Stage 3 is the longest of the race at 146.2-km. The five-day race ends along the Mornington Peninsula and features three challenging climbs up Arthurs Seat Road.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Jayco Herald Sun Tour (Jan 31 & Feb 3-7):
Scott Ambrose (NZL), Corentin Cherhal (FRA), Gerd de Keijzer (NED), James Glasspool (AUS), Brian Kamstra (NED), Chris Williams (AUS).
Sport Director: Pavel Cherkasov (USA).