United States

Amgen Tour of California

12 May - 18 May 2019

TEAM Pro Team

CITY Various


TEAM Pro Team CITY Various STAGES 7


Charles Planet rode like wildfire at the opening stage of Amgen Tour of California and was awarded the “Most Courageous” award.

Watch the highlights of a memorable day for our Changing Diabetes squad in Sacramento with Charles lighting it up in the breakaway and teammate Andrea Peron taking a solid 11th place on the stage.


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 1

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 1

Start/Finish: Sacramento/Sacramento, CA, USA

Distance: 143 kilometers

Sacramento, California — Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet earned the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey after spending 125 kilometers in the breakaway including a late-race solo attack on Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California.

“The plan from my director was to get in the break and it went perfectly. I got up there with a few guys and then my goal shifted to getting a jersey,” said Planet. “I’m so proud to wear this beautiful jersey tomorrow at this amazing race. I hope it inspires everyone affected by diabetes or any other condition to keep chasing their dreams.”

The 25-year-old Planet was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey is awarded daily to the cyclist who best exemplifies courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination, and perseverance. Planet wore the jersey back in 2014 on Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the race.

“I remember being here five years ago and earning this jersey. It was my first day ever racing in America. I was only 20 years old, I couldn’t speak any English, and it came as a bit of a surprise. Fast-forward to today and my goal going into the day was to get a jersey.”

On Sunday’s opening stage, Planet was part of a four-man breakaway that escaped immediately following the start of the 143-kilometer race. The peloton kept the escapees on a tight leash and only allowed a maximum gap of two minutes. When the gap dropped under a minute, the breakaway splintered, and Planet set off alone. Despite a valiant effort, the Frenchman was reeled in with 19-km remaining.

The race was all together for three finishing laps around downtown Sacramento. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the win with Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th place.

The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the Amgen Tour of California on Monday with a 194.5-km stage that starts in Rancho Cordova and includes five categorized climbs before a Cat 3 finish into South Lake Tahoe.



1st: Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe): 3:14:10

2nd: Travis McCabe (USA National Team): same time as Sagan

3rd: Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb): same time as Sagan

11th: Andrea Peron: 0:04 behind Sagan

(Photos: ©VeloImages)


“I think it was one of the hardest stages I ever did. Today it felt like all we did was climbing today. It was cool to wear this jersey, but there was a lot of suffering.”

Watch Charles Planet recap his day in the Amgen Tour of California Most Courageous Jersey.


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 2

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 2

Start/Finish: Rancho Cordova/South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

Distance: 214.5 kilometers

South Lake Tahoe, California —  Team Novo Nordisk stood front and center at the startline of Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California with Frenchman Charles Planet proudly wearing the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey, the prize for spending 125 kilometers in the breakaway on the opening stage in Sacramento.

The race switched gears this Monday with the first real test to the general classification contenders in a mountainous Stage 2 that took the peloton from Rancho Cordova at sea level to the Heavenly Mountain Resort at South Lake Tahoe with an accumulated 4419 meters of climbing over six KOMs.

Seven riders, amongst them Luke Rowe (Team INEOS), attacked from the gun and opened a healthy gap on the peloton swiftly. Despite no real threats to the general classification up front the peloton didn’t allow the breakaway’s advantage to go beyond the five minute mark. With 100 kilometers to go the peloton had shaved the gap to less than one and a half minutes.

As the race made its way to Carson Pass – which at 2627m of elevation, was the highest point ever transversed by the Amgen Tour of California in its 14 years history – EF Education First took the reigns at the front of the peloton and led a furious chase.

The last breakaway survivor was reeled in with 75km to go as EF Education First continued to set a lively tempo at the front and soon after Lachlan Morton launched a fierce solo attack.

The gradient and high speed dwindled the front group down to just 15 riders who proceeded to chase down Morton leaving the peloton in arrears.

In the end and elite group of five riders fought for the stage win amongst themselves and it was Kasper Asgreen (Deceunick – Quick Step) who powered across the line first at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

“It was a really tough. I think it was one of the hardest stages I ever did. Today it felt like all we did was climbing today. It was cool to wear this jersey and in the beginning I enjoyed it but later there was a lot of suffering. We went to 2600m, really high altitude. I tried to stay as long as possible in the first group and then in the climb it was a bit much for me. In the end I was really happy with my performance because there weren’t that many guys in the group,” said Planet who crossed the finish line in 47th position, 8:07 minutes after the winner.

