Phil Southerland, CEO & Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk
Charles’s growth and development since he raced with Team Novo Nordisk’s development team have been tremendous. This season, he made a major mental step forward that led to a jump in his physical prowess. He puts his heart and soul into being the best athlete and holds himself accountable every single day.  
Phil Southerland, CEO & Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk
Atlanta, GA,
12
September
2019
|
02:25 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Charles Planet Extends Contract with Team Novo Nordisk for 2020

ATLANTA, Ga., September 12, 2019 — Frenchman Charles Planet will remain in the Team Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes jersey through the 2020 season with the team adding an additional year to his existing contract. The 2019 season has seen Planet earn the Most Active Rider jersey at the Tour of Pologne, the team’s first overall World Tour jersey in its seven-year history.

“We are pleased to announce that we have extended Charles contract through the 2020 season. Charles’s growth and development since he raced with Team Novo Nordisk’s development team have been tremendous. This season, he made a major mental step forward that led to a jump in his physical prowess,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said. “He puts his heart and soul into being the best athlete and holds himself accountable every single day. Charles serves as an example to every young rider in our program to what's possible with hard work and self-confidence.”

Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko explained that 25-year-old Planet received attention from other pro teams and the decision to extend his contract is a sign of the team’s confidence in his ongoing development.

“Determination, believing in success, and consistent hard work have placed Charles where he's now. He's a fighter and understands the basic rule of success in pro cycling: if you don't try - nothing will happen, if you race in the back - nothing will happen,” Davidenko said. “It doesn't surprise me that other teams were talking to Charles; every team wants a rider on board with Charles’s qualities. At this stage, Charles is still developing, and we will provide complete support to take him to the next level. One day he will be ready to race with a World Tour team and participate in a Grand Tour.”

Back in 2013, Planet was the Lorraine mountain bike and cyclocross champion and was part of the winning squad at the 2013 French National Mountain Bike Team Relay Championship. He reached out to Team Novo Nordisk and said he’d be interested in switching to road racing from mountain biking. The team invited him to race as a stagiaire and progressed through the team’s development pipeline.

“After so many years together, Team Novo Nordisk is my second family and I’m happy to continue with this project. The atmosphere within the team is super and everyone is fully committed to our mission and helping us achieve success,” Planet said. “Above everything else, I’m proud to continue helping people with diabetes chase their dreams. I will always fight for those people. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t believe I could be a professional athlete, so my goal is to help everyone affected by this condition to be as happy as I am now living with diabetes.”

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 10 years old, Planet has had a standout 2019 season as a formidable breakaway rider. He has spent more than a dozen race days off the front at the UAE Tour, Milan-San Remo, Tour of California, Tour of Slovenia, and Tour of Pologne. The aggressive tactic earned him the Most Courageous Rider jersey on the opening stage of the Tour of California and put him in the Intermediate Sprint jersey for four days at the UAE Tour and the King of the Mountains jersey for three days at the Tour of Pologne.

“From the first day of this season, I’ve only had amazing memories, but the standout achievement is the Most Active Rider jersey at the Tour of Pologne," Planet described. "I knew I was able to get a jersey on Stage 1, but to hold it until the end of a seven-day World Tour stage race complete with some incredibly hard racing against some of the best riders in the world was unreal.”

Additional season highlights include seventh overall at the Tour of Estonia after he finished fourth on the opening prologue and 10thon Stage 1. At the Post Danmark Rundt, he earned a top 10 finish on the race’s Queen stage.

“Start with the UAE Tour, to San Remo, California, Poland, and so on, Charles has had a goal this season and continuously has fought for it. He is becoming the modern-day Jacky Durand,” Southerland said. “I want to see him continue on the breakaway journey, but also look to races where he can get results at the finish. Taking 10thplace in Denmark on the most difficult stage is a sign of his progress. I want Charles to believe he can win, and together we will see what happens.

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Images are ©Mario Stiehl and Team Novo Nordisk