Race: Japan Cup Road Race
Start/Finish: Utsunomiya/ Utsunomiya, Japan
Distance: 144.2 kilometers
Utsunomiya, Japan — Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor featured in the main breakaway for more than 110 kilometers on Sunday’s Japan Cup Road Race.
“It was full gas from the start going up the climb. We could feel the peloton wanting to close the gap, so we went up that climb so fast,” Verschoor said. “In the end, I did 2,800 meters of climbing today. It felt amazing being solo and getting to show the Changing Diabetes jersey in front of the incredible Japanese crowds.”
The 144.2-km race featured 14 laps around a 10.3-km course that included an 185-meter climb. Immediately from the start, several riders attacked on the climb and Verschoor quickly responded. A seven-man group formed and they built a maximum gap of nearly four minutes. With only three laps remaining and the peloton closing in, Verschoor set off solo. He led the race on his own for half a lap before three riders from the peloton bridged up. Soon a reduced peloton, which included Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias and Charles Planet, absorbed Verschoor’s group. By the final lap, the peloton was diminished to an elite nine-man group. Heading up the climb for the last time, Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) attacked and only three riders could grab his wheel. The Dutchman went on to take the win with Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias taking 15th from the chase group. Planet finished as the third best U23 rider of the race.
“While 15th was good, I’m positive I can do better. I’m already looking forward to next year and fighting for the podium,” Megias said.
Results: Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) sprinted from the final breakaway to take the win ahead of Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Yukiya Arashiro (Japanese National Team).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, resumes racing on Tuesday with the nine-day Tour of Hainan in China.