China

Tour of China 1

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7 Sep - 14 Sep 2019

TEAM Pro Team

CITY Various

STAGES 6

TEAM Pro Team CITY Various STAGES 6

Video

“It was a pretty hectic fast stage. Lot’s of riders wanted to get in the breakaway today with the King of the Mountains jersey up for grabs as well as the Yellow Jersey.”

Watch Stephen Clancy break down today’s Tour of China opener. 

Gallery

(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

2019 Tour of China I - Stage 1

Race: Tour of China I – Stage 1

Start/Finish: Chengde City, Hebei Province

Distance: 96 kilometers

Chengde City — Tour of China kicked off this Saturday with a short and explosive 96 km stage in the Hebei Province which concluded in a bunch sprint where Team Novo Nordisk’s Mehdi Benhamouda finished just outside the top 20.

With just two cat-4 climbs and a fast run in to the line the opening day of Tour of China had all the makings of a classic sprint stage and Team Novo Nordisk were up to the challenge and looking for a top result with young Frenchman Benhamouda.

A flurry of attacks went off the front in the first of the two laps of the circuit around the scenic Yudaokou forest area but no clear-cut breakaway was formed. In the end, the predicted bunch sprint resulted in Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) taking the stage honors. Benhamouda was in the mix but was unable to go better than 21st place on the day.

Team Novo Nordisk will continue to race in China this Sunday, with an 7 km individual time-trial in Chengde Yongqian.

Stephen Clancy:

“It was a pretty hectic fast stage and we complete it in around two hours. Lot’s of riders wanted to get in the breakaway today with the King of the Mountains jersey up for grabs as well as the Yellow Jersey. We were active and we tried really hard. Several moves went off the front but they never got any serious advantage. In the end it came down to a bunch kick. We had Mehdi (Benhamouda) as our sprinter and in the hectic finish he finished just outside the top 20.”


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Stage 1 Classification

1st – Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) – 02:06:21

2nd – Roy Eefting (Memil – CCN Pro Cycling) – 0:00:00

3rd – Mohd Saleh (Terengganu Cycling Team) – 0:00:00

21st- Mehdi Benhamouda (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:00:00


(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

Gallery

(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

2019 Tour of China I - Stage 2

Race: Tour of China I – Stage 2

Start/Finish: Chengde Yongqian, Hebei Province

Distance: 7.8 kilometers

Chengde Yongqian, China — The 2019 edition of Tour of China served up a 7.8km individual time trial on stage 2 and Team Novo Nordisk showed significant improvements in the discipline with Stephen Clancy taking the top result for squad with a 23rd placing, just 29 seconds shy of the winner.

The wind played a key factor in the race against the clock with the riders facing strong headwind in the last third of the course.

Italian Mirco Maestri (Bardiani – CSF) was the fastest on the day and seized the leadership in the overall classification with a time of nine minutes and 17 seconds.

Team Novo Nordisk’s Stephen Clancy stopped the clock at nine minutes, and 46.7 seconds to finish just outside the top 20. Our Irishman sits in 23rd place in the general classification.

The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team will continue to race in China next Tuesday, with a 138.6 km stage in Huangshi in the Tieshan province.

Oliver Behringer

“As expected it was 7.8 km full gas and the wind played a big role. It picked up during the day but that was good for us because we had some early starters. I think we can all be happy with our performances. Stephen (Clancy) was the fastest in the team, finishing just under the 10 minute mark. Tomorrow we have a transfer day but we’re ready to go all out in two days time.”


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Stage 2 Classification

1st – Mirco Maestri (Bardiani – CSF) – 00:09:17

2nd – Hayden McCormick (Team Bridgelane) – 0:00:07

3rd – Artem Ovechkin (Terengganu Cycling Team) – 0:00:09

23rd- Stephen Clancy (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:00:29

Video

“I was fighting until the finish line and we need to be happy because we did our best today.”

Watch Swiss neo-pro Oliver Behringer break down the Tour of China II Queen Stage.

Gallery

(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

2019 Tour of China I - Stage 3

Race: Tour of China I – Stage 3

Start/Finish: Huangshi/Huangshi

Distance: 138.6 kilometers

Huangshi, China — Team Novo Nordisk was in the mix for the win on Stage 3 of Tour of China I with Mehdi Benhamouda achieving a top 5 placing after a powerful bunch sprint.

After a transfer day Tour of China resumed this Tuesday with an essentially flat 138.6 km stage in Huangshi. With only two cat-4 climbs on the menu and a pan-flat finish it was no surprise that it was a day for the fast men to shine.

