Tour of Slovenia

19 Jun - 23 Jun 2019

TEAM Pro Team

CITY Various


TEAM Pro Team CITY Various STAGES 5


“This is how I like cycling. To always be on the attack.” Watch Charles Planet break down stage 1 of Tour of Slovenia


(Photos: ©René Vigneron)

2019 Tour of Slovenia - Stage 1

Race: Tour of Slovenia, Stage 1

Start/Finish: Ljubljana/Rogaška Slatina

Distance: 168.5 kilometers

Celje, Slovenia — Team Novo Nordisk raced aggressively in the opening stage of the 26th edition of the Tour of Slovenia with Frenchman Charles Planet showing the Changing Diabetes jersey at the front of the race in a late breakaway which he instigated after a bold attack.

The 168.5 km stage between Ljubljana and Rogaška Slatina took the riders over a lumpy terrain but no major climbs. Three riders went up the road on the first climb after just 6 km. They carved out a gap of four minutes before the peloton, led by the sprinters teams, took charge and started riding tempo to keep the trio in check. In the second half of the race the breakaway’s advantage started to dip steadily and the last two remaining escapees got swallowed up by the bunch just after the last KOM with 53 km to go. Charles Planet anticipated the moment and launched a fierce attack just after the summit. Our Frenchman, a savvy breakaway aficionado, was later joined by an elite group of 10 other riders who worked well together and opened a gap that topped at one minute and 45 seconds. The second breakaway of the day rode strongly until the last 20 km when some riders started to attack each other which, ultimately, doomed their chances to stay away. Planet fell back into the peloton and the last riders upfront were caught just inside the last 10 km.

The sprinter’s teams went to work at the front and the pace dwindled the main field down significantly. Team Novo Nordisk showed their combative spirit and had David Lozano, Peter Kusztor and Charles Planet still at the fore when the fight for the stage honors was initiated. Pascal Ackermann (Borahansgrohe) confirmed his top favourite status and took a convincing win ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data) and Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates).

Lozano and Kusztor rounded up the top 25 while Planet, despite the energy spent at the front in the breakaway, still crossed the line in the main bunch.

The world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team continues to race in Tour of Slovenia this Thursday on the 146.3 km stage 2 that will take the peloton from Maribor to Celje over a more hilly terrain that could see a select group fighting out for the win.

Charles Planet:

“Today three riders went on the breakaway and in the last KOM of the day I could see it was just only guy left out front. I felt really good, took my chance and attacked. This is how I like cycling. To always be on the attack. Some other riders joined me and we were a really strong breakaway. Unfortunately, in the end, the cooperation was not great. At one point we had one minute and 40 seconds gap and I wish the cooperation would have been better. However, I’m really happy about the move I made and how I raced and will try again in the coming days.”



1st: Pascal Ackermann (Borahansgrohe)

2nd: Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data)

3rd:  Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates).

24th: David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk): “

(Photos: ©René Vigneron)


“There was a crash and one rider hit my rear derailleur so I had to do the climb only with lower gears.” Watch David Lozano recap a tough day in the saddle at stage 2 of Tour of Slovenia.


(Photos: ©René Vigneron)

2019 Tour of Slovenia - Stage 2

Race: Tour of Slovenia, Stage 2

Start/Finish: Maribor/Celje

Distance: 146.3 kilometers

Celje, Slovenia — It was a hard day at the office for Team Novo Nordisk on Stage 2 of Tour of Slovenia. David Lozano was struck by bad luck in the decisive part of the race but did well to finish in the second group alongside his teammate and former two-time Hungarian National champion Peter Kuzstor.

Clear blue skies and blazing sun greeted the peloton at the start in Maribor this Thursday. The shorter stage was deceiving as it had almost 2000 meters of climbing packed into less than 150 km  and big gaps were expected to occur before the finish in Celje. Three riders attacked in the early kilometers and quickly opened daylight to the bunch. Rok Korošec (Slo/Ljubljana Gusto Santic)David Per (Slo, Adria Mobil) and Lorenzo Fortunato (ItaNeri Sottoli) stayed away until the base of the last KOM of the day, the Cat-2 Svetina, a 5.4 km climb with an average gradient of 7.7%. This provided the backdrop for the decisive move that opened the way to the stage win. At this point Team Novo Nordisk was represented at the front of the main pack with Peter Kusztor and David Lozano well positioned heading into the climb. However, the latter was hit by misfortune when a crash involving other riders resulted in a broken rear derailleur for our Spanish climber who was then forced to do the ascend with only lower gears.

UAE Team Emirates took the reins and set a demolishing pace at the front of the pack resulting in riders being d drop one by one. Before half the climb was overcome the peloton had dwindled down to 20 or so riders, amongst them Tadej Pogacar and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and Esteban Chaves(Michelton – Scott). With 20 km to go an elite group of six riders remained up front but the the closing circuit in Celje a second chase group that included Mezgec managed to bridge across. In the final sprint the Slovenian fast man opened early and won in front of his home crowd securing the stage win and lead in the overall classification. Lozano and Kusztor rolled across the finishing line three minutes down on the stage winner in 29th and 33rd position, respectively.

