United Arab Emirates

UAE Tour

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24 Feb - 2 Mar 2019

TEAM Pro Team

CITY Various

STAGES 7

TEAM Pro Team CITY Various STAGES 7

Video

Sam Brand breaks down the opening stage of the 2019 UAE Tour, a 16-km team time trial, and previews the team’s game plan for the 7-day race.

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Photos: ©VeloImages

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 1

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 1

Start/Finish: Al Hudayriat Island/ Al Hudayriat Island, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 16 kilometers

Abu Dhabi, UAE — Team Novo Nordisk began the seven-day UAE Tour on Sunday with a 16-kilometer team time trial (TTT). This was the team’s first TTT in nearly two years — since the 2017 Tirreno-Adriatico. With sunny skies and nearly no wind, seven riders from the world’s first all-diabetic professional cycling team set out as the second team on course.

A team time trial is a unique discipline where athletes compete as teams against the clock. Team Novo Nordisk raced on their Colnago K-Zero framesets equipped with rear disc wheels, Catlike aerodynamic helmets and Vision- Full Speed Ahead technical handlebars and extensions. The flat, fast course featured wide-angle turns and only two U-turns to slow down speeds.

Team Jumbo-Visma won the stage in 16:30. Team Novo Nordisk finished 1:46 off the pace with an average speed of 51.659kph.

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the UAE Tour on Monday with Stage 2. The 184-kilometer stage begins at Yas Island and features two intermediate sprints before finishing at Yas Mall. Another squad is currently racing at the Tour du Rwanda.


Peter Kusztor

“We were all a little nervous this morning because this isn’t a discipline that we do often and none of us had trained together until practice yesterday. We learned quickly, listened to one another and took strong turns. I would say we executed very well for a team that doesn’t focus on the team time trial.”


Gallery:


Photos: ©VeloImages

Video

“It’s nice knowing I had someone there who had my back.” Sam Brand and Charles Planet break down stage 2 of the 2019 UAE Tour, where the Manx and Frenchman ignited the race in the day’s main breakaway.

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(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 2

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 2

Start/Finish: Yas Mall/Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 194 kilometers

Abu Dhabi, UAE —Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet and Sam Brand both featured in the day’s main breakaway while teammate Andrea Peron sprinted to a top 20 finish at the seven-day WorldTour UAE Tour.

The 194-kilometer race saw Team Novo Nordisk riders line up at the front of the peloton from the start. Once the race reached Kilometer 0, Brand attacked with a Gazprom-Rusvel rider. Quickly Planet bridged up and rounded out the break to four complete with another Gazprom rider. They earned a maximum gap of 11:50.

Part way through the stage, strong crosswinds hit the peloton causing it to splinter into echelons. A 25-man group broke off the front and fought their way up to the four-man break, but immediately Planet and Kuriyanov attacked again and created a two-man break.

The duo rebuilt a gap of more than 5:20 and Planet took top honors through the second intermediate sprint. They were caught with 13 km to go. In the sprint finish, Peron, Peter Kusztor and Declan Irvine worked well together and positioned the Italian for the high-paced finish. He finished in the same time as stage winner Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates).

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the UAE Tour on Tuesday with Stage 3. The first of two mountain stages is a 179-kilometer race that beings at UAE University and features two intermediate sprints before a summit finish up Jebel Hafeet. Another squad is currently racing at the Tour du Rwanda.


Sam Brand:

“It was great having Charles with me in the break; it is nice knowing I had someone there who had my back. Normally you have to judge everyone in the group and today I only had to think about the other two riders.”

Charles Planet:

“It was really nice for me to have a teammate because normally in a breakaway, all the other guys around you aren’t your friends. You might be riding together, but at the end, the best guy needs to be up there. It was nice having Sam with me today because it meant I had a friend up there.”


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Results: 

1st: Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates): 4:36:22

2nd: Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step): same time as Gaviria

3rd: Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): same time as Gaviria

17th: Andrea Peron: same time as Gaviria


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

Video

Charles Planet breaks down his second consecutive day in the UAE Tour breakaway and his hunt for the intermediate sprint jersey.

Gallery

(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 3

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 3

Start/Finish: UAE University/Jebel Hafeet, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 179 kilometers

Jebel Hafeet, UAE —Team Novo Nordisk’s Fabio Calabria and Charles Planet both starred in the Stage 3 breakaway at the UAE Tour. This served as Planet’s second consecutive day in the break and he remains in the running for the Abu Dhabi Aviation intermediate sprint jersey classification.

Tuesday’s stage was the first of two mountain stages. The 179-kilometer stage finished with a 10-km climb featuring maximum gradients of 11 percent.

Calabria attacked immediately following the neutral start and Stepan Kuriyanov (Gazprom – RusVelo) followed him. Planet jumped and another Gazprom rider went with him.

The four-man group looked very similar to the Stage 2 breakaway with the only difference being Calabria replaced Sam Brand. The escapees built a maximum gap of 4:20. Through the first intermediate sprint, Calabria led Planet out which moved the Frenchman into the lead in the competition.