The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the Amgen Tour of California on Tuesday with the 208km hilly stage 3 from Stockton to Morgan Hill via Mt Hamilton.



1st: Kasper Asgreen (Deceunick – Quick Step): 6:17:11

2nd: Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First): “

3rd: Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS):  0:00:07

45th: Joonas Henttala (Team Novo Nordisk): 0:08:07

(Photos: ©VeloImages)


Watch Charles Planet sprint against the world’s best to claim his first World Tour top 20 on stage 3 of Amgen Tour of California.

2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 3

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 3

Start/Finish: Stockton/Morgan Hill, CA, USA

Distance: 208 kilometers

Morgan Hill, California Charles Planet survived a hard day of climbing and sprinted to a career best Top20 result in a World Tour race, crossing the line in 17th place after a long day in the saddle on Stage 3 of Amgen Tour of California.

After an hectic start 19 riders finally managed to break clear, amongst them our Italian fastman Andrea Peron. The escapees put nearly a minute advantage to the peloton but Team Katusha Alpecin, having missed out on the move, took on the chase and after 20 km it was all back together. Swiftly after Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick Step) and Alex Hoehn (US Cycling) launched an attacked and were given the all clear by the bunch. The intrepid duo worked well together and by the time they crested the summit of Patterson Pass, the first of the 6 KOMs of the day, the gap had ballooned to an excess of eight minutes.

With a total of 2900 meters of climbing on the cards the two riders remained undaunted and managed to keep the advantage until the base of Mt Hamilton, the only HC Category climb of the day, when Cavagna put in a fierce attack dropping his breakaway companion. The young French rider set off solo and even increased the gap on the bunch during the seven kilometers of the climb.

In the end Cavagna took the spoils in Morgan Hill after an impressive solo effort, securing his first win of the season.

The peloton arrived over seven minutes later and Charles Planet sprinted to a strong 17th place notching his first Top20 result in a World Tour race.

Our fast Italian Andrea Peron crashed with 170 km to go, thankfully without any serious consequences and showed his fighting spirit to finish the stage well within the time cut.

Team Novo Nordisk takes on the scenic Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California this Wednesday, that starts in Laguna Seca’s Raceway and embarks on a 214.5 km journey through California’s spectacular Big Sur coast to the finish in Morro Bay.

Charles Planet:

“It’s a great result and I’m very happy about the stage, which once again was very tough. I didn’t believe that I could make it over Mt. Hamilton with the favorites but I gave my all and was there with the best at the summit. I really surprised myself to get a 17th result after another hard day of climbing. I have to thank all my teammates for all their help during the day. I didn’t have to go to the team cars even once to get bottles or food. They did it all for me and I’m incredibly thankful.”



1st: Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick Step): 3:14:10

2nd: Ben King (Team Dimension Data): 0:07:11

3rd: Simon Geschke (CCC): “

17th: Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk): 0:07:47

(Photos: ©VeloImages)


Watch Joonas Henttala recap his day at the front on stage 4 of Amgen Tour of California.

“I always had this stage in my mind. The break has made it before in this stage so I really wanted to give it a try.”

2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 4

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 4

Start/Finish: Laguna Seca/Morro Bay, CA, USA

Distance: 214.5 kilometers

Morro Bay, California  — Joonas Henttala showed his fighting spirit on Stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California showcasing Team Novo Nordisk’s jersey in the day’s breakaway for nearly 200 km.

Not even a gloomy, rainy start in the Laguna Seca Raceway dampened the spirit of Team Novo Nordisk who was determined to animate the 214.5 km stage to Morro Bay. Our experienced Finn Joonas Henttala succeeded in forging his way into the day’s early breakaway alongside Roy Goldstein (Israel Cycling Academy), Michael Hernandez (US Cycling), Jonny Brown and Ian Garrison (Hagens Berman Axeon).

The peloton kept the quintet on a short leash and kept the gap south of five minutes all day as they weaved their way south along the striking Highway 1, one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in the country,  that transverses the dramatic Big Sur.

As the breakaway entered the last 70 km the gap was still north of three and a half minutes but in the peloton the sprinters teams’ started to invest some firepower into the chase and the advantage was gradually shaved down to one minute at the 30 km to go mark. Soon after Joonas Henttala put in a strong attack off the front and only Hernandez could follow. The American cyclist counterattacked later and was the last escapee caught just inside the last 10 km.

As the sprinters teams took the front laying the groundwork for the final bunch sprint a few crashes occurred taking down several riders including the Yellow Jersey Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First) and Gianni Moscon (Team INEOS). 