The world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team take on stage 3 of Tour of Slovenia this Friday. Starting in Žalec and covering over 169 km of undulating terrain to Idrij that includes 4 categorized climbs.

David Lozano:

“Everyone knew that the last climb would blow the peloton apart and that’s exactly what happened. I had a little bit of bad luck just before the last climb. There was a crash and one rider hit my rear derailleur so I had to do the climb only with lower gears. In the last two kilometers of the climb my legs said enough. I made to the second group and in the end I enjoyed the day.”   


Stage 2 Classification:

1st – Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton – Scott) – 3:35:55

2nd – Grega Bole (Bahrain Merida) – “

3rd – Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli) – “

29th – David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) – 3:07

(Photos: ©René Vigneron)


“I was in a lot of moves and I think I paid for it a little bit at the end but I was pretty happy with my performance.” Watch David Lozano break down a high speed stage 3 of Tour of Slovenia.


(Photos: ©René Vigneron)

2019 Tour of Slovenia - Stage 3

Race: Tour of Slovenia, Stage 3

Start/Finish: Žalec/Idrija

>Distance: 169.8 kilometers

Novo Mesto, Slovenia — Team Novo Nordisk put in a good team effort that resulted in two solid performances by David Lozano and Peter Kusztor who climbed to 25th and 26th in the overall classification, respectively.

With four classified climbs on the menu the fight to be in the initial breakaway was furious with multiple moves being closed down in the first hour. Team NovoNordisk was very active at the front with several riders attempting to break clear, including Frenchman Charles Planet who at one point rode half a minute in front of the peloton with two other escapees but that group was ultimately shut down. In the end, Marco Maronese (Bardiani–CSF), Lorenzo Fortunato (NeriSottoli – Selle Italia – KTM), David Per (Adria Mobil) and Benjamin Hill (Ljubljana Gusto Santic) got the all clear and forged ahead opening a gap that steadily increased up to a whopping seven minutes. However, in the last third of the race, the escapees’ advantage declined rapidly. On the penultimate climb, a few riders attempted to bridge across to the leaders but the UAE Team Emirates led peloton reeled them back in. The escapees were eventually caught with 25 km remaining on the Cat- 2 Dole climb by an elite group consisting of Esteban Chaves (Michelton-Scott), Diego Ulissi and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Aleksandr Vlasov (GazpromRusvelo) which had a small lead on the rest of the main field.

Ulissi proved the strongest and after dropping Vlasov in the final kilometres the Italian crossed the finishing line solo taking the stage win in Idrija and climbing to the top of the overall classification.

Team Novo Nordisk rode strongly in support of our two best climbers in the race and both Lozano and Kusztor rose to the challenge and concluded the stage in a select chase group in 25th and 28th positions, respectively. Results that enabled them to take a handful of positions in the overall standings. Lozano now stands in 25th on the GC immediately followed by teammate and two-times Hungarian champion Peter Kusztor who sits in 26th place.

This Saturday, Team Novo Nordisk will tackle an even harder stage with four KOM’s, including the 1st category Predmeja climb, over 153.9 km linking Nova Gorica and Ajdovščina.

David Lozano:

“Today we had four climbs on the menu. It was up and down all day in really beautiful small roads. All the landscape was really green with a lot of mountains. The raced had a really fast start. The first 100 km we had attacks everywhere. I was in a lot of moves and I think I paid for it a little bit at the end but I was pretty happy with my performance. I was with the front group for a long time but in the end I missed some power. I’m looking forward to tomorrow!”


Stage 3 Results:

1st – Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) – 3:58:01

2nd – Aleksandr Vlasov (GazpromRusvelo) – 0:00:12

3rd – Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia) . 0:00:17

25th – David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:02:08

(Photos: ©René Vigneron)


Join Team Novo Nordisk Brian Kamstra for a tour of the Team Novo Nordisk bus and to meet our Tour of Slovenia squad on a rainy stage 4.



(Photos: ©René Vigneron)

2019 Tour of Slovenia - Stage 4

Race: Tour of Slovenia, Stage 4

Start/Finish: Nova Gorica/Ajdovščina

Distance: 153.9 kilometers

Ajdovščina, Slovenia — Team Novo Nordisk’s David Lozano put up a strong performance on the Queen Stage of Tour of Slovenia and climbed to 18th in the overall classification.

The 154 km-long queen stage between Nova Gorica and Ajdovščina started under challenging weather conditions with heavy rain coming down during the first to hours of racing. Five riders braved the elements and made the breakaway but were always kept on a short leash by the peloton.

With 70 km remaining only two escapees remained up front with the peloton riding five minutes in arrears with all our Team Novo Nordisk riders. The main goal was to keep our to leaders, David Lozano and Peter Kusztor, in a good position to tackle the last climb of the day and the most gruelling of this edition of Tour of Slovenia: the 9km-long Predmeja climb with its average gradient of eight per cent.

The remains of the breakaway were reeled in with 37 km to go and soon after the battle for the overall classification started with Aleksandr Vlasov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) putting in a strong attack that exploded the field. GC leader Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) and his teammate and local talent Tadej Pogačarresponded as well as Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM).

