8 Oct - 15 Oct 2023

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Fast start in Turkey sees Kopecky just outside top 10

The Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye opened to a fast stage with the peloton almost averaging 50km/h. Matyas Kopecky led Team Novo Nordisk home in 13th place after a hotly contested bunch sprint.

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“Today was the opening day so the peloton is always a bit nervous while everyone is fresh. You can see it took a long time for the break to go and when it went they never got a big gap because the peloton was motivated to bring it down to a sprint.”

“Our goal was to look after Andrea and Matyas for the final and they worked really well together. Unfortunately, Matyas was a little boxed in so missed out on a top 10 but the guys were together throughout the stage showing positive signs so let’s see what we get in the upcoming days.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“It was fast from the beginning. It wasn’t hard because we were on the highway but the speed was really fast. It took more than 35 kilometers for the break to go and when they went there was a brief lull before the chase started. When the big break was brought back we started focussing on the sprint.”

“We were all together in the last 15 kilometers showing great teamwork. All the guys did really well to keep Andre and myself up there. We got boxed in a bit, then got a gap but got boxed in again. Andrea brought me to the front with 2km to go but I lost some positions in the corners. I couldn’t get out of the saddle when I was boxed in but got close to the top 10 so it’s not a perfect start for us but there were a lot of good signs for the next few days.” 

Photos: Brian Hodes


Andrea Peron survived a lumpy stage 2 in the Tour of Turkey to earn himself a tenth place on the stage. The race final was contested at a ferocious pace and the Italian fast man netted his best result in recent weeks. 

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“We can only be happy with how today went. We progressed from yesterday’s 13th to get a top 10 today so we’re pleased, especially as the race ended up having some really hard moments.”

“Those two climbs in the middle were raced full gas and the final ended up being harder than expected. Andrea showed how good he is on these kinds of finishes so another good day from the guys today.” 

Andrea Peron:

“The plan was to survive the first two climbs of the day and conserve some energy. Going to the final was actually easy. We had a headwind and the break was brought back. Then the last 7 kilometers the race exploded. I followed the moves in case something was going to go away but maybe I should have stayed calmer.”

In the end, the finish was tough and I was happy to have something left in the tank to bring home a top 10 for us. The teamwork has been really good here so we needed to reward the guys with a positive result.” 

TNN takes on one of cycling's toughest climbs ever in Turkey

Stage 3 of Tour of Turkey was a unique one with the race finishing up the Babadag climb, one of the toughest faced in any UCI race. Team Novo Nordisk looked to conserve its efforts while looking for opportunities at the same time. Lucas Dauge was the first TNN rider home in 26th place.

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“Today was all about getting through the stage and conserving energy. There is still so much racing to come so it was important to be intelligent on such a hard climb. The boys all did really well, with Umberto going in an early move and Lucas leading the team home up the climb. All in all we’re happy and now have to start focussing on stages that will suit us.”

Lucas Dauge:

“It was a hard stage today with more than 3500m of elevation, the plan was to save the day for the next stage but the last climb was crazy long and steep. Umbe was in the break so it was good for us and I tried to do well but I lost 30 seconds before the last climb with some crashes in front of me in the downhill.”

“I have personally never done a climb like this in my life. It was something help. We’re really happy to have survived it now it’s onto the next stages.”

Kopecky bags 7th top ten of the season in Turkey

Matyas Kopecky continued his impressive start to his pro career, picking up his 7th top-ten of the season. The 20-year-old sprinted to 8th place on stage 4 of the Tour of Turkey.

General Manager Vassili Davidenko:

“Today’s result is significant for Matyas because it signals how he is able to bounce back from a really hard effort on yesterday’s mountaintop finish. Great teamwork was on display again and the guys put him in a position to get a result. It’s very rewarding to see us consistently performing at this level so late in the season. We’re at the halfway point of the race now and the following stages get longer so now we have to focus on recovery to get to the end with still some resources.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“Today was pretty hard from the beginning. There were some short climbs before the break went and that always means it’s going to be hard. I managed to stay in the front on those first climbs, and after that, the break still didn’t go until we arrived at a 5km climb and the bunch exploded completely. I was in the second group with Andrea and Umberto and we managed to join the front group again.”

“In the final, there were two climbs, they weren’t hard in elevation but the pace was so high. I was happy to bridge both of them in the front group and from there I started thinking about the sprint. Andrea and Umberto were great at looking after me. Especially, Umberto, he got us food and drink all stage and was super strong today.” 

