Sogliano al Rubicone, Italy — Team Novo Nordisk’s neo-pro Charles Planet finished as the team’s best-placed rider on stage 2 of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
“Planet showed his growth and overall potential in today’s race,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “He is still finding his form and adjusting to racing on the road, but today’s race made me eager to see what he’ll be capable of later this season.”
Friday’s 160.2-kilometer race served as the only mountain stage at Coppi e Bartali. Beginning in Sant’Angelo di Gatteo and featuring five passes over La Ville di Monte Tiffi, a climb with gradients topping out at 18 percent, an early break of 12 riders set the pace for most of the race. When that group was caught, the peloton splintered into several groups with Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) and Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani CSF) attacking on the final climb. Kennaugh soloed to the win and took over the overall race lead.
For his part, Planet, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10, spent most of the race in a chase group trying to bridge up to the breakaway. The French rider is in his first year with Team Novo Nordisk, yet he is a celebrated mountain bike and cyclocross rider. While racing as a stagiaire in 2013 for Team Novo Nordisk, Planet won the Litespeed BMW Twilight Criterium and was ninth overall at the Georgia Cycling Grand Prix.
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first diabetes pro cycling team, resumes racing Saturday with stage 3 of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. The 158.4-km race around Crevalcore features 12 laps around a 13.2-km course.