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EUROTRASH News Round Up Monday!

The 2019 Giro d’Italia is underway and we already have a worthy leader in Primoz Roglic – Will he still have the pink jersey in three weeks time? – Top Story. All the news form the first two stages of the Giro and California stage 1 with video and results. In other cycling news: British Champions Dominate OVO Energy Tour Series, Marcel Kittel and Katusha-Alpecin split, BORA-hansgrohe with Specialized till 2021, Novo Nordisk longest American team sponsor, the Étape du Tour de France app and #InsideOut at the Giro d’Italia with Sunweb video. EUROTRASH Giro time!

TOP STORY: Giro d’Italia 2019 – Over Before it Started?
With Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic winning the Giro d’Italia stage 1 individual time trial, many are saying the 2019 Italian Grand Tour is as good as won. OK, he won the tough battle against the clock, with the final climb of San Luca, quite soundly with a lead of 19 seconds over Simon “I’m the No.1 favorite for the Giro d’Italia” Yates.

We still have three weeks to go and even if Roglic holds the Maglia Rosa from Saturday all the way to the Verona arena on Sunday the 2nd of June, lots could happen. Is his team strong enough to defend his lead? Anyone can crash, the weather in the mountains is said to be bad for the final week, plus Yates, Dumoulin and Lopez have all stated their intentions on the final overall. Also you can’t rule out Vincenzo Nibali, the ‘Shark of Messina’ tends to keep his powder dry until the final week when it really matters.

Taking an early lead reminds me of the difference between TV detectives Columbo and Poirot. The plot for most Columbo episodes shows the murder at the start and you know ‘who done it’ before the first advert break, from then on the entertainment is watching how Columbo discovers the miscreant and confronts him/her in the final act. Poirot, on the other hand, keeps you in suspense until the final before you know the result. Which is better?

Simon Yates: “I would be scared, I’d be shitting myself”, maybe a bit strong, but if he lives up to his prediction of his own form, we should see some sparks fly.

Will it be a Yates/Roglic Giro battle? Don’t forget Nibali, Lopez and Dumoulin, plus the mountains and the weather:

Giro d’Italia 2019
Hot favorite for the final overall win in this year’s 102nd Giro d’Italia, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), took the win in the Stage 1 individual time trial with a significant margin of 19 seconds over Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and 23 seconds over two-time Giro winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) in third. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), who is the best young rider, finished fourth at 28 seconds along with 2017 Giro winner, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb). Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) was the fastest on the timed climb of San Luca to take the first King of the Mountains jersey of this year.

Roglic is the first Slovenian rider to take the Maglia Rosa, three years ago Roglic made his Giro d’Italia debut and missed out on the win for only one-hundredth of a second to Tom Dumoulin in the opening time trial in Apeldoorn.

Full PEZ Stage 1 Race Report HERE.

Stage winner and overall leader, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “I am super happy. It’s an amazing feeling that I’ve won and that I’ll start in the pink jersey tomorrow. I didn’t have any tactics. I started fast and tried to keep my pace on the climb. This is a great start, but I’m aware that the happiest man on earth will be the man who’ll wear the jersey in Verona. There’s a long way to go, but we started very well. I’m looking forward to the upcoming three weeks.”

2nd, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “I did all I could. Maybe I went a little bit too easy at the start but that was also the tactic, you can’t go full gas start to finish, I knew I could gain or lose a lot of time on the climb. It was only a little bit, but it was calculated. I felt good. It was only a short effort of course, but I feel good. We’ve seen how (Roglic) has been going this year, he’s won every stage race he has started and he also won’t the time trial in Romandie so he is in great form so we were expecting him to be either first or second. There was a moment of doubt when I saw everyone was going off early today but we looked at the weather and it looked like it was going to be ok, and it was in the end. I am happy the race has started now, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and we’re finally here.”

3rd, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): “It was a very difficult time trial, we knew the climb well to have faced it many times at the Giro dell’Emilia, so we knew we had to push into the plain and then manage the most difficult part of the test. My time was pretty good, while Roglic really did have an exceptional time.”

