Team Novo Nordisk open 2023 season at Tour du Rwanda
17 February 2023
The world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team head to Africa this week to begin the 2023 season at the eight-day Tour du Rwanda.
“The start of a new season is always exciting,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “It’s the first step on the path to achieving our objectives for the year, so consequently it’s an important step and we want to get our 2023 campaign off to a positive start and all our efforts are focused towards making that happen at the Tour du Rwanda.”
“This race has a special place in our hearts and memories after David Lozano’s stage win back in 2018 and the reception, we receive from the fans in Rwanda is always off the scale incredible.”
French talent Charles Planet is set to lead the line alongside experienced Spanish climber Lozano.
For Planet the last 18 months have been beset by challenges including a severe bout of Covid resulting in lung failure and in early 2022 suffering an almost career ending crash with a car while at home training in the Vosges region of France. After months of relentless work Planet has come out of the other side of the tunnel and into the light
“It almost feels like I’m ‘giving it another shot,” began Planet. “After coming back at the end of last season only to crash out of the Tour of Slovakia and end up back on crutches really set me back. Psychologically as much as physically. So, this time around it really feels like another new start and Rwanda is a great place to be making that start.”
“My numbers from training are good, I can see the results of months of hard work, but the training results need to translate into race results and now, as we start racing is where the real work begins. It’s going to be a little strange being back in the middle of a fast-moving peloton again, but I’m excited to be back and looking forward to hitting the ground running.”
French climber Lucas Dauge returns to one of his favorite races alongside Hungarian veteran Peter Kusztor and 31-year-old Brit Sam Brand completing the five-man team.
Starting and finishing in the capital Kigali, the 2023 race marks the 26th edition of the UCI 2.1 category event and will cover over 1,000km in eight days of challenging racing.
Team Novo Nordisk at Tour du Rwanda, 19th – 26th February:
Sam Brand (GBR, 31)
Lucas Dauge (FR, 26)
Peter Kusztor (HUN, 38)
David Lozano (ESP, 34)
Charles Planet (FR, 29)
Sunday 19th February, Stage 1: Kigali Golf – Rwamagana, 115.6km
Monday 20th February, Stage 2: Kigali – Gisagara, 132.9km
Tuesday 21st February, Stage 3: Huye – Musanze, 199.5km
Wednesday 22nd February, Stage 4: Musanze – Karongi, 138.5km
Thursday 23rd February, Stage 5: Rusizi – Rubavu, 195.5km
Friday 24th February, Stage 6: Rubavu – Gicumbi, 157km
Saturday 25th February, Stage 7: Nyamata – Mont Kigali, 115.8km
Sunday 26th February, Stage 8: Kigali – Kigali, 75.3km