Team Novo Nordisk’s riders escaped unscathed the mayhem in the closing stages and in the finale it was up to Andrea Peron to sprint for a result in Morro Bay. Despite having crashed the day before our fast Italian put in a determined effort and came home in a respectable 31st position, with the same time as the stage winner Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick Step),

Henttala capitalized on his strong form and made the most of his time in the break by winning both intermediate sprints up for grabs in a day that included more than 3000 meters of climbing.

The world’s first all-diabetes team will continue their US campaign in the biggest cycling race in the country this Thursday as they’ll take on Stage 5 that will see the peloton covering  219.5 km between Pismo Beach and Ventura.


“I always had this stage in my mind. The break has made it before in this stage so I really wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately when we hit the coast we had block headwind which made it really hard with only four other guys. We tried to ride steady and keep the gap around three minutes to the bunch. I knew the peloton would catch us no matter what because they wanted the sprint stage. I tried to attack in one climb. I succeeded in splitting the group and really felt I was the strongest in the break but this american riders saved his legs all day with this Courageous Riders jersey in mind. He made the last attack and he got the jersey. Good day for the team and I’ll try again.”



1st: Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick Step): 5:53:22

2nd: Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates): “

3rd: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “

31st: Andrea Peron (Team Novo Nordisk): “

(Photos: ©VeloImages)


Watch Sam Brand break down stage 5 at the 2019 Amgen Tour of California, a hard day dominated by gale force winds and high speed.


2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 5

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 5

Start/Finish: Pismo Beach/Ventura, CA, USA

Distance: 219.5 kilometers

Ventura, California  — Team Novo Nordisk put in a solid team performance on Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California on a long and hard day dominated by gale force winds and high speed.

The sun played hide-and-seek this Thursday for the 219.5 km stage from Pismo Beach to Ventura with the peloton experiencing changing conditions all day. After a fast and hectic start with multiple unsuccessful attacks a group of 10 riders, including former world champion Peter Sagan (Bora – hansgrohe) finally broke clear after 60 km of high-speed racing. A chase group of two managed to bridge across soon after and the 12-strong group forged ahead opening a gap of three minutes. The advantage was kept in check by the bunch and by the time the race entered the last 60 km it had shrunk down to one minute and 45 seconds.

Team Novo Nordisk rode offensively but ultimately missed out on the move that eventually succeeded and shifted the focus to riding safely in the bunch, effectively negotiating the 5 KOM’s of the day that translated into over 3000 meters of climbing.

In the end, Tim Declercq (Deceuninck – Quick Step), the last survivor from the breakaway, was caught inside the final 4 km and soon after two riders, Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) and George Bennett (Jumbo – Visma)  made good use of the final kicker to forge ahead. The duo put some decent daylight to the peloton but was eventually brought back before a reduced group decided the stage honors. Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida) proved the strongest in the fierce headwind on the finish straight and scored his first professional win. Charles Planet showed great legs and crossed the finishing line just 24 seconds after the winner taking a solid 28th placing after a long day in the saddle.

This Friday the world’s first all-diabetes team will tackle the Queen Stage of the 2019 edition of the Amgen Tour of California that includes the summit finish on the infamous Mt Baldy a hefty 8.2 km HC climb with 8.4% average gradient.


“It was a crazy stage from the gun. I had incredible legs and I’m very disappointed to have missed out on the breakaway today as I fought a lot to be there. I was in many attacks and spend a lot of energy at the beginning and unfortunately missed the right move.

Afterwards it was all about navigating the strong winds and staying with the high pace until the end. It was a bit hard mentally for me as I used up a lot of energy for nothing but I kept my head up and decided to focus on the final.

My position was not ideal on the bottom of the last climb but I still had good legs and managed to do a strong climb. Unfortunately the crosswinds in the last kilometer split the front group and I couldn’t sprint for a result. I’m very disappointed that I was unable to show my form today in the finish.”



1st: Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain Merida): 5:53:22

2nd: Maximiliano Richeze (Deceuninck – Quick Step): “

3rd: Sergio Higuita (EF Education First): “

28th: Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk): 0:00:24

(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 6

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 6

Start/Finish: Ontario / Mount Baldy, CA, USA

Distance: 127.5 kilometers

Mount Baldy, California  – Friday’s stage 6 of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California served as the race’s Queen Stage and with Mt. Baldy’s summit finish featuring a 8.2km climb with an average gradient of 8.4%, it lived up to its billing.