A seven-rider breakaway went clear early in the stage but were never allowed more than a minute advantage. Unsurprisingly the last escapee was caught with 10 km and thereafter several riders attacked trying to surprise the bunch.

Team Novo Nordisk had a strong card to play with Mehdi Benhamouda and worked diligently all day to protect the young Frenchman covering all key moves and late attacks in the final kilometers.

The expected bunch sprint was made challenging by strong headwind but thanks to great teamwork Benhamouda was placed in great position heading into the final kilometer. Unfortunately in the fight for positioning the 24-year-old momentarily lost is speed when he touched shoulders with another rider in the final 100 meters. The momentum lost meant that Benhamouda had to settle for fifth on the line, a nonetheless promising result for the remaining stages.

The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team will continue to race in China this Wednesday, with a 156.5 km stage in Zhijiang.

Mehdi Benhamouda:

“It was a hectic stage with a lot of attacks. The team covered most of the attacks and I was able to save my legs for the sprint. There was a lot of headwind in the final kilometer and I surfed the wheels as best as possible but with 100 meters to go I touched another rider and I had to stop my sprint for a moment. Without this maybe a podium was possible but top 5 is also a nice result. We will keep fighting in the next few days.”

Stage 3 Classification

1st – Kyoung Ho Park (KSPO Bianchi Asia Procycling) – 03:08:33

2nd – Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) – 0:00:00

3rd – Andrea Guardini (Bardiani – CSF) – 0:00:00

5th – Mehdi Benhamouda (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:00:00


(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

Video

Watch Team Novo Nordisk neo-pro Oliver Behringer recap his first professional breakaway appearance on stage 4 Tour of China.

Gallery

(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

2019 Tour of China I - Stage 4

Race: Tour of China I – Stage 4

Start/Finish: Zhijiang/Zhijiang

Distance: 156.5 kilometers

Zhijiang, China — Team Novo Nordisk showed their fighting spirit this Wednesday on stage 4 of Tour of China with Oliver Behringer making it into the winning breakaway.

The day served out a mostly flat parcours of 156.5 kilometers but that didn’t deter several riders from fighting to get into the breakaway. After some lively pace in the first 10 km the attacks started in the bunch but none got clear. After the race entered the final circuit Team Novo Nordisk’s Irishman Stephen Clancy played his card and attacked but once again it all came back together.

Soon after his teammate Oliver Behringer followed the winning move and broke clear of the peloton with three other riders. The quartet composed of our Swiss neo-pro, Jeroen Meijers (Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team), Yauhen Sobal (Minsk Cycling Club) and Muhammad Ahmad Zamri (Terengganu Cycling Team) opened a gap of around five minutes and kept it steady up until 25 km to go. Zamri was the first escapee to drop from the front while Behringer, riding his first breakaway attempt as a pro, did very well to stay in contention with his more experienced opponents up until 10 km to go.

The days’ efforts took its toll on the 23 year-old Swiss who emptied the tank before being caught by the peloton with less than 5000 meters to go. The duo up front survived to the end with Meijers out sprinting Sobal to take the stage and the lead in the overall classification.

Once Behringer was back in the fold of the main field Team Novo Nordisk shifted the focus to position Mehdi Benhamouda for the sprint for third place and the young Frenchman ended up crossing the line just outside the top 10 in 11th position.

This Thursday the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team will take on Stage 5 of Tour of China I, a pan flat 116 km stage with a circuit configuration in Hunan.

Oliver Behringer:

“I successfully made it into a four-man breakaway. We had a gap of around 4-5 minutes for a long time and after a while we realized we could make it until the finish. One rider dropped with 25 km to go. By the time we reached 15km to go I was pretty empty and was unable to contribute much.

I tried my best to stay with the other two but I was on my limit and dropped with 10km to go on a short uphill. I was caught by the peloton with 5 km remaining and the last two standing from the break made it to the finish with around a minute on the bunch. Mehdi (Benhamouda) went for the sprint for third and finished the stage just outside the top 10.”


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Stage 4 Classification:

1st – Jeroen Meijers (Taiyuan Miogee Cycling Team) – 03:29:12

2nd – Yauhen Sobal (Minsk Cycling Club) – 0:00:00

3rd – Roy Eefting (Memil – CCN Pro Cycling) – 0:00:00

11th – Mehdi Benhamouda (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:00:34


(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

Video

“It is my first professional podium and I’m so happy for myself and for the team. We will continue to push hard to get more results.” Watch Mehdi Benhamouda recap his 2nd place finish on stage 2 of Tour of China.

