20 Feb - 27 Feb 2022

TEAM Pro Team



Wet opening prologue at Tour du Rwanda

Umberto Poli (ITA):

“I started really-well, probably too well because the last kilometer I started to suffer and started to pay the price for starting too fast. But I’m happy because I haven’t done a prologue in a long time and sometimes the short effort can suit me.”

“The conditions didn’t help today, but they were the same for everyone and we are happy that we came through without any problems. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it’s going to be hard, but I love racing here and the last couple of days training on the Rwandan roads have been fantastic.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov (RUS):

“In theory it was a good way to start the race today. A short and fast prologue to open the lungs and get the legs pumping and help the guys acclimatize for the next week of racing, which is going to be very tough. But the rain made things a little more interesting.”

“Our only goal today was to come through without any problems due to the weather conditions and the extremely wet course. Thankfully we managed that and now we can look ahead to tomorrow and the real start of the race.”

Tough circuits wrap in bunch sprint on stage one at Tour du Rwanda

David Lozano:

“It was actually tougher than expected today even if the outcome wasn’t a surprise, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but the circuits were hard at the end. There were a lot of attacks popping all the time which means a lot of tired legs out there with the repeated accelerations and after yesterday’s short prologue it was quite fatiguing today.”

“We wanted to look after Umberto and give him a chance to have a crack at the sprint because he’s our fastest guy here for this kind of finish. But we know from previous year’s here that the altitude can have an effect if you’re not used to it and I think we will acclimatize over the coming days.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

Today’s opening stage unfolded pretty much as we thought it would, but it was quite hectic throughout. Once the early break went there were some attacks and we tried to keep ourselves together to shelter Umberto with the intention of keeping him near the front to try and have a go in the sprint. We don’t have a pure sprinter here and it was always going to be challenging going up against the fast guys.”

“After the break was caught it came down to the anticipated finale for the sprinters and unfortunately Umberto was involved in a small crash and missed the chance to sprint., he’s ok and finished the stage. It fragmented a little at the end as the attacks started to fly again, but David kept himself up there and managed to finish with the front runners and we look ahead to tomorrow’s stage now and another tough day coming up.”

Kusztor calm after repeated climbs take their toll in Rwanda

Peter Kusztor (HUN):

“It was very tough today. We started straight onto a first category climb and there were three more before the end, but I’m actually happy that I could finish with the main group because this is my first race of the season and even though I suffered a lot today, I feel like I managed everything well and gauged my efforts correctly.”

“The attacks came from the get-go. Absolutely full gas from the beginning and if you ask my legs, they will tell you that it never really stopped. One group losing contact and then chasing back on, another group over the next climb and then chasing again. All day like this, it was relentless. But we came through, all of us and that’s good. Let’s recover now and be ready to go again tomorrow.”

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov (RUS):

There’s not much I can say about today. The profile speaks for itself. Four first category climbs and the first one coming straight out of neutral…just to warm the legs up! No, seriously, it was very challenging today, and a lot of guys were in a battle from the early kilometers so I’m pleased that we all managed to come through unscathed today and especially Peter who put in a strong ride.

“Peter showed his experience today, he knew what was coming and positioned himself well in a good group to give himself every chance to finish in the bunch at the end and he made it. Pretty good for his first race of 2022.”

Back-to-Back climbing days taking their toll in Rwanda

David Lozano:

“You could see that was a lot of guys out there with tired legs after yesterday, there was a little change in the tempo. It’s pretty much back-to-back hard stages here, but I think that we worked together well today, and we are all fighting for each other so that we make it through even when we are suffering.”

“Everyone’s doing their job and seeing so many people out on the roads cheering us on definitely gives us the extra push we need to dig a little deeper. I felt better than yesterday and didn’t have so many issues with cramps, but I can feel that it’s my first race of the season and my body is adapting slowly to the altitude but each day it’s getting better.”

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Another hilly test for the guys today with a lot of heavy climbing coming in only 125km and it was a fight for a lot of the bunch. As David said you could see that there were guys who were paying for the efforts of yesterday.”

“David is improving with each stage and that’s good to see because it’s what you expect from his first race the season, especially such a hilly one. He was just off the lead group at the finish and Peter’s strong ride yesterday it was nice that we had David trying to move up a little today.”

Team Novo Nordisk hang tough on stage four in Rwanda

Peter Kusztor (HUN):

“Full gas again from the start today and we were straight onto the climbs with three coming over the first 30km and when you have attacks to get in the breakaway, attacks from the contenders and then team’s trying to cover moves. It’s just relentless and we felt it today. The bunch was split into six or seven groups before we hit the main climb of the day.”

“We were all together in a group with around 50 riders and we managed to stay within the group until the finish and thankfully the tempo in our group was not easy, but not at constantly on the limit. All the stages are hard here and we knew that coming in, but that doesn’t make it any easier once you’re out there.”

