Dapeng Bay, Taiwan — Team Novo Nordisk’s Joonas Henttala starred in the day’s main breakaway, which held on until the final five kilometers, on stage 5 of the Tour de Taiwan.
Thursday’s final stage of the Tour de Taiwan was a 168-kilometers loop around Dapeng Bay. Race leader Remy Di Gregorio (Team La Pomme Marseille 13) maintained his lead by only four seconds, so his team kept control on the race to protect his lead. Seventy kilometers into the race, a group of 12 riders broke away, which featured Team Novo Nordisk’s Joonas Henttala.
That group eventually shrank to an elite five-man breakaway including Henttala. Concerned with Di Gregorio’s overall win, Team La Pomme Marseille 13 chased down the break and caught the escapes with five kilometers to go.
“Getting a breakaway to form was really difficult with the speed and intensity of the race,” explained Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov. “Joonas was really happy with his race today, as am I. Today was a great learning experience for the whole team.”
Fabian Schnaidt (Team Vorarlberg) won the ensuing photo finish ahead of Benjamin Giraud (La Pomme Marseille 13 Team). Nicolas Lefrançois finished 23rd, in the same time as Schnaidt. Di Gregorio held onto the overall win while Henttala finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider overall in 42nd place, 10:20 behind Di Gregorio.
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team starts racing again at Saturday’s Ronde van Drenthe, a single-day race held in the Netherlands.