Team Novo Nordisk target the breakaway at Saturday’s Milan – San Remo

18 March 2021

“We want to get out front more than ever!”

Atlanta, GA., 18th March, Team Novo Nordisk make a special return to one of cycling’s five monuments next Saturday, La Classicissima, Milan – San Remo.

After a couple of years away, the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team return to the Italian classic and will line up on the Via di Chiesa Rossa in Milan on March 20th with one thing in mind….getting in the breakaway and showing off that number on the jersey. The number 100. 100 years since the discovery of insulin. 100. years of life for people with diabetes. 100 years of opportunities for people who otherwise would not have had them.

2021 not only marks this significant anniversary, but also the team’s sixth appearance at this iconic race and Frenchman Charles Planet has been on the start line for Team Novo Nordisk every single time and his sixth time racing the historic 300 kilometer route will be extra special.

“What can I say about Milan – San Remo,” began Planet.  “The first year we did it, it was really daunting because its’ so long and then after that you know what’s coming, but it’s still so hard and the fatigue really sets in at the end but it’s an incredible feeling because it’s such a special race with so much history.”

 “I have been in the breakaway there twice and both times were really great experiences. You sense the importance and responsibility when you’re in the break at San Remo, everyone is watching you and inevitably due to the length of the race you’re out there for a long time. Every race is important, and we want to do well every time we put the jersey on, but this year is a very special year for us, and we are really focused on riding well next Saturday.”

Aiming for the breakaway alongside Planet will be Italians Andrea Peron and Umberto Poli both racing in their home classic and Spanish climber David Lozano and Dutchman Brian Kamstra.

The line-up is completed by experienced former Hungarian champion Peter Kusztor and Brit Sam Brand making his third appearance at the race.

“We are honored to come back to race in such a prestigious event on the 100th year anniversary since the lifesaving medicine, insulin was discovered,” began General Manager Vassili Davidenko.  “The world went upside down last year, but we have been working hard to prepare for this special season. We believe we have done a tremendous job so far and we are ready to highlight our jersey at Milan- San Remo.”

We have a realistic strategy, and we know clearly what we want to achieve. The race will be long, and it would be great to have our jersey in front of the peloton for many hours. This race is well followed by cycling fans and this is a great chance for us to tell our story and our mission.”

The only slight change to the original course is the exclusion of the transitional Turchino climb due to landslides back in 2019, that will be replaced by the Sassello – Colle del Giovo, followed the usual ascents of the Tre Capi and the iconic final climbs of the Cipressa and the Poggio before the finale on Via Roma.

“We have two of cycling’s monuments here in Italy,” said Peron. “Il Giro di Lombardia and Milano-Sanremo, so to be able to race at one of them again is just amazing. Especially as an Italian. One of the best moments of my career so far is being in the breakaway at Sanremo and I can’t wait to try and do that again.” 

“We know it will be hard, lots of teams will be trying to do the same thing, but that’s our objective and with this year being so important to everyone affected by diabetes, we want to get out front more than ever!”

Team Novo Nordisk at Milan – San Remo, Saturday 20th March:

Sam Brand (GB, 29)

Peter Kusztor (HUN, 36)

David Lozano (ESP, 32)

Brian Kamstra (NED, 27)

Charles Planet (FR, 27)

Andrea Peron (IT, 32)

Umberto Poli (IT, 24)

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