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“Since Team Novo Nordisk is based in the United States, it is especially important to us to get a top result here in our home country."

Photo: Sirotti




07.05.2015 @ 11:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Following Team Novo Nordisk’s successful debut at the Amgen Tour of California in 2014, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team will line up in Sacramento on Sunday, May 10th with a driven squad looking to improve upon last year’s results.


As an American-registered team, the prestigious Tour of California stands out as one of the most important races on Team Novo Nordisk’s calendar. Last year, Charles Planet took the Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey on the opening stage after starring in a 100-mile breakaway. Three days later, Kevin De Mesmaeker achieved a historic podium finish when he sprinted to third place from a breakaway on Stage Four.


“The Tour of California is a fantastic event with a strong reputation around the globe, so it is always great to achieve a top result,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “We are prepared and confident and all eight riders are in top form, ready to take on the challenges of this beautiful race.”


Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Tour of California will test riders with more than 13,100 meters (43,000 feet) of climbing over eight stages. Eighteen teams, including eight World Tour squads, will compete across 1,152.7 kilometers (724.1 miles) in the UCI 2.HC race. Team Novo Nordisk’s squad for the Tour of California includes Scott Ambrose (NZL), Kevin De Mesmaeker (BEL), Joonas Henttala (FIN), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA) and Martijn Verschoor (NED).


“Since Team Novo Nordisk is based in the United States, it is especially important to us to get a top result here in our home country,” Davidenko said. “Last year, Kevin De Mesmaeker was able to drive a breakaway and get on the podium. We certainly have a few stages in mind this year and will also fight for a general classification place.”


Diagnosed with diabetes the same year he signed his first cycling contract, De Mesmaeker achieved dozens of top 10 results and several overall wins as a junior in Belgium. Following his diagnosis, doctors told him his diabetes meant he could never race again. The 23-year-old was determined to continue chasing his dream and reached out to Team Novo Nordisk signing a contract for the following season.


“I love racing in California because we ride through such beautiful areas, and the level of racing is world class,” De Mesmaeker said. “I usually get stronger throughout a stage race, so I’ll be looking to get in more breakaways this year. With a little luck maybe I’ll be able to get on the podium again.”


Stage One kicks off with a 203.1-km loop around Sacramento in what should be a sprint finish in front of California’s Capitol Building. Sacramento is the only city that has hosted the Tour of California for all ten editions and will likely deliver a historic celebration when the race kicks off on Sunday, May 10th.


Team Novo Nordisk Roster Amgen Tour of California (May 10-18):

Scott Ambrose (NZL), Kevin De Mesmaeker (BEL), Joonas Henttala (FIN), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Martijn Verschoor (NED).



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