Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, travels to its northernmost point when it starts the Arctic Race of Norway beginning Thursday. The Arctic Race marks Team Novo Nordisk’s debut at an A.S.O race, the world’s leading organizer for cycling events.
“This is our first race with the organizers who own the best race in the world, the Tour de France,” Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko said. “Our goal is to build a strong, long-term working relationship with the organizers, which means this first appearance is extremely important to our team.”
The four-day Arctic Race covers nearly 725 kilometers as it races around the Arctic Circle. In its third edition, the Arctic Race’s profile includes both fast sprint finishes and short steep climbs.
“It’s going to be a tough test for our team,” Davidenko said. “Besides racing against one of the strongest fields we’ve faced all season, the weather conditions could really affect the race. Additionally, this week serves as one of the few times during the season where the team is racing on two continents at the same time. In addition to Europe, we’ll also be in Colorado at the USA Pro Challenge.”
Twenty-two teams, including 12 Tour de France teams, will take the start at the UCI 2.HC caliber race. Team Novo Nordisk’s roster features Stephen Clancy (IRL), Gerd de Keijzer (NED), James Glasspool (AUS), Joonas Henttala (FIN), Andrea Peron (ITA) and Chris Williams (AUS). Peron, who took third place on Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea, has earned two top 5 finishes this year and is eager to garner more results.
“Our goal for this race is to deliver Andrea in the best position so he can show his sprinting abilities and be present in the breakaways,” Davidenko said.
Dependable domestique Stephen Clancy said that he’s fresh off a solid block of training and a high altitude training camp so he hopes to arrive at the race in strong form to support Peron.
“I know this is the most northerly race in the world. I think it’ll be a good opportunity for the team to earn some results and I’m keen to test my legs for the first time since our mid-season break. I feel like I’m really coming into race form,” Clancy said. “My goal is to support Andrea in the sprints and maybe there will be some opportunities where I can also be active.”
Stage 1, a 213.5-km run that begins and ends in Harstad, kicks off on August 13th. The stage features three intermediate sprints and one categorized climb before a finish on the Folkeparken.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Arctic Race of Norway (Aug 13-16):
Stephen Clancy (IRL), Gerd de Keijzer (NED), James Glasspool (AUS), Joonas Henttala (FIN), Andrea Peron (ITA), Chris Williams (AUS).
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