Team Novo Nordisk Makes 2020 Season Debut at the Tour Colombia
06 February 2020
Race: Tour Colombia (February 11-February 16, 2020)
Total Distance: 890.7 kilometers
Race Class: UCI 2.1
Atlanta, GA — American UCI Pro Team, Team Novo Nordisk will start its 2020 season in South America at the six-day Tour of Colombia, marking the debut appearance of the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team at the UCI 2.1 event.
The third edition of the Tour Colombia brings altitude to the table in spades with 2020 marking another step in the development of what is rapidly becoming South America’s premier stage race.
“I am very excited to add in a new race and new country to our racing schedule. The parcours for Colombia is open for a lot of opportunities, from sprints to breakaways and top mountain finishes. Yet it will be the high elevation that will make the big difference,” said Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko. ”This is our first time in Colombia and we want to inspire everyone affected by diabetes in the country. We aim to gain experience and learn from the race. It will be important for us to build our form gradually and we will be looking into all possible opportunities at the race, but our primary goal is to have a strong 2020.”
Covering 890 kilometers over six days of racing and never dropping below 2,500 altitude meters (8,250ft), the race will start with a 16.7-km individual time trial before taking in some breathtaking rolling terrain over the mid stages and concluding in a testing finale up the fearsome Alto El Verjón (3,266m/10,777ft) above Bogota on what will be the queen stage and decisive last day of racing.
“We will head to Colombia a week before the race to adapt to the time zone, altitude, and meet with our fans. We expect a very tough race due to a strong peloton, a very challenging parcours, and racing at extremely high elevation that will affect the majority of the peloton,” explained Davidenko.
Team Novo Nordisk is taking a balanced squad into the race with the experienced David Lozano leading the line with support coming from Oliver Behringer (SUI), the versatile duo of Sam Brand (GBR) and Joonas Henttala (FIN), sprint opportunist Andrea Peron (ITA) and climber Ulugbek Saidov (UZB) completing the line-up.
Now in his eighth year with Team Novo Nordisk, Spanish climber Lozano is an 11-time Spanish national champion in mountain-bike and cyclocross racing. His 2019 season saw him win the mountains classification at the Tour of Taiyuan along with a top 10 overall finish at the Chinese race. Additionally, he took sixth on the general classification at the Tour du Rwanda.
“I’ve heard the Colombia Tour is a crazy hard race because of the altitude and the challenging parcours, but I also know it is extremely beautiful with lots of crowds surrounding the race. This makes the suffering worth it,” said Lozano. “I started last year at altitude in Rwanda, but Colombia is different. I’m confident about my winter training and plan to take this first race seriously while also thinking ahead to the next objectives in Rwanda.”
Team Novo Nordisk will go into the Tour Colombia on the back of some solid winter preparation with two training camps in the legs and a schedule that anticipates an early start to the year’s racing calendar.
“Our preparations have been focused on heading into the early season in the best shape of our eight-year history. We already have some long miles racked up and should be ready for the first three stage races that come in February,” said Davidenko.
The Tour Colombia will see six WorldTour, five ProTour, 10 Continental and 3 wildcards take the start line in Cre for an individual race against the clock on Tuesday February 11th..
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Tour Colombia
Oliver Behringer (SUI, 23)
Sam Brand (GBR, 28)
Joonas Henttala (FIN, 28)
David Lozano (ESP, 31)
Andrea Peron (ITA, 31)
Ulugbek Saidov (UZB, 23)
Sport Director: Pavel Cherkasov (USA)
Tour of Colombia 2020 Stages:
11th Feb: Stage 1 | Tunja – Tunja, ITT, 16.7km
12th Feb: Stage 2 | Paipa – Duitama, 152.4km
13th Feb: Stage 3 | Paipa – Sogamoso, 177.7km
14th Feb: Stage 4 | Paipa – Santa Rosa de Viterbo, 168.6km
15th Feb: Stage 5 | Paipa – Zipaquirá, 174.9km
16th Feb: Stage 6 | Zipaquirá – El Once/Alto del Verjón, 182.6km