29 Jul - 4 Aug 2023

TEAM Pro Team



Ridolfo and Kopecky straight into the action on stage 1 in Poland

After scoring an impressive podium in last week’s GP Kranj in Slovenia 21-year-old Filippo Ridolfo started on the front foot at the Tour de Pologne, jumping into the early breakaway for Team Novo Nordisk on stage one before Matyas Kopecky overcame a dropped chain to still challenge in the wet finale.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“We had a plan to get in the break today and keep both Andrea and Matyas positioned well in the bunch saving as much energy as possible for what we knew was going to be a fast final on the race track. The plan worked, Filippo jumped into the break and even though the bunch didn’t give them much rope he did his job well and we were sitting pretty until the heavens opened and things went crazy.”

“It started raining hard with around 40km to go and the tension started to rise, Andrea got caught in a crash before we entered the finishing circuit, so Matyas was left alone in the front group. The track was wet and slippery, and people started to go down on every corner, Matyas stayed upright, but he dropped his chain inside the last kilometer and finished 15th.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“Man. It’s a real shame about slipping back the last corners, because I had good legs today and I came flying back into the group but couldn’t quite make the top ten.”

“We’re hungry to do well here and with Filippo up the road in the breakaway again we started the race on the front foot and the with the right intent. Tomorrow’s stage is going to be much harder and probably won’t end in a sprint with the climbs in the final third and uphill finish, but we’ll do our best regardless.”

Brand takes up the breakaway challenge on tough stage two in Poland

It’s been a while since Manxman Sam Brand caught the right breakaway move, but on today’s stage two at the Tour de Pologne the 32-year-old picked the right attack and was part of a strong trio that at one point held ten minutes over the peloton.

With the hilly parcours and summit finish it was always going to be difficult for the Team Novo Nordisk rider and his companions out front to make the move stick as the GC teams ramped up the chase in the second half of the stage. Spanish climber David Lozano and veteran Peter Kusztor.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“I’m pleased for Sam today, it was stage one in Poland last year when he was last in the breakaway and that’s not for lack of trying, but he needed to make one for his confidence so today that’s job done and let’s how it’s the start of a good period for Sam and the boys.”

“The final wasn’t one for us today and Andrea, David and Peter finished together after slipping back on the final climb. Matyas was unfortunate to crash on the penultimate descent but thankfully he’s ok and Filippo stayed with him until the end of the stage.”

Sam Brand:

“I’m happy to have finally made it back into a breakaway today, it’s been a year and every time I tried it or followed a move it ended up being brought back, so it’s great to have it finally in the bag.”

“I needed this for my confidence, to prove to myself as much as anyone else that I deserve to be here and that I can do my job for the team and the diabetes community around the world. I held on for as long as I could out there, but those climbs finally took their toll and we’re looking ahead to tomorrow now.”

Veteran climbers Kusztor & Lozano dig in on stage three in Poland

Two of the most experienced members of Team Novo Nordisk rode strongly up the steep final climb on the third stage of the Tour de Pologne today with climbers David Lozano and Peter Kusztor finishing together.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“It was a difficult start to the stage with a climb straight out of neutral and the attacks came quickly, too quickly for us to be a part of it unfortunately and the chance of a repeat breakaway performance was gone.”

“David and Peter used their experience and intelligence today and they only slipped back on the steepest ramps of the climb up to the finish. It was a strong group that went to the line and David and Peter maintained their own pace. We’re looking to try again tomorrow in what should be another sprint opportunity, but this race is unpredictable so let’s see.”

Peter Kustzor:

“I feel like we’re only missing two or three percent to be up there and we did the best we could today. The start was explosive which is never kind on the legs, but it settled down after the first couple of climbs and the breakaway established itself.”

“We were frustrated to not have been part of the break today because that was our goal, but we have more chances coming up and If tomorrow goes to plan we will have the opportunity to try and help Andrea and Matyas in the final.”

Photo credits: Mario Stiehl

First WorldTour top ten for Kopecky in Poland

Czech starlet Matyas Kopecky had a day to remember on stage four of the Tour de Pologne as the 21-year-old sprinted to tenth place for Team Novo Nordisk to earn his first WorldTour top ten.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“Andrea was our last rider to get a top ten here in Poland and to see him leading out Matyas in the final today was a real pleasure. Peter was there also going into the last 10km and did his best bring Andrea and Matyas further forward.”

“It’s not easy to get into the top ten in a WorldTour stage race like the Tour de Pologne and for a 20-year-old like Matyas who isn’t a pure sprinter it can be even harder. So chapeau, enjoy the moment and remember everything we did right today and try to apply that to tomorrow’s stage and the rest of the race.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“I’ll definitely remember today! It’s an important moment and result for me and the team and I’m happy to have been able to finish off the great work of the guys and make it into the top ten. Andrea was amazing and his experience really shows on finishes like today.”

“We were behind the big WorldTour teams who were spread across the road and Andrea just accelerated at the right moment to bring me around the outside and back in to the action. We kind of followed the wave and when you’re moving like that it’s a great sensation. I’m feeling good, despite the crash the other day and I hope to go ok on tomorrows climbs and be in good shape for Thursday’s TT.”

Final circuits split the bunch on Fifth stage in Poland

Team Novo Nordisk came through a solid fifth stage of the Tour de Pologne today, regrouping after missing the breakaway of the day to finish together, looking ahead to the next two stages.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“There’s not much to say about today, the goal was to get up the road in the breakaway again but the move that stuck went late and after a fast start we missed it.”

“David tried repeatedly in the beginning and also Umberto, but it wasn’t to be for us today. We have the time trial coming up tomorrow and it will be hard one, it’s quite long at close to 17km, some punchy sections and a technical final three kilometers. The guys need to pay attention, come through ok and see if if we can get out front again on the final stage in Krakow.”

David Lozano:

“There was a brief moment as we entered the final circuits where the gap to the front group was only one minute and we thought there was a chance it make it back in. But that thought didn’t last very long and as soon as the leaders accelerated again, that was it most of the guys in our group stopped working.”

Successful Tour de Pologne for Team Novo Nordisk

The worlds first all diabetes professional cycling team rounded off a successful week of racing at the Tour de Pologne with Matyas Kopecky producing another strong ride for 12th on the final stage in Krakow.

Team Novo Nordisk enjoyed two stages in the breakaway and a first WorldTour top ten for Kopecky on stage four before ending the week with a positive team performance on the final stage.

Head sports director Massimo Podenzana:

“In general it’s been a good week for us here at the Tour de Pologne, we started well with consecutive breakaway’s with both Filippo and Sam and then after a dip we picked back up again with a fantastic top ten by Matyas on stage four.”

“We almost did it again on today’s last stage, the boys rode really well together and we hit the final circuits in an excellent position with Matyas on the wheel of Andrea. A crash on the last lap held Andrea up and from there Matyas did great work. He found a good wheel on the QuickStep train, but as the sprint opened he was a bit exposed and slipped back to 12th. All in all a positive week for us.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“Really amazing feeling within the team here throughout the last week and we came so close to making it into the top ten again today. The team were solid all day and in the final I was on a really good wheel and for the first time positioned where I thought I needed to be.”

“Let’s keep the emphasis on ‘thought’ here, because as soon as the sprint kicked off it all opened up and I caught some wind. Bang. It was like someone put a wall there. I lost a couple of places and before I knew it I was out of the top ten. I still think that I can find that missing one percent of top end and we’re feeling really good for Denmark, so thank you Poland and Denmark here we come.”