Around 95-kilometers into the stage, the peloton decided to reel in the escapees in anticipation of the climb up Jebel Hafeet. At the base of the climb, there was another intermediate sprint where Kuriyanov took top honors which moved him into the lead in the Sprint and Intermediate Sprint competitions. Planet remains in second place and will wear the black Abu Dhabi Aviation intermediate sprint jersey on Stage 4.

Up the finishing climb, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma), Dan Martin (UAE Tour), and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ battled it out, but in the final kilometer, World Champion Alejandro Valverde bridged up and ended up taking the win. Peter Kusztor finished as Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider.

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the UAE Tour on Tuesday. The 197-kilometer stage is the longest of the seven-day race and is considered the most difficult stage of the UAE Tour.


Fabio Calabria:

“It’s always nice when you can execute a plan. The team is really riding well as a unit. It is exciting to be riding this well together already this early in the season.”


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Results: 

1st: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team): 4:44:50

2nd: Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma): same time as Valverde

3rd: David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ): same time as Valverde


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

Video

“Maybe I will win this jersey, maybe not, but I really like fighting for it every day.” Charles Planet breaks down his third consecutive day in the UAE Tour breakaway and his hunt for the Intermediate Sprint Jersey.

Gallery

(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 4

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 4

Start/Finish: Palm Jumeriah / Hatta Dam, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 197 kilometers

Hatta Dam, UAE —Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet featured in the breakaway for the third straight day at the UAE Tour. After taking 13 intermediate sprint points, he remains second in the Abu Dhabi Aviation intermediate sprint jersey classification and will wear the jersey again on Stage 5.

Wednesday’s stage was the longest of the seven-day race and considered by many as one of the more difficult stages of the UAE Tour. The 197-kilometer stage had riders end with a final 500-meter kicker featuring gradients of 17 percent.

Will Clarke (Trek-Segafredo) and Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) attacked from the start and Gazprom – Rusvelo riders Igor Boev and Artem Nych joined them. Planet quickly jumped knowing his jersey was in jeopardy, and the current leader in the sprint and intermediate sprint classifications Stepan Kuriyanov (Gazprom – RusVelo) hitched on to his wheel.

The six-man group earned a maximum gap of more than four minutes. Planet was second to Kuriyanov through the first intermediate sprint but took top honors through the second sprint.

As the race headed across the open desert, the winds kicked up and sandblasted the peloton causing it to splinter. With 14-km remaining, Planet’s breakaway group fell apart and the Frenchman was soon swept up by the peloton.

In the approach to Hatta Dam, Team Novo Nordisk’s newest signee Peter Kusztor was in solid position in the front group hitting the base of the final climb. The Hungarian finished five seconds behind stage winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal).

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the UAE Tour on Thursday. The 181-km stage begins in Sharjah and should conclude with a bunch sprint. The day includes two more opportunities for Planet to gain valuable intermediate sprint points.


Charles Planet:

“It was a crazy, crazy day with lots of wind. I was against three guys from the same team so they were playing against me and it was really hard. I was quite happy that I was still able to win one of the sprints. Maybe I will win this jersey, maybe not, but I really like fighting for it every day.”


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Results: 

1st: Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): 4:27:07

2nd: Matteo Moschetti (Trek-Segafredo): 0:02 behind Ewan

3rd: Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma): 0:05 behind Ewan

37th: Peter Kusztor: “


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

Video

Team Novo Nordisk rider Charles Planet breaks down stage 5 of the 2019 UAE Tour and his continued pursuit of the sprinter’s jersey. “There’s still two days to go, so let’s fight for it!”

 

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(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 5

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 5

Start/Finish: Sharjah/Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 181 kilometers

Khor Fakkan, UAE —Team Novo Nordisk continued to fight for the Abu Dhabi Aviation intermediate sprint jersey classification by placing Charles Planet in the breakaway for the fourth consecutive day. Planet was supported by veteran Fabio Calabria, while teammate Mehdi Benhamouda finished just outside the top 10 in 13th place.

Thursday’s stage began in Sharjah and proved to be another battle between Team Novo Nordisk and Gazprom – RusVelo for the intermediate sprint jersey.

Planet attacked following the neutral section and a Gazprom – RusVelo rider was immediately on his wheel. Meanwhile, Calabria was launching his own attack on the left-hand side of the road and made it off the front but had the current leader in the sprint and intermediate sprint classifications Stepan Kuriyanov and another Gazprom – RusVelo rider on his wheel.

The peloton kept the five-man on at a manageable gap all day, never allowing more than four minutes.

Through the first intermediate sprint, Calabria led Planet out and he took top honors. The Frenchman was third through the second intermediate sprint and remains nine points behind Kuriyanov.

The break was reeled in with 30 km remaining in anticipation of the bunch sprint along the waterfront in Khor Fakkan. Team Novo Nordisk riders found each other and worked well into the final kilometers. In the finish, Benhamouda sprinted to 13th position.

