Race: Post Danmark Rundt, Stage 2
Start/Finish: Ringkøbing /Aarhus, Denmark
Distance: 235 kilometers
Aarhus, Denmark — Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet excelled in a late race attack that not only showed the Frenchman’s mid-season form but solidified his confidence heading into a long block of racing.
“I’m really happy today because after a big gap from racing during the summer, I didn’t know where my form was,” Planet said. “I worked really for my form and now I can see that it’s okay. I felt really good, and I have more confidence for the next few days and races.”
At 235 kilometers, Wednesday’s Stage 2 served as the longest stage in the race’s 25-year history. Six riders attacked and quickly built a sizable gap of more than seven minutes as they raced across Denmark from Ringkøbing to Aarhus. With 60 km remaining, the breakaway splintered. Planet recognized an opportunity and as some of the break was swept up, he attacked. Several riders followed and eventually they formed the four-man lead group. Despite their efforts, the peloton reeled them back. Yet Planet wasn’t ready to give up and attempted to get into another break, but the peloton kept the race well managed. As they reached the finishing circuits around Aarhus, several riders got out front but the race came down to a bunch sprint with Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) winning.
“We missed the break and I saw an opportunity in the last 60 km, so I tried and attacked,” Planet said. “One guy came behind me and we worked together. We caught the rider who had already attacked and all three of us took turns, but the peloton was fast, and everyone was attacking from behind. When we were back in the bunch, I wanted to attack one more time because you never know.”
Results: Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) took the win ahead of teammate Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka). Soren Anderson (Team Trefor-Blue Water) rounded out the podium.
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling squad, continues racing at the Post Danmark Rundt on Thursday with Stage 3. The 185-km race serves as the race’s Queen Stage with three categorized climbs and one intermediate sprint before reaching three hilly finishing laps around Vejle.