4th and Best Young Rider, Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana): “I’m very happy with my performance today. I went fast on the flat but since it was a short time trial, I just to go flat out from start to finish.”

6th, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe): “This was a good start to the Giro. It’s important to be up there from the beginning, and we were able to achieve that today. I paced my efforts well, and didn’t go 100 per cent in the first part, and so was able to put in a solid effort on the climb. My form is good, and now we just need some luck to get through the next three weeks as we’ve planned. But a solid start is already done and dusted.”

10th, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida): “It was important to verify the condition and I am very satisfied with my performance. It was a particular ITT with an explosive ending that really didn’t fit my characteristics and being in the Top Ten is the confirmation that I worked well in the last period.”

KOM, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo): “It was my goal to set the fastest time up the hill, so we studied the course carefully and opted for a bike change at the bottom of the climb. I’m glad it worked out well. I really wanted to achieve this first goal.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 1 Result:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 12:54
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:19
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:23
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:28
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:33
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos at 0:35
8. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:39
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:40.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 1:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 12:54
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:19
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:23
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:28
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:33
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos at 0:35
8. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
9. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:39
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:40.

Giro stage 1:

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), riding his first Grand Tour, won his first stage ahead of some of the World’s top sprinters; Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Cadel Ewan (Lotto Soudal at the end of Stage 2 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia on Sunday. Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic retained the Maglia Rosa with 19 seconds on Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and 23 on Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

German national champion Pascal Ackermann of Bora-Hansgrohe made a lightning Grand Tour debut as he won in his first bunch sprint in the Giro, beating another national champion, Italy’s Elia Viviani of Deceuninck – Quick-Step in Fucecchio. Australia’s Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal was third with Colombian Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) in fourth. The Tuscan Bartali stage was rain-soaked and hilly, although the day was enlivened by a break of eight riders including King of the Mountains, Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo). The Italian was joined by François Bidard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF), Lukasz Owsian (CCC), Sean Bennett (EF Education First), Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizanè) and William Clarke (Trek-Segafredo).

The rain eventually stopped, but that was no help to the break as the sprinter’s teams were out to pull them back before the finish line. Ciccone added to his mountains points and the beak was caught with seven kilometers to go. Lotto Soudal led the peloton into the final meters for Caleb Ewan, but Ackermann and Viviani came off the wheel for the German to hold-off the Italian to the line. The bunch gallop enabled Primoz Roglic to retain his overall lead going into Monday’s stage 3.

More photos in the Giro Stage 2 PEZ Race Report HERE.

Stage winner, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): “It was always a big goal for me to do races like this. I’m speechless after I won my first stage in a Grand Tour today. Last year was a big step in my career with many victories and the whole Bora-Hansgrohe team is in a good mood to continue in a winning mode this year. I’m a happy man because I live my dream of winning races as a professional cyclist. I’ve always wanted to do that. I’m incredibly happy to have won here. Even though I meet my competitors like Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani at other races, it is special to have taken the win here at the Giro. Of course there is more pressure to win at a Grand Tour and that is why I am so happy. It was my first chance for a win and we accomplished our goal. It is also very special to me to have won wearing the German championship jersey.”

Overall leader, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma): “It was a fast stage today. The rain made for cold circumstances from the start and the short climbs weren’t too difficult. Nevertheless, we have demonstrated today that we are a strong team. I’m glad I can start in the pink jersey for yet another day. We’ll see for how long I can retain the Maglia Rosa. I’ll be the happiest if I carry it in Verona. We enjoy being in this position with the whole team for the moment. I have a lot of supporters from Slovenia, friends and neighbors, family members as well who say what’s happening with me is crazy. Well, I hope to keep it crazy as long as possible.”

