Team Novo Nordisk Ready for Fourth Tour of Croatia
10 April 2018
Race: Tour of Croatia (17 – 22 April 2018)
Total Distance: 1066 kilometers
Race Class: 2.HC
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, will take its fourth consecutive Tour of Croatia start when the six-day race kicks off on Tuesday, April 17 in Osijek.
“The Tour of Croatia is always an amazing race with incredible landscapes and many opportunities for our riders to earn strong results and inspire people affected by diabetes,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “We are excited to be back racing in Croatia and the team is heading there with more experience, which I believe will help us handle any challenges the race throws our way.”
Team Novo Nordisk is taking a squad mixed with youth and experience, including the team’s 2018 breakaway specialist Charles Planet and Italian sprinter Andrea Peron. The team’s full roster featuresBrian Kamstra (NED), David Lozano (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Umberto Poli (ITA), Rik van IJzendoorn (NED). Kamstra and Poli are making their race debuts.
The Tour of Croatia is the only UCI stage race in the Balkan country and is best known for its scenic coastlines and rugged interior. The race features a strong field, including World Tour and Pro Continental teams, to contest the 1,066-kilometers of racing.
“This year’s edition will be extremely challenging; it is over 1,000 kilometers of racing in only six stages with the two opening days over 200 kilometers,” Davidenko said. “I’ll be looking for Charles to be in the break and he should be strong on the climbs, while Andrea will be our go-to rider for the bunch sprints.”
Planet kicked off the 2018 race season at Dubai Tour where he starred in the breakaway on stages 1 and 2. He went on to Abu Dhabi Tour where he made the breaks again on stages 1 and 2. Yet it was when the team raced at the longest one-day professional race on the calendar, Milan-San Remo, that the 24-year-old Frenchman achieved a career milestone when he featured in the nine-man breakaway.
“This will be my third Tour of Croatia and I look forward to racing in this beautiful county. The landscapes are amazing and there are plenty of opportunities to showcase our jersey. Similar to earlier races this year, I’m already thinking about the breakaway,” Planet said. “After Milan-San Remo, I took a little break. I was really tired after the first block of racing and all the pressure I had put on myself to show up in my best form. I’ve felt like my form has almost returned and I look forward to giving my best in Croatia.”
The race kicks off in Croatia’s fourth largest city, Osijek, with a 227-km stage that features one categorized climb and three intermediate sprints before a flat finish into Koprivnica.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Tour of Croatia (Apr 17-22):
Brian Kamstra (NED), David Lozano (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Umberto Poli (ITA), Rik van IJzendoorn (NED).
Sport Director: Massimo Podenzana (ITA).