After a strong showing in its first one-day race at the Italian tour Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetic professional cycling team, has received invitations to two prestigious tours of the “hors catégorie”. The team has made the list for the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in April and received an “extra wild card” for Germany’s Bayern Rundfahrt in May. “Both invitations are a great honor to us,” says team GM Vassili Davidenko. “They show that we are on the right track with our young team and message. We will ride both races with our best line-up. We are extremely motivated to introduce ourselves at the highest level possible at our first races in Turkey and Germany.”
The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey begins April 21 in Alanya on the Turkish south coast and will finish in the historic city of Istanbul on April 28. The race will consist of 25 teams, nine of which that are considered Pro-Teams.
The Bayern Rundfahrt will take place from May 21 to 26 and is one of the most important preliminary races for the Tour de France. Among the teams at the Bavarian race will be 12 teams who will race in the Tour in July. Fortunately for Team Novo Nordisk, the field has been expanded from 19 to 20 teams, allowing the young squad to capture a wild card.
The Bayern Rundfahrt is a race for sprinters and climbers. The first stage kicks off at Pfaffenhofen a.d. Ilm on May 22. The second and third stages consist of different ranked climbs. And stage four offers an individual time trial of 31.2 kilometers. The race concludes May 26 in Nürnberg.
“The team is thrilled and enthusiastic to ride in our first ‘hors catégorie’ stage race,” says Team Novo Nordisk founder and CEO Phil Southerland. “We’re hoping our sprinters can excel, and, after our first races, they’re certainly motivated. A win is still probably a little ways off, but our latest results, with Andrea Peron finishing eighth in France, show we’re headed in the right direction. We feel very optimistic heading into our first ‘hors catégorie’. Let’s try and surprise the favorites!”