Ultimately the day’s victor was decided amongst this elite group with Visconti out-sprinting Ulissi and Pogačar and taking the stage win. Ulissi was second and keeps the green jersey with one stage remaining. Three minutes after, our Spaniard David Lozano crossed the finishing line in 20th position, a result that enabled him to climb seven spots in the overall standings to sit now in 18th place.

Tour of Slovenia concludes this Sunday with a 167.5 km stage starting in Trebnje and finishing in  Novo Mesto, the unofficial cycling capital in Slovenia.

David Lozano:

“We started with an opposite weather to the previous days. We had rain and wind which are not the perfect conditions for me but I managed to save the first part of the stage and stay in the game. I found my legs when the sun came out. I’m happy to have these feeling but also a bit sad that I didn’t start the last climb with the best guys because I think I would have managed to stay with them. Tomorrow we have another chance. Perhaps for Andrea (Peron) because it’s suppose to be a bunch sprint, so we’ll try to finish on a high note.”



1st – Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia) . – 4:00:53

2nd – Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)) – “

3rd –  Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates). “

20th – David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:03:19

(Photos: ©René Vigneron)


“I suffered a lot but it was nice to spend the day in the breakaway.” Watch Charles Planet recap his day in the break at the final stage of Tour of Slovenia.


(Photos: ©René Vigneron)

2019 Tour of Slovenia - Stage 5

Race: Tour of Slovenia, Stage 5

Start/Finish: Trebnje / Novo Mesto, Slovenia

Distance: 167.5 kilometers

Novo Mesto, Slovenia – Team Novo Nordisk concluded their maiden Tour of Slovenia on a high note with Frenchman Charles Planet showing the Changing Diabetes colors up front in a splendid breakaway under inclement weather. David Lozano successfully defended his 18th spot in the overall classification and the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team rode into Novo Mesto in 9th position in the team’s classification with a full roster.

The final stage of the Tour of Slovenia started in Trebnje and the peloton had to negotiate two Cat-3 climbs over a 167.5km-long route, the last of which, a 8.6 km ascent with an average gradient of 4.5%, coming just 30km from the finish line in Novo Mesto.

Team Novo Nordisk was very active right from the gun and Joonas Henttala was in the first move that broke clear. However, due to a diligent pace setting by Michelton-Scott the initial 11-man breakaway was eventually reeled in. At the 15 km mark three other riders forged ahead and got a gap and showing his true fighting spirit our Frenchman Charles Planet bridged across solo and the day’s breakaway was settled.

As the peloton settled down Planet, Przemysław Kasperkiewicz (Delko–Marseille Provence), Žiga Horvat (Adria Mobil) and Umberto Marengo (Neri Sottoli–Selle Italia–KTM) stretched the gap to over four minutes.

As the rain poured down relentlessly Marengo called it a day as the front group reached the 50 km mark and the breakaway was down to three riders who, nevertheless, continued to cooperate and stayed away until the approach to the final climb when the Gazprom led peloton swallowed up the escapees.

Despite the furious pace another group of riders managed to break clear but ultimately the main field came back together and began to naturally thin out on the last ascent. Team Novo Nordisk just missed out on a split and despite the best efforts from his teammates our designated sprinter for the day, Italian Andrea Peron, was unable to bridge back to the front group.

In the end the stage honours went to Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data) who outsprinted local favourite Luka Mezgec (Michelton – Scott) and Shane Archbold (BORA – Hansgrohe).

Spaniard David Lozano finished safely in a second chase group alongside Andrea Peron, two minutes and 23 seconds after the winner, and defended his 18th place in the overall classification.

Charles Planet:

“There were a lot of attacks at the beginning. Initially 11 riders went away, it was a really dangerous breakaway so Michelton – Scott put some guys in the front of the peloton and the pace was incredible. I was on my limit but I managed to stay with the main field as knew that for sure once they caught them the right break would go. My plan went to perfection. I suffered a lot and went into the red zone for a long time in the first hour but it was nice to spend the day in the breakaway. We were caught 5 km before the last climb. My day was done and I was happy so I just enjoyed the rest of the stage.”

Vassili Davidenko:

“It was our first time racing in the Tour of Slovenia and it was an amazing race. We had a fantastic welcome from the Slovenian Diabetes Association which gave an amazing visibility to our team. We saw so many people who were inspired by Team Novo Nordisk and we are touched to have so many new fans in this country. We finished with an 18th place in the General Classification and considering it’s an HC race, and a very challenging one, its a solid result. We also achieved ninth place in the teams classification which is motivating when there were 19 teams at the start. We raced aggressively and featured in breakaways twice so I consider this was a pretty successful race for our team. We are already looking forward to coming back in 2020!”



1st – Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data) – 4:01:55

2nd – Luka Mezgec (Michelton – Scott) – “

3rd – Shane Archbold (BORA – Hansgrohe) – “

38th – David Lozano (Team Novo Nordisk) – 0:02:23

(Photos: ©René Vigneron)