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the UAE Tour on Friday. The penultimate stage most likely will determine the overall race. The 180-km stage features a flat approach leading to the final 20 km to the finish line. Another squad is currently racing at the Tour du Rwanda.


Fabio Calabria

“It was definitely windier and the bunch kept us on a tighter leash, which means we used more energy and rode harder today. I definitely enjoyed my share of strawberry Honey Stinger waffles to get through the day. Overall, my priority was keeping an eye on the RusVelo riders because we were outnumbered and putting Charles into the best positions for the sprints.”


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Results: 

1st: Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): 4:48:59

2nd: Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): same time as Viviani

3rd: Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha Alpecin): ”

13th: Mehdi Benhamouda: “


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

Video

“We changed tactics and plans and worked for Peter in the final climb.” Sam Brand recaps how the squad fared on a hectic stage 6 of UAE Tour.

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 6

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 6

Start/Finish: Ajman/Jebel Jais, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 180 kilometers

Jebel Jais, UAE — A sizeable crash immediately following the neutral start on Stage 6 of the UAE Tour threw off Team Novo Nordisk’s plan to place Charles Planet in the breakaway for the fifth consecutive day. Despite this unexpected twist, Planet remains second overall in the Abu Dhabi Aviation intermediate sprint jersey classification and will wear the black jersey again on the final stage of the seven-day race.

After a few rainstorms passed through the area in the morning, water on the roads made for a nervous bunch at the start of Friday’s 180-kilometer stage. As racing got going, approximately 40 riders crashed including Team Novo Nordisk’s Sam Brand and Fabio Calabria. Both hit the ground with Calabria requiring a bike change, but both returned to the peloton without issue.

During the chaos, Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) attacked solo. Team Novo Nordisk organized and tried to get Planet off the front, but the peloton was not willing to let any riders free. Eventually, a group of World Tour riders including Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) escaped and bridged up to Hansen. Viviani was on the hunt for sprint points and won both intermediate sprints on the day.

Throughout the day, Team Novo Nordisk protected Peter Kusztor and placed him in the front group as the race hit the base of the final 20 km climb. The Hungarian rider finished strong in the first 50 riders up the lengthy climb.

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, continues racing at the UAE Tour on Saturday. The final stage will be a sprint race through the streets of Dubai. The stage starts at Dubai Safari Park before a fast finish on the wide Jumeirah Road leading into City Walk.


Sam Brand:

“The plan today was to get Charles up the road so he could grab more points and hopefully take the jersey. It was quite windy, and we reached Kilometer 0 and attacks were going left, right and center. There were a lot of teams that wanted to put a rider there. When we didn’t make the break, it was tough to regroup because we went in aggressively. We changed tactics and plans and then worked for Peter in the final climb.”


Results: 

1st: Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma): 4:15:39

2nd: Tom Domoulin (Team Sunweb): same time as Roglic

3rd: David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ): same time as Roglic


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

Video

“We can see the team is stronger and more united than ever before. This race continues to show what is possible with diabetes.” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko recaps the team’s performance at the 2019 UAE Tour.

Gallery

(Photos: ©VeloImages)

2019 UAE Tour - Stage 7

Race: UAE Tour, Stage 7

Start/Finish: Dubai/Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Distance: 145 kilometers

City Walk, Dubai, UAE — The seven-day UAE Tour concluded on Saturday with a 145-kilometer race beginning in Dubai Safari Park and finished along Dubai’s City Walk. Team Novo Nordisk kicked off the day by welcoming several families with type 1 diabetes at the race start.

After fighting for four consecutive days in the breakaway for the Abu Dhabi Aviation intermediate sprint jersey classification, Charles Planet started the day wearing the black jersey again. He was in second place in the intermediate sprint classification and the plan was to place him in the breakaway for the final stage.

A rider attacked immediately from the start and two riders followed his attack establishing a three-man break. No Team Novo Nordisk rider made the break.

The break was reeled in with less than three km remaining on the day with Sam Bennett (Bora-Hans) taking the win in the bunch sprint. Team Novo Nordisk’s Andrea Peron was the team’s best-placed rider in 20th.

In the end, Planet finished second in the intermediate sprint classification, nine points behind jersey winner Stepan Kuriyanov (Gazprom-RusVelo).

Team Novo Nordisk proudly closed out the only World Tour race in the Middle East with cheers from local families with type 1 diabetes. The riders were greeted by children at the finish line who were inspired to keep chasing their dreams while living with diabetes.

The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing with a different squad at the eight-day Tour du Rwanda on Sunday.


Vassili Davidenko:

“After seven days with long stages, long transfers and a lot wind and of course racing against the top riders in the world, I would say it was an amazing week and the guys did a great job.

We fought for points, Charles was in the breakaway on many stages and all the guys did a great solid job supporting him throughout the race. We can see the team is stronger and more united than ever before. This race continues to show what is possible with diabetes.”


Gallery:


Results: 

1st: Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe): 3:17:51

2nd: Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): same time as Bennett

3rd: Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal): ”

20th: Andrea Peron: “


(Photos: ©VeloImages)

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