Tour of Rhodes

24 Mar - 27 Mar 2022

TEAM Pro Team




An uphill 3.8km prologue opened up the 2022 edition of the International Rhodes Tour the with former Hungarian road champion Peter Kusztor rolling back the years for Team Novo Nordisk and finishing in 23rd place.

Peter Kusztor:

“I am really happy with my ride today actually, I’m not so young any more and I had a very good power output that surprised me a little. The course was very windy with a block headwind in packed which made it very difficult, but I manage to pace myself well and I feel like I managed my effort nicely.”

“That’s a solid start for us, we weren’t at our best on Sunday at the Rhodes GP, but we kept a good mentality over the last few days of training here on the island and we need to take that into tomorrow’s road stage now.”

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

Peter did well today, the course wasn’t an easy one and it certainly wasn’t made any easier by the windy conditions. On a short climb like today, the warmup and management of your effort are crucial factors, effectively it’s a ten-minute burst and Peter’s experience and intelligence really showed today.”.

“It was important for us to start on a positive note ahead of tomorrow’s first real stage, every day is going to be tough. Punchy stages with some technical descents to deal with and what’s becoming an incessant, strong wind that’s whipping around the island. One thing is for sure, we won’t be short of any action.”


Veteran Team Novo Nordisk climber Peter Kusztor pulled out another impressive performance on the opening road stage at the International Rhodes Tour with the 37-year-old in the mix in the leading group after the race split to pieces on the main climb of the day.

Holding position as the closing kilometers unfolded over a lumpy circuit, Kusztor rode intelligently, knowing his chances in the sprint would be limited and deciding to try to maintain position. The former Hungarian road champion finished just outside the top ten in 12th place with Andrea Peron and neo-pro Matyas Kopecky close behind also in the top 25.

Peter Kusztor:

“I am happy again today, I felt good after yesterday’s prologue and I just tried to ride at the front, be well positioned and alive to any significant action. When the bunch split on the steepest climb I was up there and able to stay there. So as the time gap went out, I thought ok, I need to try and stay here and see how it unfolds.”

“There was close to 15 guys and the gap held at around a minute after the descent and we hit the closing circuit. I know I’m not a sprinter and that the finish didn’t suit me, but with the gap between the groups being what it was I also knew that it was very unlikely that the group with Andrea and Matyas would come back. So, I tried to give it my all and have a go in the final.”

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“Peter rode well again today and we can see that he’s coming into some decent form now, the altitude and tough racing at the Tour of Rwanda has clearly done him some good. How the race unfolded over the climbs dictated how the tactics would be in the final and once the splits went out to a minute it was always going to be hard for the two front groups to come back together.

“We spoke at the start about the importance of having someone at the front if a large group went clear and Peter made sure we got that today, so it gives us another positive result and a small advance on the general classification.”

Photo: Nassos Triantafyllou


Neo-pro Matyas Kopecky fulfilled his dream on stage two of the International Tour of Rhodes, sprinting into third place in his first professional race for Team Novo Nordisk.

After another hilly and windy stage, the Czech U19 road champion was set to lead-out teammate Andrea Peron in downtown Afandou, but a technical corner filled with road furniture saw Peron lose position and left Kopecky with the chance to sprint on the wide straight and take third place. Capping off a solid all round team performance.

Matyas Kopecky:

“I said coming into this race that I didn’t know what to expect from this level of racing because it was unknown to me, and it has been really hard so far. But I also said that I dreamt of a getting a good result on my debut, so to be able to achieve that today is just amazing and I want to thank all the team for believing in me and giving me the chance to be part of this special family.”

“Racing with these guys over the last few days has been a real eye opener and I’m learning so much, especially from Andrea and Peter who both are a great teachers during the race and when you see Peter moving on the climbs, you know you need to go. Sharing a room with Andrea has been good for me and we’ve been alongside each other each day in the bunch too, so getting a result today is the best way I can say thank you.”

“I didn’t expect to have the chance to sprint today, but after the last corner I saw that Andrea had slipped back so I kept looking back with 300-400 meters to go to see if he was coming back up, but it was too fast, and I thought ok I’ll have a go. The wind probably helped me out in the sprint because most of the guys were too the right and I was able to sprint up the left.”

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“The stage played out well for us today, apart from an early breakaway on the climb, there wasn’t so many attacks, and everything felt more controlled. For sure the headwind on the climbs kept the pace down and played a big role in the race situation and it wasn’t until the last climb that the pace went up and we saw some splits, but Andrea, Matyas and Peter were all well positioned and made it into the front.”

“Our plan was to go for the sprint with Andrea, but the last corner saw some riders lose position and that left us with Matyas up there and the kid did a fantastic job. It’s important to not put unnecessary pressure on Matyas and his job here was to learn and work for the team but he took his chance today and really lifted the spirits of the guys who all did a great job.”


Team Novo Nordisk closed out the International Rhodes Tour in fine style with Italian sprinter Andrea Peron taking third place in the final sprint after a brutal last stage, giving the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team it’s second podium of the race and first ever consecutive top three finish.

Andrea Peron:

“Today was insanely hard, the Queen Stage of the race and I really suffered. I was in the break from the second kilometer until the end. Almost 150km and it was brutal. The climbs hurt a lot and once the front of the group behind bridged across to us the pace went up a notch, but I knew how important it was to stay there because if you get dropped on circuits like today….you don’t come back.”

“The boys have done a great job all week, the whole team has worked hard. First with Peter going well in the prologue and then Matyas taking third yesterday, I knew that if I could maintain a good position, I could get a result today and I’m happy with third place. We can leave here happy that we’ve done our job and we’ve done it very well.”

Head Sports Director Massimo Podenzana:

“We’ve had a very good few days of racing here at the Rhodes Tour and I think it’s safe to say we have well and truly put the disappointment of Sunday’s performance at the Rhodes GP behind us. Two podium’s back-to-back is something we haven’t achieved in a stage race before and the guys really deserved it, they worked hard and dug in when it counted.”

“Andrea gave it everything today, you could see at the finish what it took out of him to battle over the climbs and still have enough left at the end to produce his sprint, a sprint that we all know he’s capable of and he fought like hell to get that top three finish. I’m proud of them all, not every team races with a message like ours and when we race hard and get results like we have here in Rhodes. That message of inspiration for everyone who lives with diabetes gets hammered home.”