18 Mar 2017

TEAM Pro Team

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Team Novo Nordisk Umberto Poli recaps the 2017 Milan-San Remo, where the 20-year-old Italian neo-pro rode in the day’s main breakaway.



2017 Milan-San Remo

Race: Milan-San Remo

Start/Finish: Milan/San Remo, Italy

Distance: 293.0 kilometers

San Remo, Italy —Team Novo Nordisk’s Italian neo-pro, Umberto Poli, rode in the main breakaway at the 108th edition of Milan-San Remo. The 20-year-old Venetian-native only received the news that he would be racing at the Monument on Wednesday. The 293-kilometer race is the longest one-day race in the world.

“It was an amazing day. Just two days ago, I called the youngest rider on the team and added him to the roster. He thought I was joking when I first called him,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Senior Vice President Athletics & GM Vassili Davidenko said. “He ended up getting into the breakaway and not only does he race with diabetes but he was the youngest rider in the entire peloton.”

Saturday’s race began under clear, warm skies. Several Team Novo Nordisk riders lined up near the front, and within moments, Umberto Poli attacked and nine riders followed. The 10-man breakaway was kept to a manageable gap throughout the race. As they reached the Cipressa, the group splintered and all escapees were reeled in.

“When this opportunity was presented to me on Wednesday, it was amazing. Then this morning, I met Ernesto Colnago at the start, and he said to me, ‘You are young. Attack! Go in the breakaway,” Poli said. “We knew that we didn’t have a rider for the top 10 or top 20, so we focused completely on the breakaway. All the riders worked well together in the break, and after about 235 kilometers, Massimo [Podenzana] recommended that I focus on recovering for the climbs. I listened to Pode and dropped back so I could save my legs, get over the two climbs and survive this nearly 300-kilometer race. When I finished, I was so extremely tired, but I feel so incredibly happy.”

As the peloton summited the Poggio, race favorite Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacked and only Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) could grab his wheel. The trio battled it out on the descent into San Remo and with a chasing peloton bearing down the former world champion Kwiatkowski took the win.

“Umberto raced over 250 kilometers in the break, and that is absolutely amazing. I’m so proud of him and this serves as another sign of the growth of our team,” Davidenko said. “He came from our Talent ID program and raced on our development team. We have watched him grow and develop, and I truly believe he has a bright future in cycling.”



  • 1st: Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky): 7:08:39
  • 2nd: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): same time as Kwiatkowski
  • 3rd: Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors): same time as Kwiatkowski

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • David Lozano: 104, 5:24 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Charles Planet: 142, 8:34 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Javier Megias: 159, 8:34 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Martijn Verschoor: 166, 10:44 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Fabio Calabria: 183, 14:15 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Rik van IJzendoorn: 190, 16:40 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Umberto Poli: 192, 17:22 behind Kwiatkowski
  • Brian Kamstra: 195, 17:22 behind Kwiatkowski

(Photos: ©TDWSport)


Race: Milan-San Remo

Country: Italy

Total Distance: 291 kilometers

Race Class: WT

Team Novo Nordisk is set to return to Milan-San Remo, the longest single-day race on the UCI calendar, when the prestigious World Tour race kicks off in Milan on Saturday, March 18th. In both 2015 and 2016, Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron had a momentous day in his home country when he rode the majority of the race in the day’s main breakaway.

“Year after year, our riders are gaining more experienced. We have raced at multiple World Tour events, which allows them to race against the best riders in the world at a high pace,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “For this year’s Milan-San Remo, we are setting realistic goals, and each rider’s success will be measured based on his day. We expect solid teamwork, and at Milan-San Remo, no mistakes can be made. We know we are improving and we hope that shows with a better result at the finish line.”

The first of the five Monuments, or the oldest, hardest and most admired one-day races in cycling, Milan-San Remo is known as the Sprinter’s Classic due to its primarily flat course. While the race typically ends in a reduced bunch sprint, the course features two notable climbs, the Cipressa and Poggio. Both climbs come late in the race and tend to be decisive.

“For the first time, we are racing Tirreno-Adriatico before Milan-San Remo. I feel this will be helpful for the riders to achieve better form coming into San Remo and we plan to take advantage of that opportunity,” Davidenko said. “As a team, the next two weeks are very important. There is only a short gap between the two races and proper recovery will be critical.”

Eleven-time Spanish national mountain-bike and cyclocross champion David Lozano was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 22 years old. The Spaniard is staring his third Milan-San Remo and wants to build on the experience he’s learned in prior editions.

“My goals are to be part of the breakaway or finish the race in the front group. Last year, when I arrived at the last climb, the pace was too much for me after nearly 300 kilometers of racing. This year, I want to pass the Poggio with the front group if that’s possible,” Lozano said. “I’m mentally ready for a long day in the saddle. This is the first year I’ve done Tirreno leading into Milan-San Remo, so hopefully that will add to my form.” 

**Team Novo Nordisk’s official roster will be announced 12 hours before the race start.

(Photo: ©TDWSport)