18 Apr - 23 Apr 2017

TEAM Pro Team

CITY Various


TEAM Pro Team CITY Various STAGES 6

Tour of Croatia - Stage 1

Race: Tour of Croatia, Stage 1

Start/Finish: Osijek/Koprivnica, Croatia

Distance: 227 kilometers

Koprivnica, Croatia Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor garnered his best result of the season when he earned a top 10 finish on Stage 1 of the Tour of Croatia.

The peloton began the 227-kilometer stage in cold and wet conditions in Osijek. The rain let up but the day remained cold and grey until the finish. Team Novo Nordisk’s Chris Williams was aggressive from the start and made an early three-man breakaway, but the World Tour teams weren’t willing to let the trio go. Once the day’s main break escaped, they earned nearly 10 minutes before getting caught after the only categorized climb of the stage. In the final 20 kilometers, several riders made late race attacks, but everything came together with Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) winning the bunch sprint and Verschoor taking ninth.

Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Massimo Podenzana

“Williams punctured after his breakaway came back and missed the one that was successful. After that, all our riders sat in the peloton to eat, drink and conserve energy for the finish. Once the rain stopped, the speed increased, but altogether we were ten minutes behind the slowest schedule today. Martijn and Andrea were both at the front for the sprint, and we had good teamwork to earn that top 10 today. Looking at the rest of the race, all the other stages are shorter, and we will have opportunities for the breakaway and a few more sprint finishes.”

Martijn Verschoor

“Position was really important today. I lost a few spots in the final tunnel, and I was behind with 300 meters to go. I was in fourth or fifth position. I needed to go around on the right side, and I made a last-minute mistake. It is my first top 10 of the year, which definitely isn’t bad. It has been a long time since I’ve really been able to sprint, so the form is finally getting there in anticipation of the Tour of California.”

Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Tour of Croatia on Wednesday with a 123-kilometer race beginning in Trogir. Stage 2 features one categorized climb and two intermediate sprints before an HC or beyond category summit finish on Sveti Jure, which is the highest peak in Biokovo and the second highest peak in Croatia.




  • 1st: Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates): 5:24:19
  • 2nd: Eduard Michael Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini): same time as Modolo
  • 3rd: Nicolas Marini (Nippo-Vini Fantini): same time as Modolo

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • Martijn Verschoor: 9th: same time as Modolo
  • Andrea Peron: 35th: same time as Modolo
  • Charles Planet: 54th: same time as Modolo
  • Joonas Henttala: 72nd: same time as Modolo
  • Chris Williams: 86th: same time as Modolo
  • David Lozano: 105th: same time as Modolo
  • Fabio Calabria: 113th: same time as Modolo
  • Javier Megias: 122nd: same time as Modolo


Tour of Croatia - Stage 2

Race: Tour of Croatia, Stage 2

Start/Finish: Trogir/Biokovo, Croatia

Distance: 107.7km

Biokovo, Croatia — Tour of Croatia organizers shortened Wednesday’s second stage due to high winds and extremely cold temperatures on the final climb, and delayed the start of the race down the Dalmatian coast.

Snow overnight on the 500km transfer after the finish of stage one delayed the arrival of most teams to the luxury resort hotel along the Adriatic Sea until after 11pm on Tuesday, prompting organizers to change Wednesday’s start from noon until 2:30 in the afternoon. They also cut off the final 15km of what was to be the 2017 season’s first real long mountain climb, Sveti Jure, the second highest mountain in Croatia.

A 4-rider breakaway built up as much as five minutes on the peloton soon after leaving the small island of Trogir, but strong World Tour teams began to chase hard in the second hour of racing and brought the escapees back at the base of the 15km climb up a narrow switchback road away from the sea. Javier Megias and David Lozano kept in contact with the leaders into the final 3km, where heavy winds in bright sunshine dropped the air temperature down to around freezing.

