Team Novo Nordisk Heads to Italy for Tirreno-Adriatico Debut
02 March 2017
Total Distance: 1012.8 kilometers
Race Class: WT
Team Novo Nordisk is slated to make its debut at the iconic weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico when it kicks off on March 8th in Lido di Camaiore, Italy.
“Tirreno-Adriatico is one of the most prestigious races in professional cycling, and we feel we are ready to take on this amazing race,” said Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko. “We are going into Tirreno-Adriatico with realistic goals and expectations and plan to use the race as a way to build form for upcoming races, including Milano-San Remo.”
Tirreno-Adriatico brings Team Novo Nordisk back to Europe after two stage races in the United Arab Emirates. The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team is bringing primarily the same roster that competed in those early season races. Team Novo Nordisk’s squad includes Fabio Calabria (Australia), Romain Gioux (France), Joonas Henttala (Finland), David Lozano (Spain), Javier Megias (Spain), Andrea Peron (Italy), Charles Planet (France) and Martijn Verschoor (Netherlands). The only change is Gioux, who will be making his World Tour debut.
“Historically, this race has proven to be very unpredictable both from a sporting point of view and from ever-changing weather condition. It is one of the first races of the season, and it is hard to predict who will be in good form,” Davidenko said. “We know that weather could play a major role and our plan is to hunt for top 10 finishes on select stages and potentially go for breakaways in later stages.”
In its 52nd edition, Tirreno-Adriatico has something for every style of rider, including two time trials, two sprints stages, two ‘finisseur’ stages (meaning a stage designed with an uphill sprint), and a summit finish. Saturday’s Queen stage should be decisive for the overall race with a finish on Terminillo, which is 16 kilometers long and features maximum gradients of 12%.
The 1012.8 kilometers seven-day stage race starts along the Tyrrhenian coast, crosses central Italy while tackling several stunning climbs before finishing along the Adriatic coast. The route features more than 1,300 meters of climbing and opens with a flat, fast 22.7-kilometer team time trial; an event that Team Novo Nordisk remains fairly untested in. All eighteen World Tour teams will line-up with an additional four wild card professional continental squads totaling 22 teams and 176 riders taking the start.
“I see Tirreno as the real start for European racing, and it’ll have the best riders in the world. When we are in the Emirates, we were on mainly flat, wide roads. Tirreno will be the exact opposite, a hilly parcours on tiny Italian roads,” said Joonas Henttala. “This will be a hard race, and we are going in with the approach of taking it day-by-day. We will give it our best and aim to show our jersey at the front of the race.”
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Tirreno-Adriatico (March 8- 14):
Fabio Calabria (Australia), Romain Gioux (France), Joonas Henttala (Finland), David Lozano (Spain), Javier Megias (Spain), Andrea Peron (Italy), Charles Planet (France), Martijn Verschoor (Netherlands).
Sport Director: Lionel Marie (France), Massimo Podenzana (Italy).