Port d’Alcudia, Mallorca — Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said he was proud of the team’s overall effort at the Iberostar Challenge Ciclista Mallorca, a series of four-day races that saw Andrea Peron earn a top 10 finish on Sunday’s Trofeo Palma and Javier Megias in a breakaway that held on until the final kilometer on Tuesday’s Trofeo Deià.
“The team showed some big improvements,” Davidenko said. “Our guys raced intelligently and wisely and bonded as a team.”
One of Team Novo Nordisk’s standouts from the race was 25-year old sprinter Andrea Peron who amassed 14 top ten finishes in 2013. According to Davidenko, the Italian will only continue this streak into the 2014 season.
“On the first two stages, Peron showed his ability and quality as a sprinter,” Davidenko said. “He got strong help from the entire team, especially Martijn Verschoor, who helped get Peron into the right position, and Thomas Raeymaekers. Peron showed his form is growing, and I am confident we’ll see some good results in the near future.”
For the mountain stages, Davidenko said the team’s strategy was to get into breakaways. That came together at the Trofeo Deià where Davidenko said Megias executed the plan perfectly.
“Tuesday was Megias’ turn, and he did an excellent job,” Davidenko said. “He was in the breakaway seven minutes ahead of the peloton. When another escapee attacked, only Megias was able to keep his tempo and collaborate with him. Megias got caught just inside the final kilometer. What a great performance!”
Three riders, Nicolas Lefrançois, Charles Planet and Ruud Cremers, made their Team Novo Nordisk debuts at the race. For Davidenko, this early glimpse makes him excited for the season ahead with these new riders.
“It was the first time we’ve seen our neo pros Planet and Lefrançois race, and these two guys showed some solid abilities to race at the top level with the best riders in the world,” Davidenko said. “No question about it, they will bring us great moments very soon.”
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, resumes racing February 19 at the Vuelta Ciclista a Andalucia in Spain. The five-day stage race features three mountain stages, one sprint stage and an individual time trial.
“We have high ambitions,” Davidenko said. “This is going to be the first big event for the team on European soil in 2014.”