Croatian climber Kristijan Duracek won ahead of Spain’s Jaime Roson, with Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali a close third.

Team Novo Nordisk’s Sport Director Massimo Podenzana

“Javi stayed with the leaders until the last 2k and rode strong to the finish. David suffered a bit on the first part of the climb, but got stronger as the road continued. Tomorrow is our best chance for a breakaway, but the start will be up and down in some hills and probably a bit nervous. The finish for stage three is flat, and we are expecting a big group sprint.”

Chris Williams

“The stage was shortened but there was still a pretty long climb at the end, 13 or 14k. Coming down the coast there was a headwind, so it was a lot easier if you weren’t on the front. It ramped up as we came to the beginning of the climb, and there were a few teams who were working to put their guys at the front. But it was freezing at the finish, and that was the point where the organizers stopped the race and said any further is too cold. It looks sunny and warm, but it’s pretty chilly up top.”

Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Tour of Croatia on Thursday with a 237km stage that begins inland in Imotski and travels back north up the coast to Zadar.



  • 1st: Kristijan Duracek (UAE Team Emirates): 2:43:38
  • 2nd: Jaime Roson (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA): st
  • 3rd: Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team): 0:03 back

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • Javier Megias: 28th: 1:01 back
  • David Lozano: 64th: 5:38 back
  • Joonas Henttala: 79th: 8:41 back
  • Fabio Calabria: 85th: 9:43 back
  • Andrea Peron: 90th: 9:43 back
  • Charles Planet: 94th: 9:43 back
  • Chris Williams: 150th: 9:43 back
  • Martijn Verschoor: 151st

(Photos: KL Photo)

Tour of Croatia - Stage 3

Race: Tour of Croatia, Stage 3

Start/Finish: Imotski/Zadar, Croatia

Distance: 237km

ZADAR, CROATIA — Strong winds and a nervous peloton made Thursday’s massive third stage at the Tour of Croatia a six-hour fight for wheels as Team Novo Nordisk spun up the Adriatic Sea coast on a tough day on the bike.

An 8-rider breakaway formed soon after a crisp early-morning start in the hilltop tourist town of Imotski, and by the time the riders warmed up on the descent down to the beach the gap was more than three minutes. Strong tailwinds shifted across the road as the peloton rose and fell with the elevation.

After crossing back inland and then once again out to sea, the peloton caught the breakaway just as the finishing laps began in Zadar. Riders jostling for position on narrow roads found little room to maneuver around the traffic circles, with numerous crashes in the final 10km. No Team Novo Nordisk riders went down, but a split in the group separated Martijn Verschoor at the front of the race, with no contact to his teammates behind him.

Three Italians swept the podium in the reduced-field sprint, with Nicola Ruffoni edging out Giacomo Nizzolo and Ricardo Minali. Verschoor finished just outside the Top-10 in the same time as the winner.

Team Novo Nordisk’s Sport Director Massimo Podenzana

“Today was the longest day of the Tour of Croatia, and we expected to go in the breakaway with either Charles or David, but they tried unsuccessfully four times and then the fifth time it went without them. Overall it was nervous and windy, and there were a lot of crashes, especially late in the race. We have another chance tomorrow for a breakaway and we’ll set the goal again.”

David Lozano

“Today was 240k of wind, a lot of tension in the bunch and really nervous the whole time. At kilometer 5 we started a 10km climb, and everybody knew the breakaway was going to go, and in the end we got in a lot of groups and spent a lot of power but we were just unlucky.”

Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Tour of Croatia on Friday with a 171km stage that begins in Crikvenica and travels right up to the border with Slovenia at Umag.



