Race: Tour of Britain, Stage 1
Start/Finish: Liverpool City Center, England, United Kingdom
Distance: 104.8 kilometer
Liverpool, England —Team Novo Nordisk kicked off the Friends Life Tour of Britain on Sunday with a 104.8-kilometer circuit race around Liverpool. The riders tackled eight laps around a 13.1-km course.
An early four-man group earned a maximum gap of nearly two minutes before getting caught on the final lap, setting the stage for a bunch sprint. Several Team Novo Nordisk riders fought for front position heading into the finish, including Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor and Charles Planet. Marcel Kittel (Team Giant Shimano) took the win with Charles Planet finishing as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider in 22nd place.
“When we started the final laps around Liverpool, I knew the sprint finish was going to be incredibly chaotic and high paced,” Verschoor said. “I managed to get myself into the top 50, but the pace kept cranking faster and faster. We fought to keep moving up but this was a really strong field leading us into the finish.”
Results: Marcel Kittel (Team Giant-Shimano) sprinted to the win ahead of Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the Friends Life Tour of Britain on Monday with Stage 2, a 200.8-k race that begins in Knowsley. The riders will tackle three intermediate sprints and two categorized climbs before finishing in Llandudno.
(Photo: ©Larry Hickmott)