Late crash disrupts stage 5 sprint in Turkey

Stage 5 of the Tour of Turkey was the longest of the race thus at 180 kilometers. The peloton allowed a group of six riders a maximum advantage of 5 minutes 30 seconds before the chase was started and the race ultimately came down to a bunch sprint.

General Manager, Vassili Davidenko:

“The results sheet might not accurately display how well the guys did today. They were again strong, especially as today was the longest of the race so far. We saw great teamwork with Umberto positioning Andrea and Matyas with 5 kilometres to go right on the front of the peloton.”

“The last few km’s were very technical. Crashes disrupted the sprint trains and luckily our guys didn’t go down but Matyas has to unclip which basically meant a chance of going for a result was over. Tomorrow is even longer at 193km but it’s great to see the guys so motivated to finish strong here.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“We had a hard start with short climbs in the beginning. Once the breakaway went things settled down and it was a regular day with the bunch controlling the race. We were together throughout the stage with the guys fetching bottles and feeding us. Umberto was really strong again today to bring myself and Andrea to the front for the final.”

With 2km to go I moved up some places to enter the top 20 and get ready for the sprint but there was total chaos in the last kilometer with crashes. I had to unclip with 400m to go to stay upright and dropped my chain so lost all my momentum and my day was over. My legs were actually really good so now we’ll start discussing the next stages.”

Dauge leads TNN home on mountainous Turkish stage

Stage 6 of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey was the longest of the race at nearly 200 kilometers. It was also another mountaintop finish to make a long day even harder.

General Manager, Vassili Davidenko:

“With all the climbing and another mountaintop finish, today was all about getting through the stage without any issues. We had two crashes but fortunately not too serious. Lucas could test himself up the mountain and was the first guy home from the team. We have two stages left, tomorrow has some more climbing but the last one is just over 20 kilometers from the finish. You can see the peloton is starting to get tired but our job is to keep believing we can finish the race well.”

Lucas Dauge:

“It was a long day, almost 200km with a hard finish. The guys did a great job and we stayed together during the race. I crashed 30km to go just before the climbing started then I tried to keep my own pace but it was too late to get a better result. I’m a bit disappointed because I felt good and I’m sorry for the guys because they did a great job. After the crash, I didn’t want to take too many risks on the descent between the two climbs which I think was a good decision after seeing so many crashes after that.”

Peron earns second top 10 of Tour of Turkey

The world’s first all-diabetes cycling outfit, Team Novo Nordisk continued its impressive run in the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey with another top 10 today.

General Manager, Vassili Davidenko:

“Today was another tough stage and Andrea showed his experience, and grabbed the opportunity by getting another top 10. Everyday the guys started believing more and more they are some of the stronger riders in the race. It’s great to see. Filippo did an incredible job to get Andrea into a good position which ended up being important as Andrea avoided the crash in the last corner thanks to good positioning.” 

We were racing on two continents today and got top ten in both races with Hamish finishing 4th in Japan. There’s one day of racing left in our season and we are still performing.”

Andrea Peron:

“Today was a really hard stage, it was so unpredictable with breakaways going and coming back constantly. I decided to stay calm, save energy because there was a good chance of everything coming back together. In the end one guy stayed away and we sprinted for second. The guys put me in a great position and I’m happy to finish the season on a high here.” 

TNN looks back on a successful Tour of Turkey

The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey brought an end to the season for the world’s first all-diabetes cycling team earlier today. The race ended in Istanbul with a 130.5 kilometer stage. Team Novo Nordisk leaves the race with multiple top tens thanks to Andrea Peron and Matyas Kopecky.

The day marked a special occasion as Joonas Henttala celebrated his last race as a professional cyclist, bringing down the curtain on an 11-year career with the team, racing to inspire those affected by diabetes.

General Manager, Vassili Davidenko:

“Today brings an end to our season with a very successful week. We took each stage as it came and managed to get three top tens. We set some team goals at the beginning of the season and finishing the season this strong here and in Japan shows how focussed everyone has been. Now it’s time for some rest, a reset and start preparing for next year.

“It was Joonas’s last race with us after 11 years. He was naturally emotional on the finish line. He’s spent years with us inspiring the diabetes community from all over the world and this is an end of an era. We wish him well as he enters the next chapter of his life.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“Today was a short stage and pretty fast all day. We stayed in the front together which was good. It was always going to come down to a sprint but it was chaotic on the circuit. Andrea was really strong but he crashed on one of the last corners. It wasn’t serious but his chance of a result was gone. It has been a good week of racing in Turkey and really good for me to gain experience over such a long race. This is something I am looking forward to taking into next year after a short break now.”