Vuelta Comunidad Valenciana

31 Jan - 4 Feb 2024

TEAM Pro Team



Hilly first stage of Valenciana wakes up the legs for TNN

A tough and hilly opening stage of the Volta a la Valenciana let the riders know that the 2024 season was well and truly underway with Team Novo Nordisk digging in as the climbs took their toll in the final third.

A heavily reduced bunch split further on the last climb as it tried in vain to chase down the remaining riders from the day’s early breakaway, but to no avail as the stage win had already gone by the time what was left of the peloton sprinted for the minor placings.

Sport director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“It’s our first race of the season here at the Volta a la Valenciana and one of our main objectives is for the guys to get some race rhythm in their legs and we knew that it would be a tough start for us, especially over the tough hilly terrain.”

“A lot of the bunch have been racing for at least a fortnight and have a bit of a headstart on us, but with the first stage out of the way now we can look to settle in a little more tomorrow and get up the road in the breakaway.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“I think it’s fair to say that today’s first stage definitely woke the legs up! We knew it was going to be tough – first races always are! Filippo tried to make it into the break early on, but his move was brought back and then the next time a group went it ended up being the one that the stage win came from.”

“We would have found it hard going whether we had made it into the break or not today, it was a tough stage with the climbs and we know that’s it about getting racing on our legs here and some of the intensity that you cannot get in training. I hung on as long as I could in the bunch until part way up the last climb, but the chase was heating up behind the leaders and as the pace cranked up another notch I dropped and rode tempo over the top and finished alongside David and Nathan.

Late attacks shake up finale on stage two of Valenciana

A relatively short stage and with just three third category climbs, the second day of racing at the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana looked like it could maybe be the first opportunity for the sprinters but a technical descent down to the finish followed the final climb and provided the perfect springboard for disruptive late attacks.

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“The pace set by the WorldTour teams on the last climb split the bunch – even if the climb was relatively short – but not completely and the riders who had done their homework knew that the descent to the finish could make the difference and that’s what they were looking for.”

“However front of the peloton reformed before the descent really started and it took more late attacks to break completely and of course it was the favorite Mohoric who took advantage. We’re gradually getting our race rhythm back and all the guys came through ok today, tomorrow’s final could be an opportunity for Matyas to have a go in the sprint, but this terrain make this race unpredictable and we’ll see how the day plays out.”

David Lozano:

“I felt better today than yesterday and having a day of racing in the legs really helps, we’re aiming to get stronger day by day and I’m really enjoying starting my season off with a Spanish race. Especially one as significant as the Volta a La Communitat Valenciana.”

“The level is already super high for this early in the season and it’s a good indicator for us of where we need to be if we’re going to have another successful year of racing. There’s lots of work to do and I’m looking forward to next three days of racing here.”

Smith in the break and Kopecky sprints to seventh at Valenciana

Team Novo Nordisk sprang to life on stage three of the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana with British neo pro Nathan Smith animating the day long breakaway before Czech fastman Matyas Kopecky clicked through the gears to finish seventh in the reduced bunch sprint.

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Fantastic day today, we ticked almost every box and the guys did a great job all round. We had highlighted this stage as one for Matyas since the beginning and he didn’t let us down, the finish was very hectic with a couple of cars he’s and a very late catch of Nathan’s breakaway group, but Matyas avoided the trouble and sprinted very well.”

“This is only the third day of racing for our guys this season and to come good this early in our calendar backs up all the hard work everyone has been doing and shows that we’re going in the right direction. We’ve been trying to get in the break since stage one, so I’m very happy Nathan made it today, neo pros need that experience and he rode strongly out there.”

Photo credits: SprintCyclingAgency©2024

Matyas Kopecky:

“It was a pretty crazy finish, but it feels great to have avoided most of the chaos and get a good result in our first race of the season. I didn’t  have the legs to go completely all out, but I’m happy with how I handled the finale and it was a big objective for us to get a top ten here today.”

“The team were fantastic throughout, Filippo looked after me all day as usual and Nathan did a great job in the breakaway, taking some stress out of the bunch for us and he had a really solid day.”

Nathan Smith:

“I really enjoyed my day out in the breakaway especially in such a high level race, it holds extra significance with it my first pro race. We worked well together the group, no one skipping pulls pretty much right up until we got caught inside the final two kilometers.”

“When I heard the time gap was stable at 30 seconds from 15km to go then still the same at 5km to go…I thought maybe we could do this, however it wasn’t meant to be today and it worked out well for us with Matyas getting a top ten the final. A great day for the team!”

Hard going for TNN on Valenciana Queen Stage

Queen stages are never easy and that’s partly why they are regal, but today’s mountainous decider at the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana was a monster and the Team Novo Nordisk riders battled their way over the climbs to the finish line high above the Mediterranean Sea to finish with two men lost to crashes and one more stage to go on Sunday. 

Both Filippo Ridolfo and Gerd de Keijzer were forced to abandon the race due to unfortunate crashes, but thankfully neither sustained serious injuries and will be both back racing again soon.

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Really tough day out, in many ways and not just the parcours. Stage races are often like this, a bad day follows a good day and you have to get back up again, refocus and try again the next day. The main thing is that Filippo and Gerd are ok.”

“Todays queen stage was never going to be a stage that suited us, yet the guys still tried to get in the breakaway, but it was a tense first hour and took a long time for an attack to take shape and by the time it did we were deep into the climbs.”

Lucas Dauge:

“It was an extremely hard stage with a lot elevation today and a steep and quite relentless final climb to the finish. But I enjoyed it, the first hour was super fast because everyone try to go in the breakaway, but nothing stuck. We tried with both David and Filippo but, today no luck.”

“The Volta a la Comminitat Valenciana is good race to start the season especially after our recent training camp in the area and I feel like it’s been good to train on these toads before racing on them. I still need to improve my shape and have some work ahead to find my best legs. But that’s normal at this early stage of the season.” 

Photo credits: SprintCyclingAgency©2024

Positive week of racing for Team Novo Nordisk at Valenciana

A solid week of racing at the Volta a la Communitat Valenciana came to a close in downtown Valencia today wrapping up the first race of the season for Team Novo Nordisk bringing with it positive signs for the year ahead.

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“Aside from yesterdays Queen Stage where we lost Filippo and Gerd to crashes, I would say that we’ve had a good start to the racing season. The guys worked well together and our main objective was to get some race intensity in the legs, show oysters in the breakaway and maybe a top ten stage result – which is exactly what happened.”

“Nathan impressed in his first senior pro race and did a fantastic job in the break on stage three before Matyas showed his class with seventh place in the sprint on the same day. Unfortunately we were the wrong side of the splits after the GC contenders lit it up on La Frontera today and despite a valiant chase we didn’t make it back onto the front to contest the final. We look ahead to Turkey now and the Tour of Antalya.”

Matyas Kopecky:

“It’s been a solid five days of racing here at La Valenciana and I’ve really enjoyed it. Being back racing with the boys has been fantastic and a top ten on stage three was great, not only the result but as a marker of where I’m at as we start to race.”

“As an athlete you constantly need reference points to work from and towards and personally I feel that starting our season at a race as tough as Valenciana has been really good. We got to test ourselves in the breakaway, the sprints and also on some super tough climbs. We’ve had a little bit of everything.”