  • 1st: Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiana – CSF): 5:55:27
  • 2nd: Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek – Segafredo): st
  • 3rd: Ricardo Minali (Astana Pro Team): st

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • Martijn Verschoor: 12th: st
  • Andrea Peron: 29th: st
  • Charles Planet: 35th: st
  • Joonas Henttala: 53rd: 8:41 st
  • David Lozano: 57th: 5:38 st
  • Fabio Calabria: 69th: st
  • Javier Megias: 73rd: 1:01 st
  • Chris Williams: 105thst

(Photos: ©KL Photo)

Tour of Croatia - Stage 4

Race: Tour of Croatia, Stage 4

Start/Finish: Crikvenica/Umag, Croatia

Distance: 171km

UMAG, CROATIA — Warmer weather greeted the riders on Friday at stage four of the Tour of Croatia, as a shake up in the general classification put top World Tour teams on guard against any disruptions ahead of Saturday’s Queen Stage.

A breakaway of four riders left the peloton on the first climb of the day, building an advantage of three minutes before the chase group began to hold the gap steady over a succession of hills up and away from the seaside resorts of Dalmatia. Crossing through picturesque valleys into the region of Istria, the Tour of Croatia began to shed the extra clothing needed in the unusually cold weather up to now.

All came back together into Umag for a group sprint, with Italian Nicola Ruffoni winning for the second consecutive day. Behind him on the podium stood fellow Italian Riccardo Minali and Russian Ivan Savitskiy. Martijn Verschoor was Team Novo Nordisk’s highest-placed finisher on the day, following Ruffoni in the same time at 25th place.

Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Massimo Podenzana

“The weather improved today and gave everyone a little taste of spring again. It’s still colder than normal, but today was easier on the peloton with less wind and overall better temperatures. We go into the Queen Stage tomorrow with two very hard climbs and will put our teamwork behind Javier Megias for the day.”

Charles Planet

“Today was three degrees better, and it makes a big difference. We could start the race without leg warmers and finish without arm warmers at the end. Tomorrow is the Queen Stage at the Tour of Croatia, and also a short one. We’re really looking to our leader Javier Megias, who is coming into good form. I’ll try to go into a breakaway if I can, because I am really motivated to get out in front for the team.”

Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Tour of Croatia on Saturday with a 141km stage that begins in Porec and finishes with an Out of Category climb to Ucka.



  • 1st: Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiana – CSF): 4:10:15
  • 2nd: Riccardo Minali (Astana Pro Team): st
  • 3rd: Ivan Savitskiy (Gazprom – RusVelo): st

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • Martijn Verschoor: 25th: st
  • Andrea Peron: 60th: 0:07 back
  • Charles Planet: 73rd: st
  • Fabio Calabria: 75th: st
  • Javier Megias: 77th: st
  • David Lozano: 88th: st
  • Joonas Henttala: 102nd: st
  • Chris Williams: 112th: 0:22 back

(Photos: ©KL Photo)

Tour of Croatia - Stage 5

Race: Tour of Croatia, Stage 5

Start/Finish: Porec/Ucka, Croatia

Distance: 141km

UCKA, CROATIA — Saturday’s Queen Stage at the Tour of Croatia began with a moment of silence in the beachside town of Porec to mark the untimely death of professional cyclist Michele Scarponi at his home in Italy when a vehicle hit him on a training ride earlier in the morning. Well-known and widely respected in the peloton, the 37-year old leaves behind a wife and twin boys. Team Novo Nordisk offers its deepest condolences to his family, friends and teammates.

Once the stage began, Scarponi’s Astana Pro Team colleagues led the group out of the city and rode at the front quietly for nearly an hour, with no rival teams attempting a breakaway and no noise from anyone in the race.

A breakaway did form once the race began in earnest, and six riders put a time gap of around two minutes on the chasing peloton over an out of category climb. Once down from the mountain, the team of race leader Vincenzo Nibali began to chase, bringing the escape to a close on the day’s final climb. Team Novo Nordisk riders Javier Megias and David Lozano remained with Nibali’s group up the second out of category ascent.

Megias finished 20th on the day and climbed to 16th overall with an excellent performance on a very subdued day of racing. Spaniard Jaime Roson won the stage and now leads the overall ahead of Nibali, who came second in front of Czech rider Jan Hirt.

Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Massimo Podenzana

“Javi was good today and showed real strength on the final climb. The World Tour teams controlled the race but it was the pro continental squads that made the action in the mountains.”

Team Novo Nordisk Javier Megias

“Today was the last chance for the GC, so I tried to be with the first guys. I still need to work a little bit before California, but the legs are getting better and hopefully in California I can be with the top guys.”

Team Novo Nordisk continues racing at the Tour of Croatia on Sunday with a 147km mostly flat stage that begins in Samobor and finishes in Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb.



  • 1st: Jaime Roson (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA): 3:41:47
  • 2nd: Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team): st
  • 3rd: Jan Hirt (CCC Sprandi Pulkowice): st

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • Javier Megias: 20th: 1:37 back
  • David Lozano: 48th: 7:58 back
  • Joonas Henttala: 80th: 20:09 back
  • Charles Planet: 89th: 21:52 back
  • Andrea Peron: 120th: 25:21 back
  • Fabio Calabria: 121st: 25:21 back
  • Chris Williams: 126th: 25:21 back
  • Martijn Verschoor: 127th: 25:21

(Photos: ©KL Photo)

Tour of Croatia - Stage 6

Race: Tour of Croatia, Stage 6

Start/Finish: Samobor/Zagreb, Croatia

Distance: 147km

ZAGREB, CROATIA — Javier Megias punched his way to the front on Sunday in the final stage at the Tour of Croatia, finishing with the lead group of elite riders in the historic center of Zagreb.

Megias finished 19 seconds behind stage winner Sacha Modolo of Italy, moving up in the final classification to 15th overall after a week of punishing race action around Croatia.

Sunday’s stage six began just at the border with Slovenia, and Team Novo Nordisk sent Australian rider Chris Williams into the main breakaway early on the day, joining a fast group of 15 over the rolling hills into Croatia’s capital city. With the General Classification competition narrowed down to just a handful of seconds for the top three podium spots, leading teams were nervous and reluctant to allow more than two minutes advantage on the approach to the finish.

On the city circuits Williams finished his duty for the day and watched as his teammates moved to usher Megias towards the front for two laps on the cobblestone climbs in Zagreb. Modolo won ahead of his own teammate Jan Polanc of Slovenia and Boy Van Poppel of the Netherlands. Italian Vincenzo Nibali won the overall classification in the 2017 Tour of Croatia by eight seconds.

Team Novo Nordisk returns to racing at the beginning of May for the Tour of Azerbaijan.

Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director Massimo Podenzana

“We are on our way to California with this group of riders, and in Croatia we saw Verschoor and Megias improve their overall fitness and race sharpness. The rest of the riders came together with good teamwork in spite of difficult conditions, with rain, long transfers and some very cold days for this time of the year.”

Andrea Peron

“The whole team was fighting today to get into the breakaway, so finally when Chris got in it was really good. The race was really hard when we got into the laps, but everybody was at the front in a good position working for Javi and Charles, and that was fine. I was off the bike for three weeks with an injury, so for me coming to Croatia was a lot of questions and now I feel pretty good with the answers. Our big goal is California, and we are racing good to get there.”



  • 1st: Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates): 3:16:52
  • 2nd: Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates): st
  • 3rd: Boy Van Poppel (Trem – Segafredo): st

Team Novo Nordisk Results: 

  • Javier Megias: 22nd: 0:19 back
  • Charles Planet: 44th: 1:28 back
  • David Lozano: 50th: 1:33 back
  • Joonas Henttala: 61st: 1:33 back
  • Andrea Peron: 66th: 1:45 back
  • Fabio Calabria: 93rd: 3:04 back
  • Martijn Verschoor: 94th: 3:04 back
  • Chris Williams: 135th: 6:48 back

(Photos: ©KL Photo)