8 Apr - 11 Apr 2021

TEAM Pro Team

CITY Rhodes


TEAM Pro Team CITY Rhodes STAGES 4


Sport Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“The course cried out for a big explosive rider today, it was short and almost pan flat and we knew that it didn’t really suit our guys, but I am really happy with how they went. To come away with four guys (Brand, Irvine, Kamstra and Planet) within 11 seconds is good, it gives us some options and something positive to start with.”

“The conditions were pretty ok to be fair, the wind was the same for everyone, headwind on the way out and tailwind on the way back in and it was just one short effort at full gas, so we couldn’t ask anything more of the guys today. Now we look ahead to tomorrow, it will be a tough stage, hilly and with what looks like a fast finish.”

Declan Irvine:

“The prologue today was what we expected, short and super-fast, it was over before it started really. I was empty when I crossed the line and happy that it was finished to be honest, but we did a good job and to keep four guys close together at 11 seconds is great.”

“I’m actually feeling really good for this stage of the season, I didn’t race last year, started 2021 at GP Larciano and had a really good block of training at home in Spain with the Girona chain gang (More on that later) so I’m feeling good going into the stage race proper tomorrow.

“It’s going to be a hard stage with plenty of climbing, so we want to make sure we’re in a good position on the ascents and keeping Charles protected and in good shape for the finish. He’s currently at nine seconds so we’ll try our best to move him up tomorrow and take it from there.”

Planet 17th on stage one at the Tour of Rhodes

Sport Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“The crosswinds on the coast roads started to split the bunch quite early today and then the climbs totally separated the race. Charles and Sam Brand were positioned nicely and did a great job of staying in the front group.”

“It’s a shame that we didn’t have more guys up there to support Charles into the final, but Sam did very well and did as much as can be expected on such a fast, tough and windy course. He helped Charles with going back for bottles and tried to keep him as protected as possible. We look to tomorrow now and a new opportunity.”

Charles Planet:

I don’t think I could’ve done more today, I felt good on the climbs, I was up there with the leaders all day, but there’s not much you can do when some of the other teams have four or five guys left going into the final and you get boxed out of it.”

“Lotto created some echelons going towards the finish and then we had the tailwind going into the final corner and I had to brake. I knew it was going to be a problem because I would lose momentum and a couple of paces, but I couldn’t do anything about it and was full gas in the sprint to stay up there.

“Sam did great today. He was fighting to be there throughout and made it back up to me after the climbs every time, really impressive. It was hard with the wind splitting things early, but we go again tomorrow and aim to do to better.”

Team Novo Nordisk come through crash marred stage two in Rhodes

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“It was a hectic stage today, really quite wild on the descents, lots of crashes and the wind and repeated attacks made it a difficult race to get to grips with. We tried to keep everyone together for as long as possible, but the bunch split going onto the first big climb of the day and from there we had to adapt.”

“Charles, Declan and Sam Brand were up there in the front group until it split completely and from there, we had Charles and Sam again working with each other to try and stay in contact with the leaders, but it wasn’t to be. Tomorrow’s our last chance to get a result, so we’ll put everything into that and see how we go.”

Charles Planet:

“Super tough day in the saddle today. It’s a cliché, but man it was hard. Again, lots of wind and early attacks, but today also lots of crashes on the descents and guys taking a lot of risks.”

“I was feeling ok for most of the stage, bit it was a lot of climbing and I started to struggle on the last big climb and started to lose contact with the front group, even then I thought I could make it back in on the descent, but I got held up behind a couple of crashes and the wind hit us when we tried to come back on the flat.”

“It’s not what we wanted out of today, we lost some time so a good result on GC is out now and the only thing we can do is try to recover and get something out of tomorrow’s final stage.”

Rhodes wraps with Planet 8th on the stage for Team Novo Nordisk’s first top 10 of 2021

Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Today I saw the team. All the guys worked hard together to protect Charles, we did our job, and we got a result that we’ve been aiming for throughout the race. We can take away a lot of positives from today and fly home satisfied with how we rode and looking ahead to the next objectives.”

Charles Planet:

“We could feel that there was some pressure on us to get a result today, it has been a hard race, harder than we probably imagined coming in, but we still felt like we had underperformed and knew that we could and had to do better, so it’s a big relief that we managed to get our first top ten of the season.”

“All the guys pulled really hard going on to the first climbs and you could tell today that Declan was really riding strongly after a few days of racing in his legs. Sam Brand gave everything to help bring the race back together after the feedzone and we railed the descent back down to the coast.”

“I went really deep today, we all did, and I felt like I was in a good position for the sprint, so to finish it off with eighth against some fast guys is great.”

Sam Brand:

“I gave it all after the feedzone to help bring the front of the race back together and keep Charles up there. A few teams were really trying to put it in the gutter, and I don’t know if I’ve ever actually gone that deep, but to arrive at the finish and see Charles exhausted, but smiling and hear ‘top 10’ makes it all worth it. Let’s keep it rolling now.”