Race: Tour of China II, Stage 1
Start/Finish: Chongqing/Chongqing, China
Distance: 134.9 kilometers
Chongqing, China — After taking second place and a time bonus in the intermediate sprint at the opening stage of the Tour of China II, Team Novo Nordisk’s Stephen Clancy sits in ninth place overall at the race.
“It’s a new race with the same faces. It was interesting to see the same team trying to redefine the tactics and approach this as a new race, not a continuation of last week’s race,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Sport Director Pavel Cherkasov said. “Everyone was hungry for breakaways today. While in one of the breaks, Stephen was able to sprint for second at an intermediate sprint and got a two-second bonus that earned him ninth place overall.”
Sunday’s Stage 1 saw Team Novo Nordisk’s James Glasspool get into an early breakaway. After that was brought back, Clancy attacked and escaped with more than a dozen other riders. He was runner-up through the intermediate sprint, which earned him a two-second bonus. Once Clancy’s group was reeled in, Team Novo Nordisk’s Chris Williams made the following breakaway. Back in the peloton, Brian Kamstra, Gerd de Keijzer and Ben Dilley worked to protect Clancy heading into the finish. Unfortunately, a crash inside the final kilometer took down the 23-year-old Irishman and his teammates were held up by the crash. Mattia Gavazzi (Amora & Vita-Selle SMP) sprinted to the win in the bunch sprint. Despite the crashes, all Team Novo Nordisk riders finished.
“Our riders did a great job helping Stephen for the sprint, but with 400 meters to go, there was a crash right in front of them. Stephen crashed, but since it was inside the last three kilometers, he still received the same group time,’ Cherkasov said. “Tomorrow is another long transfer so hopefully they can recover for the next stage.”
Results: Mattia Gavazzi (Amora & Vita-Selle SMP) took the win ahead of Riccardo Stacchiotti (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Johim Ariesen (Metec – TKH Continental Cyclingteam).
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, continues racing on Sunday at the one-day Fall Classic, Paris-Tours. The team returns to racing at the Tour of China II on Tuesday with a 131-kilometer circuit race around Lang Shan.