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"On the second lap, the pace really increased and I could feel it in my legs. For my first race at this level and also at altitude, today went okay for me.”

Photo: Sirotti




18.08.2015 @ 15:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Novo Nordisk kicked off the seven-stage USA Pro Challenge in Steamboat Springs, Colorado under sunny skies. The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team began the race with four of their eight-man squad making their race debut.


The young roster included stagiaire Brian Kamstra, who was racing at his first professional race. The 22-year-old Dutchman is a four-time Dutch National Cross Country Champion and European Cross Country Champion. He attended Team Novo Nordisk’s training camp in January and raced in his first bike race in April. After his confidence and bike skills had grown, he was invited to race as a stagiaire for the men’s professional team for the remainder of the 2015 season. Following Martijn Verschoor’s crash last week at the Post Danmark Rundt, Kamstra was added to the USA Pro Challenge roster.


Monday’s 155.5-kilometer stage featured two 78-km laps around Steamboat Springs. Attacks were seen from the start, but it took about 20 km for the day’s main breakaway to form. The seven-man group built a maximum gap of four and a half minutes. The front group splintered heading up the final categorized climb and as they descended into Steamboat Springs, Carson Miller (Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home) set off solo. Numerous chasers tried to bridge up to Miller, but everything came back together with 20 to go. A dozen riders soon launched free, yet it was Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) and Guillaume Boivin (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) that looked to survive to the finish. They were caught inside the final kilometer with Dennis’ teammate Taylor Phinney sprinting to the win from a reduced peloton.


“It was fast the whole day, but I felt good. It was definitely hard,” Kamstra said. “I had good position each time on the climb. On the first lap, I felt really strong. On the second lap, the pace really increased and I could feel it in my legs. For my first race at this level and also at altitude, today went okay for me.”


Team Novo Nordisk’s Nicolas Lefrancois, who was also making his USA Pro Challenge debut, crashed out of the race and was transported to the hospital. He is expected to fully recover.


Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) took the win ahead of Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) and Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team).


Team Novo Nordisk continues racing on Tuesday with Stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge. The 185.5-km stage begins in Steamboat Springs and features two categorized climbs and two intermediate sprints before an uphill summit finish in Arapahoe Basin.



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