TNN riders looking forward to racing in Antalya and Oman
08 February 2022
Team Novo Nordisk will be getting the 2022 season underway with a double program. 10 February will see the team line up at both the Tour of Antalya (10 – 13 Feb) and the Tour of Oman (10 – 15 Feb).
Gerd de Keijzer who starts his season in Oman has endured two years interrupted by setbacks but has called this winter the best he’s ever had. “Everything just worked out well. Training has been great with my coach and I haven’t had any injuries or illnesses. No setbacks.”
In the past, de Keijzer’s training has not only been hindered by colds and flu but a recurring knee injury. The injury kept him from fulfilling a meaningful race calendar in 2021.
“There wasn’t much racing when covid started then in the winter from 2020 to 2021 a knee injury stopped me from training. When I tried to come back I had the knee issue in May last year again, it was frustrating.”
The injury caused de Keijzer months of anguish so his excitement in returning to racing pain-free is visibly evident. He’s also been happy to complete a productive training camp with the team in Spain last week.
“I think the team is ready for racing. You can see everyone has been putting in the work. I think everyone is confident,” the Dutchman continued.
Robbe Ceurens is one of four new signings to the Pro Team having stepped up from the Devo Team last year. He already made his debut as a stagiaire last season in the Tour of Denmark but says he feels like this is the “real start” to his career.
“We put in some good hours at the camp and I feel ready to start the first race of the season. I’m still nervous to start the season with the pros, this feels like my first real start with the pro team. I’m curious to see how I will feel in the race because coming out of the winter, you never know how the legs will feel so I’m quite nervous,” he said.
Ceurens escaped the cold winter in Belgium for a few more sunny weeks in the south of Spain to be adequately prepared for his debut professional season. He says he tried to approach the winter to the best of his abilities and is motivated to achieve success with the whole team in Antalya.
Like Ceurens, Filippo Ridolfo is also in his first professional season, graduating from the Devo Team. The winter and training camp in Alicante, Spain was a good one for him and he can’t wait to get racing in Oman.
“I was on a good level when we got to camp but now I feel even better. I’ve just had 40 hours of training in ten days at the camp so it was really good. Now I have some rest at home before we start preparing for the first race.”
A talented climber, the Italian says he’s already scoped out the more hilly stages in the race. “There will be a lot of World Tour teams so I am looking forward to the racing. Usually, I don’t get very nervous before races, I go there and do the best I can. I looked at the stages and there are some hilly ones which I am looking forward to.”