Sacramento, Cali —Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet earned the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey after spending more than 100 miles in the breakaway at Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California.
“This is one of our biggest and most important results. We are a young team and today we showed that our guys have what it takes to race against the best in the world,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “Charles put in a fantastic performance to earn this jersey.”
Planet was part of a six-man breakaway that escaped immediately following the start of today’s 123-mile race. The escapees built a gap of nearly five minutes before being reeled in near the final 2.0-mile laps around downtown Sacramento.
“Today is my first day racing as a professional in America,” Planet said. “I am very happy to take this jersey and inspire people with diabetes.”
The 20-year-old French rider was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. The celebrated mountain biker is the current Lorraine mountain bike and cyclocross champion. Last year as a stagiaire for Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad, Planet won the Litespeed BMW Twilight Criterium in August and was ninth overall at the Georgia Cycling Grand Prix.
The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey is awarded daily to the cyclist who best exemplifies courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination and perseverance.
“This is our team’s first time racing at the Amgen Tour of California as an all-diabetes team and it was important for us to be a factor in the race,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-founder, Phil Southerland said. “This jersey is a huge milestone for the team, especially for Charles.”
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the sprint finish. Team Novo Nordisk’s Martijn Verschoor was the team’s best-placed rider in 16th place.
The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team continues racing at the Amgen Tour of California on Monday with a 12.5-mile individual time trial. The race against the clock begins and ends in Folsom.