Atlanta, GA: After narrowly missing out on the King of the Mountains jersey with Spanish climber David Lozano holding it for five stages at last week’s Tour de Hongrie, Team Novo Nordisk is looking for more podium trips at the upcoming Okolo Slovenska.
“This year, every single race is really important,” began Lozano. “Maybe more so than normal because of Covid-19 and the season being so short. We have to give 100% each day and I think that the Tour de Slovaquie will be raced full gas from the first kilometers.”
Otherwise known as the Tour de Slovaquie, the four-day stage race will provide an ideal opportunity for the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team to pick up where it left off in Hungary – on the front foot and chasing a result.
A nearly unchanged line up will take to the start at the 64thedition of the race with Lozano leading the line alongside Frenchman Charles Planet and Italian sprinter Andrea Peron.
“After Hungary, I think and feel like the form is there and I am confident that I have good legs at the moment, but every race plays out differently, so we’ll see,” said Lozano.
At the team’s last appearance in Slovakia in 2019, Planet placed 17th overall after a solid team performance. This year’s race sees five stages over four days of competition, with the first day split between a morning road stage and an afternoon individual time trial.
“We’re looking forward to returning to Slovakia to race,” said Davidenko. “We’ve gained a lot of confidence since the season has restarted. The team’s performance growth is noticeable, and we have definitely been competitive at every race since the restart. We are thrilled about the opportunities at the upcoming Tour of Slovakia.”
Dutch engine Brian Kamstra comes back into the team after the Tour du Limousin and will provide solid support with the experienced Peter Kusztor, Finland’s Joonas
Henttala, and British breakaway specialist Sam Brand rounding out the team.
“The roster is ready for any scenario during the four days of racing,” continued Davidenko. “The Tour of Slovakia has a history of top teams present at the race, but we know with the right strategy and teamwork we’ll be able to bring some great moments to all our friends in Slovakia and around the globe.”
Okolo Slovenska will be the last stage race of 2020 for Team Novo Nordisk, and with only one-day races remaining on the calendar, it will be essential to make the most of the opportunities that arise, including the first competitive time trial since February.
“I haven’t used my Colnago TT bike in a race since last year,” explained Lozano. “It was a team time trial at the Tour of Colombia earlier this year, and we used our road bikes, so I am really looking forward to getting a competitive time trial in the legs.
“Our goal is to do the best we can and give our all for a good result. It’s only our second time racing in Slovakia, and we are highly motivated to return and help show everyone what is possible with Diabetes.”
Team Novo Nordisk at Okolo Slovenska – Tour of Slovakia 16th – 19th September:
Sam Brand (GBR, 29)
Joonas Henttala (FIN, 28)
Brian Kamstra (NED, 27)
Peter Kusztor (HUN, 35)
David Lozano (ESP, 31)
Andrea Peron (IT, 31)
Charles Planet (FR, 26)
Okolo Slovenska stages:
Wednesday 16th September, Stage 1a: Zilina, 106.4km; Stage 1b (TTT): Zilina 7.1km
Thursday 17th September, Stage 2: Zilina – Banska Bystrica, 206.6km
Friday 18th September, Stage 3: Banska Bystrica – Ziar nadHronom, 181.3km
Saturday 19th September, Stage 4: Topolcianky – Skalica, 171.1km