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“Besides needing to be strong on the hilly route, riders need to have great bike handling to navigate the off-road sections. In that sense, it is a great event for David Lozano with his mountain bike background and his current form.&r...

Photo: Sirotti




02.03.2015 @ 16:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Novo Nordisk will take the start line in Italy at Strade Bianche on March 7th. In only its eighth edition, the one-day race has quickly become admired thanks to an epic route traversing the famed Tuscan “white-roads” or strade bianche.


“Strade Bianche is like the Italian Paris-Roubaix with its very unique course and multiple off-road sections,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manger Vassili Davidenko said. “It’s an incredible event and we are thrilled to be participating for the first time this year.”


Nineteen teams will line up at the eighth edition of Strade Bianche in Tuscany, Italy, including 13 World Tour teams. An updated 1.HC classification route will challenge the riders for 200 kilometers, including 45 km on white gravel roads.


Team Novo Nordisk is sending a well-rounded team to compete, including Tour de Filipinas stage winner Scott Ambrose and veteran Javier Megias. The full eight-man roster includes Ambrose (NZL), Joonas Henttala (FIN), Nicolas Lefrançois (FRA), David Lozano (ESP), Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Martijn Verschoor (NED) and Chris Williams (AUS).


“Besides needing to be strong on the hilly route, riders need to have great bike handling to navigate the off-road sections,” Davidenko said. “In that sense, it is a great event for David Lozano with his mountain bike background and his current form.”


David Lozano, an 11-time Spanish cyclocross and mountain bike national champion, made an impressive transition to road racing in the last few seasons. Lozano already has plenty of racing in his legs this year and comes to Strade Bianche following a string of top 10 results in the eight-day Vuelta Dominicana. For all-rounder Joonas Henttala, who grew up watching the spring classics on TV, an invitation to this race is a dream come true.


“Getting an invitation to Strade Bianche is huge for the team,” Henttala said. “Personally I am very excited because there is something really appealing about this race. Short punchy climbs, gravel roads and the best riders in the world make it a very special event.”


Often compared to the rough cobblestones of the northern classics in Belgium and France, Strade Bianche offers its own set of challenges to both rider and equipment.


“We will be equipping my bike with wider tires and will probably run a lower pressure than normal,” Henttala explained. “While the white gravel roads may be the race’s main attraction, the finish in the old city of Siena is one of the most picturesque in the sport. Expect the brutally steep climb into the walled city to be the launching point for a win. “


Team Novo Nordisk Strade Bianche (March 7):

Scott Ambrose (NZL), Joonas Henttala (FIN), Nicolas Lefrançois (FRA), David Lozano (ESP), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Martijn Verschoor (NED), Chris Williams (AUS).



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