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“The road race course has been changed; they’ve cut part of the big climb. At this point, it’s hard to predict what might happen at the race. We are bringing a strong roster for any scenario and we’ll do our best.&rd...

Team Novo Nordisk (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)


17.10.2015 @ 00:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, returns to Utsunomiya, Japan for its second consecutive appearance at the Japan Cup when the first of two one-day races kicks off on Oct 17th.


Team Novo Nordisk is taking an experienced five-man roster that includes Javier Megias and Charles Planet, both of whom raced at the Japan Cup last year. Team Novo Nordisk’s full roster includes Nicolas Lefrançois (FRA), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA) and Martijn Verschoor (NED).


The race begins on Saturday with the 20-lap Japan Cup Cycle Criterium around downtown Utsunomiya. The 1.55-kilometer course features several u-turns and is known for a sustained high-pace.


“The race is short and designed for pure sprinters,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Senior Vice President of Athletes Vassili Davidenko said. “We have a great duo in Andrea (Peron) and Martijn (Verschoor) and those two are aiming for a top place at one of the last races of the season.”


In his Japan Cup debut, the 30-year-old Verschoor said he is extremely motivated for the late season race.


“I’m all in for the criterium. I know that the road race doesn’t suit my skills as a sprinter, so I will try to go big on Saturday and then will dedicate myself to our GC rider for Sunday’s road race,” Verschoor said.




The Japan Cup continues on Sunday with the 144.2-km Japan Cup Cycle Road Race. Due to a typhoon and subsequent landslide, the course has been changed from previous editions. The race will no longer feature the same steep 185-meter climb through Utsunomiya Forest Park. This could prove decisive in what was known as a climber’s race and has suited Megias in the past. The 31-year-old Spaniard finished in the top 20’s back in 2006 when he raced for Saunier-Duval-Prodir.


“The road race course has been changed; they’ve cut part of the big climb,” Davidenko said. “At this point, it’s hard to predict what might happen at the race. We are bringing a strong roster for any scenario and we’ll do our best.”


In addition to Megias’ experience, Team Novo Nordisk will also benefit from Davidenko’s knowledge of racing in Japan. In 1990, he won a stage at Japan’s International Cycle Road Race and was runner-up on the second day when he rode with Team CCCP.


Team Novo Nordisk Roster Japan Cup (Oct. 17-18):

Nicolas Lefrançois (FRA), Javier Megias (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet (FRA), Martijn Verschoor (NED).



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