13 Sep - 17 Sep 2022

TEAM Pro Team



Just outside top 20 in Slovakia for Peron and Team Novo Nordisk

The first road stage of this years Okolo Slovenska/Tour of Slovakia unfolded in predictable style with an early breakaway going clear over the opening kilometers before a steady pursuit yielded first catch, then sprint for the front end of the peloton with Italian flyer Andrea Peron boxed in after the final roundabout and chasing for the top 20.

Andrea Peron(ITA):

“I felt a little better today, after last week’s travel form the US, back to Italy and then almost straight to Slovakia, I felt jaded when we arrived and pretty sluggish in yesterday’s prologue, but I started to loosen up as the stage went on.”

“It played out how we expected, and the guys did a good job of trying to help me throughout the stage, but I was boxed in and lost position after the final roundabout, so I came from too far back as the sprint kicked and it was too much ground to make up. I’m hoping that I continue to improve as the race goes on and we ride our way into a good stage result.”

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“We wanted to work for Andrea today to give him a chance in the sprint because the final really suited him, but the road furniture left him out of position at the end and he had a big job to try and get back in. There are more chances to come over the next few days, but we also want to up the road in the breakaway. So, tomorrow we need to be switched on from the first kilometer.”

Queen stage shreds the field at Tour of Slovakia

On paper it was the hardest stage of this year’s Okolo Slovenska/Tour of Slovakia and that proved to be the case in reality as the peloton split to pieces over the six categorized climbs with Andrea Peron and Charles Planet both unfortunately caught up in crashes and the rest of Team Novo Nordisk working hard for each other to survive and make it to the finish line.

David Lozano (ESP):

“The second half of today’s stage was brutal, with two second category climbs and three first category coming in 100km. The whole bunch was split into small groups, and it became just about coming through it. Peter, Sam and I were in a good group together and we made it.”

“It was bad luck with Charles and Andrea both involved in crashes today, they both went down pretty hard, and I hope that they’re both ok. Especially Charles, this is his first race back after so long out. A crash was the last thing he needed.”

Head Sports Director, Massimo Podenzana:

“Today was one of those days that happens once in a while. You know it’s going to be tough from the outset because the roadbook shows you the profile and you can see how many climbs there are. Then instead of a large break going, its only three riders, so you know they’re not getting far and that what little respite you may have hoped for is now disappearing up the road with the rest of the peloton…and then the crashes happen.”

“To have both Andrea and Charles go down heavily was terrible luck. Andrea managed to finish, and we will see how he recovers tonight, but Charles hit his leg and has some swelling so will need some time to recover.”

Top 20 for Kusztor at Okolo Slovenska

Former Hungarian Road champion Peter Kusztor showed he still has a killer turn of speed on stage three of Okolo Slovenska/Tour of Slovakia as the veteran 37-year-old powered into the top 20 for Team Novo Nordisk after digging deep in the reduced front group alongside teammate David Lozano.

Peter Kusztor (HUN):

“I am pleased with the performance today, it wasn’t an easy day, 214km and filled with climbs for the most part, but I felt strong from the start of the stage and on the first climb myself and David were riding well and in a good position. David was great today, he helped me a lot and supported me all day.”

“When Jumbo and Quickstep raised the pace on the last climb the race split heavily and we were able to stay in the front of group of around 30 riders. To be honest it felt awesome out there today, we had a really bad day yesterday so to come back produce a good performance and result on a stage as tough as today is really satisfying.”

Head sports director Massimo Podenzena:

“After yesterday we just wanted to regroup, try to relax, and get ourselves in a position where David and Peter would be at the front of the race when it mattered to try and get the best result possible. They pulled it off and rode extremely well throughout the stage and it was certainly not an easy day.”

“It’s nice to go into tomorrow’s final stage on a positive note. It will be another tough one and probably quite an explosive final and after Peter’s effort at the end today…who knows he could be our sprinter for tomorrow!”

Photo Credit: Igor Stancik, Mario Stiehl