Gallery

(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

2019 Tour of China I - Stage 5

Race: Tour of China I – Stage 5

Start/Finish: Hunan/Hunan

Distance: 116 kilometers

Atlanta, Georgia — Team Novo Nordisk came within inches of securing the first win of the season this Wednesday when Frenchman Mehdi Benhamouda sprinted to second place in Stage 5 of Tour of China, his best result as a professional cyclist.

With only 116 km on the menu of a mostly flat course within the city of Hunan the peloton rode at a high pace all day making it virtually impossible for a breakaway to stick. However, after a hectic first 35 km of multiple attacks, a small group got away, amongst them our Argentinian Emanuel Mini. The escapees opened a maximum gap of just under a minute but were caught after 15 km as the attacks from the bunch kept coming thick and fast.

Team Novo Nordisk had set their eyes on the expected bunch sprint finale and worked tirelessly to keep Mehdi Benhamouda in optimal position leading up to the final kick.

The 24-year-old, who had already shown to be on great form taking a top 5 result on stage 3, did a brilliant sprint and finished runner up to Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) taking an impressive second place on the line. It was the first podium result for Benhamouda and the second for Team Novo Nordisk this season.

This Saturday, after the second transfer day, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team will take on Stage 6 of Tour of China I, 132 km between Yongshou and Ningyuan.

Mehdi Benhamouda:

“Today was an amazing day! We rode fantastic as a team from the start and had Ema (Emanuel Mini) in the break. In the end the team did a great readout to put me in perfect position in the last meters. Oli (Oliver Behringer) and Steven (Clancy) worked until 2 km to go and I also had Declan (Irvine) on my wheel to protect me. In the end I just sprinted full gas and took second place. It is my first professional podium and I’m so happy for myself and for the team. We will continue to push hard to get more results in this Tour of China.”


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Stage 5 Classification:

1st – Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec) – 02:29:52

2nd – Mehdi Benhamouda (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:00:00

3rd – Reynard Butler (Protouch) – 0:00:00


(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

Video

“Now it’s time recover and get ready to keep pushing at Tour of China II.”

Watch Team Novo Nordisk rider Emanuel Mini break down the final stage of the 2019 Tour of China I.

Gallery

(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

2019 Tour of China I - Stage 6

Race: Tour of China I – Stage 6

Start/Finish: Yongshou/Ningyuan

Distance: 131.8 kilometers

Ningyuan, China — Team Novo Nordisk concluded the 2019 edition of Tour of China I this Saturday with the sixth and final stage taking the peloton on a 132 km undulating course between Yongshou and Ningyuan.

The race was full on from the start with the main field staying together for the first of two 50.2 km laps, that included on Cat-4 climb. Unlike the previous days the stage was quite hilly and a small breakaway was able to surge ahead after nearly an hour of racing.

However, the hard parcours meant the escapees were swiftly caught before the race reached the KOM for the second time. At this stage the peloton split and Team Novo Nordisk did very well to stay up front with both Australian Declan Irvine and Swiss Oliver Behringer. The lead group of around 35 riders stayed away and decided the stage win with Ukranian Mykhaylo Kononenko (Shenzhen Xidesheng Cycling Team) claiming his first win of the season.

Neo-pro Irvine crossed the line in a solid 18th place and moved up 17 spots in the GC to finish the race as the best placed Team Novo Nordisk rider in 27th position. Teammate Oliver Behringer was 21st on the day, a solid result from the 23-year-old, who had been a breakaway protagonist on stage 4.

Next Monday, Team Novo Nordisk returns to action on Chinese soil for the start of Tour of China II.

Oliver Behringer

“Today the stage went a little different than expected. The lop was quite hilly and the KOM was an actual short climb. On the first lap of the circuit everything stayed together but eventually a small group went away. After the breakaway was caught the peloton split up on the KOM and I stayed with the front group. Declan (Irvine) was in a small group just behind and quickly regained contact. The win came after a late attack with 5km to go. I had good sensations and finished strongly as did Declan. The team showed a good performance over these six stages with Mehdi (Benhamouda) scoring a podium and we are ready to fight again on Tour of China II.”


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Stage 6 Classification

1st – Mykhaylo Kononenko (Shenzhen Xidesheng Cycling Team) – 02:56:22

2nd – Alessandro Pessot (Bardiani – CSF) 0:00:00

3rd – Matthew Gibson (Burgos BH) – 0:00:00

18th – Declan Irvine – 0:00:08


(Photos: ©Anne Wu)

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