The Team Novo Nordisk squad was prepared for a brutal day in the saddle, and rode strongly as a team, matching the pace in the peloton until the penultimate KOM, when the general classification contenders began to play their cards for the stage win. Max Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe) put in the first big attack with a little over 10km to go, and swiftly bridged across to the last remaining escapees from the day’s breakaway. The German rider opened a gap of 0:45 but was caught by the favorites with just under 3km to go.

Sergio Higuita (EF-Education First) forged ahead splintering the group, and only Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) were to able follow the young Colombian. IN the  Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) edged out Higuita (EF-Education First) in a two-man sprint to the line, taking the stage 6 victory and the yellow jersey from Higuita’s teammate Tejay van Garderen.

All Team Novo Nordisk riders completed the grueling stage with Charles Planet, David Lozano and Peter Kusztor finishing behind the lead group and 10:24 behind the stage winner.

The world’s first all-diabetes team concludes the 2019 edition of the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday with a 141km final stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena.

Peter Kusztor:

“This is a really nice race. I really enjoyed every day and every moment. Today we did a very good job. The team was together and rode strongly. It was a really hard stage with a lot of climbing but we passed this challenge. We still have one more stage to go but I have to thank my colleagues and all the staff. Everyone did an amazing job all week.”



1st: Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates): 3:48:49

2nd: Sergio Higuita (EF Education First): same time as Pogačar

3rd: George Bennett (Team Jumbo-Visma):  0:05 behind Pogačar

45th: Charles Planet: 10:24 behind Pogačar

(Photos: ©VeloImages)


“My teammates were fantastic. They wanted a top result as much as me. It was a big target to do a top 10 in the World Tour and I’m happy I could achieve it.”

Watch Andrea Peron sprint to 8th on the final stage of the 2019 Amgen Tour of California.

2019 Amgen Tour of California - Stage 7

Race: Amgen Tour of California, Stage 7

Start/Finish: Santa Clarita / Pasadena, CA, USA

Distance: 127.5 kilometers

Pasadena, California – Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron sprinted to eighth place on the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California. The top 10 is the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team’s best result at a World Tour event in its seven-year history.

The race concluded with a shortish 126 km stage that started in Santa Clarita and finished in Pasadena and despite including only one categorized climb the peloton still had to overcome plenty of climbing. The hard profile discarded several of the pure sprinters who were hoping to contest the stage win and as the peloton entered the final circuit in Pasadena the last remaining survivors of the eleven-man breakaway were swiftly caught.

Team Novo Nordisk put in an impressive team effort to keep Andrea Peron protected all day and as the race entered the last lap the team committed to place our Italian rider in the best position heading into the final sprint.

Peron expertly navigated a chaotic finish, avoiding a crash that took place within the final stretch and surged to an eight place on the line capping off a stellar team work. Having worked diligently to launch his teammate, Hungarian Peter Kusztor, still managed to take a solid 18th place on the day, a result that enabled him to secure his 38th position in the General Classification – the best placed TNN rider in the Overall ranking.

Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) won the final stage ahead of former World Champion Peter Sagan (Bora – hansgrohe) while Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) finished safely in the peloton and won the General Classification.

All the six remaining Team Novo Nordisk riders concluded the final stage allowing the world’s first all-diabetes cycling team to take the 14th position in the Teams Classification, ahead of three World Tour teams, showing strength in depth.


Andrea Peron:

“Yesterday I saved my legs and today I felt really good. I was able to stay with the main group on the climb. The finish was crazy, a lot of turns and I believe there was even a crash in the last meters. I took the last corner in the wheel of (Peter) Sagan and tried to do my best. When we came into the final laps my teammates were fantastic. They were really focused on me and helped me a lot. They wanted a top result as much as me. It was a really big target for the team to do a top 10 in the World Tour and I’m happy I could achieve it.”

Team Novo Nordisk GM Vassili Davidenko:

”The Tour of California is over and it was a great race for us. On Stage 1 we got a jersey with Charles (Planet) who was amazing. Today in the final stage we got an 8th place. It was a successful race for us overall and we are already thinking about the next targets and the next races. It’s nice to leave California on a high note and finish with a Top10 with Andrea Peron. All the guys did an amazing job and we are so proud of our team, they went way above expectations. Thank you team, thank you California and hope we come back next year!”


1st Cees Bol (Team Sunweb): 2:53:16

2nd Peter Sagan (BORA – hansgrohe): ”

3rd Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates): ”

8th: Andrea Peron: “

(Photos: ©VeloImages)