Tainan City, Taiwan — Team Novo Nordisk displayed unwavering teamwork during the queen stage, or hardest stage, of the Tour de Taiwan.
In Wednesday’s penultimate stage, a 161-kilometers race from Tainan City Hall to the Hibiscus Resort, Team Novo Nordisk’s strategy was to build on Charles Planet’s solid finishes from the three previous stages, explained Team Novo Nordisk’s sport director Pavel Cherkasov.
From the start, Stephen Clancy and Justin Morris protected Planet and pulled him to the base of the day’s main climb, situated approximately 30 km from the finish. The steep climb splintered the peloton, and when a front group emerged, Planet didn’t have the legs to respond, so his teammates Joonas Henttala and Nicolas Lefrançois fought to make one of the chase groups.
Upon arrival in Hibiscus Resort, Ioannis Tamouridis (SP Tableware) sprinted from the front group to take the win. Team Novo Nordisk’s Lefrançois finished as the team’s top placed rider in 39th, 4:55 behind Tamouridis.
“No top ten for the team yet, but this race is an incredible learning experience for us,” Cherkasov said. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed with the guys is how much their teamwork is improving through the stages.”
Rémy Di Gregorio (La Pomme Marseille 13) remains the overall race leader for the third consecutive day. Team Novo Nordisk’s Henttala is the team’s best-placed rider overall in 45th place, 10:20 behind Di Gregorio.
Thursday’s final stage of the Tour de Taiwan is a flat 168-km circuit around Dapeng Bay.
“We know it’s going to be a brutally fast race, but we are prepared to take it on,” said Cherkasov.