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov (RUS):

“These climbs keep on coming thick and fast and no matter how much you recover overnight you still know what’s coming up the next day and so the challenge is not only physical. It’s mental too and our guys showed a lot of fight again today and a lot of mental strength.”

“The early part of the stage was the hardest today and the race split apart on the first ascents and for those riders who aren’t climbers it was always going to be another long day with the focus only about survival and finishing within the time limit. David, Lucas and Peter all managed to finish in the second peloton, but Umberto is feeling the Tour of Oman in his legs and had a real fight on his hands today, but he showed true grit and he made it.”

Lozano finds the outside line as teamwork starts to pay off for TNN in Rwanda

David Lozano (ESP):

“Yet again it was hard from the flag drop today, but I feel like we did much better. Maybe we are finally acclimatizing because we managed to work really well over the three main climbs and everyone did a great job.”

“Lucas did amazing work for me and Peter at the end to help us stay at the front onto and over the Mur de Kigali and we held a really good position there within the top 25 or 30 riders and I knew that if I could approach from the outside and keep that line could maintain a good speed up to the end.”

“Overall, it was a good day for us, and I was finishing strong today so another 300 or 400 meters maybe I could have finished a little higher up, but top 25 is pretty good and it means I’m getting better. We would like to finish this race strongly, but we also know it’s going to be great preparation for our next races and for me personally, being my first race of 2022, that will be invaluable.”

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov (RUS):

“A first category climb to begin with, followed by a Hors Category ascent up to Tetero and the Mur de Kigali ahead of the climb to the line just to finish things off. It was a monster stage today and all in 152 action packed kilometers.”

“David did very well and found his rhythm there at the end with Lucas also improving today and helping David and Peter over the Mur de Kigali. All in all, a lot better from us and I’m very happy with the performance and the result, I hope we continue in the same way tomorrow.”

Penultimate stage in Rwanda sees TNN rally with the finish in sight

David Lozano:

“Today my legs felt better than the earlier stages and after yesterday’s strong finish I actually felt really positive at the start, but I had some difficulty breathing and found it hard to push through the limit so to speak and that restricted me a bit today.”

Lucas Dauge:

“It started really fast again today and once the break went it was down to the leader’s teams to control the race, but it didn’t slow down all that much, and we were in the main bunch for most of the day until we hit the last descent. That was super-fast, and we lost some positions there and tried to move back up on the last climb.”

“The last kilometer was very hard, gradients over 14% and after a week of hard racing you really feel it in your legs. But David was strong again today, no matter what he says, and was able to stay near the front and get a pretty good result. One more day to go.”

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov:“We’re pleased to have come through today, after Umberto had difficulties yesterday and we were down to three, I was sceptical about how another tough climbing day would take its toll. But the guys rallied and even though we didn’t have as a positive a result as on stage 6, David still managed to finish top 30 and not too far away from the leading group.”

Final laps over Mur de Kigali bring thrilling Tour du Rwanda to a close

What an eight-days of racing it has been at this year’s Tour du Rwanda. There’s been a little something of everything, torrential rain, scorching sunshine, brutal climbs, flying finishing straights, crashes, abandons, top 20’s and battles to the line. What a week. What a place. Above all…WHAT FANS!

At times it seemed like the whole country had come out to watch the race fly by along the roadside. Seas of colour and smiles. A chorus of cheers and applause. How cycling should be when it’s stripped back to its roots.

For Team Novo Nordisk, to come and race here in Rwanda to drive change in diabetes and raise health awareness, the positive effect of inspiration is very real and not just for the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team, but for the whole peloton.

Peter Kusztor (HUN):

“After the previous seven days of racing today’s stage felt like it as a lot longer. It was only a short stage but repeated laps over the Mur de Kigali made it very hard and our bodies are tired, but we raced very well today.”

“We were organized and finished in the top 20 and David was right up there with me too. Lucas has been wonderful here, every stage working hard for us, bringing bottles, trying to keep myself and David positioned well, and he has gotten stronger every day.”

“This race has been a great experience for us, super hard, but also very enjoyable and to start my season off in this way has been great. I’ll definitely reap the benefits of this kind of racing in the coming weeks. I love Rwanda and I won’t ever forget this race or the people, I told my wife we need to come back here as a family and I would love for my kids to come and experience this special place.”

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov (RUS):

“It’s been a great experience coming here and being a part of the Tour du Rwanda. We’ve had our difficulties with injuries before the race and losing Umberto for the last couple of stage made it hard, but the guys really dug in and our team spirit and work ethic has been phenomenal.”

“For David and Peter, it was their first race of the season and it’s a hard place to start, but they are both experienced guys with a good block of winter training behind them and you could see them getting stronger every stage.”

“Lucas has also improved as the race went on and he has been vital support for David and Peter, without his good work we would not have been finishing top 20 on a couple of stages and I hope he continues to push on in the same manner for the next races.”