Tour du Rwanda opener sees Planet back and just outside top ten

19 February 2023

Team Novo Nordisk got the 2023 season underway in a positive fashion at the 26th Tour du Rwanda with returning French star Charles Planet finding his place in the bunch again and sprinting to 13th on stage one in Rwamagana.

Sports Director Gennady Mikhayov:

“It was a short opening stage at 115km and I think it helped that we arrived earlier in the week to acclimatize and get some easy training days in the before the race started. I’m happy with how we started and it’s especially nice to see Charles start strongly after the difficulties of the last two years with illness and then a major crash.”

“The guys rode with maturity, stayed together, and positioned Charles well for the final and I think after today his confidence will come back very quickly. You never know how someone will react to setbacks and Charles’ attitude is a great example for everyone, it’s hard settling back into a fast-moving peloton, because it’s a stressful environment and he did well today. It’s a solid start for us to build on.”

Charles Planet:

“Today was a good day to be back in the peloton, it was a nice stage and a clear opportunity for the sprinters, but with a little kick going into the last kilometer and I’m really happy at how my reflexes came back in the final.”

“I was pretty emotional at the end it feels so good to be back racing with the team after all the hard work I’ve put into the recovery process and it’s amazing how my brain and body clicked into gear being back in the bunch.

“I said to the guys I wanted to give it a try at the finish, and they rode strongly all day. Peter in particular was very impressive at the end, he dropped me off fifth or sixth wheel, but I was boxed in a little and slipped back in the last few hundred meters which is a shame. But I think it was a good start from us all today and it’s great to feel the confidence coming back.”

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