No luck in Volta ao Algarve Opener
17 February 2016
Race: Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta
Start/Finish: Lagos / Albufeira
Distance: 163.6 kilometers
Team Novo Nordisk was eager for a good showing at Wednesday’s Volta ao Algarve opener, but numerous crashes and unfortunately timed flats thwarted any plans for a good position going into the sprint finish.
192 riders from 12 World Tour teams and 12 Pro Continental/Continental teams took start line in Lagos, and the race’s opening stage kicked off with a flurry activity. “Our goal for today was to cover the breakaway,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics, Vassili Davidenko, said, “and to protect Andrea Peron and Martijn Verschoor at the front for the final kilometers. But some very narrow roads and bumpy surfaces resulted in several flat tires (Martijn even had to have both wheels replaced!). Once Verschoor fell behind, our riders shifted all their focus to protecting Peron.”
As the race approach its final kilometers, the peloton began reel in the breakaway and the Team Novo Nordisk squad worked well to protect Peron for the final sprint. Two crashes inside the final 10km upset the peloton and took down Verschoor and teammate Charles Planet (both were able to finish the race), but the sprinters were able stay out of trouble and remain up front.
“With about 1km to go,” Davidenko said, “Andrea was at the front as the sprinters approached a roundabout. One group took the roundabout from right while several riders cut the course, taking the roundabout from left- which was the shorter way. Unfortunately, Andrea lost his position in this activity, and it was impossible for him to recover with less than 1km to go.” Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick Step) went on to win the bunch sprint and Javier Megias finished best for Team Novo Nordisk at 53rd, coming in at the same time as the stage winner.
“It wasn’t the day we’d hope for,” Davidenko concludes, “but motivation is high and we hope for a better luck tomorrow.”
- 1st: Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick Step), 3:52:35
- 2nd: André Greipel (Lotto Soudal), “
- 3rd: Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), “
Team Novo Nordisk Results:
- 53rd: Javier Megias, “
- 63rd: Andrea Peron, “
- 94th: David Lozano, “
- 120th: Joonas Henttala, :18 behind Kittel
- 127th: Stephen Clancy, “
- 171st: Corentin Cherhal, 2:09 behind Kittel
- 183rd: Martijn Verschoor, 7:21 behind Kittel
- 188th: Charles Planet, “
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing on Thursday, February 17, at Le Tour de Filipinas. This will be the team’s second appearance at the race.