2nd on the stage, Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “I was in a good position, but Ackermann anticipated the sprint in the tailwind, while I waited too much before kicking out. I had a very fast 50 meters, but that wasn’t enough. On the plus side, the feeling is good and our team is motivated, which gives me confidence ahead of the next sprint stages”

4th on the stage, Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates): “I really didn’t have the feelings I expected after the first climb, which may have been affected by the cold weather. However I tried to hold on. I really would have liked to make the most of the great work my team mates put in. The lead-out for the sprint was perfect, but I did not perform well. It has been some weeks since I last raced, so I probably need to improve my race pace. I am confident I will do it soon.”

2nd overall, Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott): “The breakaway went away pretty easy and we just settled in. There were a lot of teams riding, and the guys did a great job of keeping me out of the wind so for me personally it was quite an easy day. There were a few hard moments, but the boys looked after me really well which helps. There was a little bit of nerves on the climbs towards the finish, I think it was just the general nerves from the first day of a Grand Tour and people were just trying to stay safe. It kept splitting the bunch, especially with the heavy legs from the rain, but we all arrived safe to the finish.”

5th overall, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb): “It started wet, but then it was dry. Otherwise it would have been really bad. The team has ridden well, I was very happy about that. Everyone is fresh and in the first hundred kilometers in the rain a large front group was away. There was good racing today. There is still a bit of disappointment. Coming fifth and losing half a minute, that’s not what I came for. I didn’t have the punch to pull myself apart. I had ridden a nice ride, but you won’t win a prologue with a nice ride. I was already occupied with today, that’s how it works in a Grand Tour.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 2 Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe in 4:44:43
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
4. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates
5. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
7. Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
8. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
9. Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
10. Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma in 4:47:42
2. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:19
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:23
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:28
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:33
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) Ineos at 0:35
8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 0:39
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:40
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana at 0:42.

Giro stage 2:

AMGEN Tour of California 2019
The Amgen Tour of California kicked off Stage 1 with BORA-hansgrohe’s three-time World Champion Peter Sagan claiming his 17th California stage win by a wheel over USA Cycling National Team’s Travis McCabe. Continuing to grow his Amgen Tour of California stage win record, Sagan also took the early lead in the Sprint competition.

The final meters of the race’s 10th visit to Sacramento were neck and neck with Sagan and McCabe, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today. Sagan placed second twice before on this finish behind Mark Cavendish in 2015 and 2016.

Third for the stage was Maximilian Walscheid (Sunweb), which set a blazing tempo around the Capitol Circuits to get him in prime position for the final sprint. Stage 1 presented by Amgen was an 88.9-mile ride beginning and ending in the shadow of the State Capitol Building, with a three-circuit finish.

An early breakaway of four dwindled to two following the intermediate Sprint in Winters, including 21-year-old Tyler Stites, who is making his Amgen Tour of California debut with the USA Cycling National Team after finishing third on the final stage and fifth overall at the recent Tour of the Gila. Stites will wear the TAG Heuer Best Young Rider Jersey tomorrow. The last rider standing before being reabsorbed by the peloton as it returned to the city center was Charles Planet of Team Novo Nordisk, a team of athletes with diabetes, earning him the day’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey.

The peloton of 19 teams (132 riders) representing 33 countries includes three World Champions, Olympians, Tour de France stage winners and six current National Road Race Champions from around the world. Throughout the week, cyclists will contest 773 miles of California’s most scenic highways, mountain roads and coastlines, visiting 13 cities throughout the state for stage starts and finishes, concluding in Pasadena on May 18.

Stage winner and overall leader, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): “There is no doubt this is a very nice win, not just for me but for the entire team. Earlier today, Pascal Ackermann dominated the sprint at the Giro and now we doubled up with another strong effort here in California. I’d like to thank everybody for their dedication, the team did a great job. They controlled the race and brought me to a perfect position for the sprint. I was focused, stayed in the front in the final stretch and timed my attack well. It’s a nice feeling to start with a win in one of my favorite races.”

2nd on the stage and overall, Travis McCabe (USA): “I felt great, I thought I was closing in on him [Sagan]; I had to come from four or five wheels back… I can’t be more happy with second place; losing to a World Champion is not a bad thing.”

Amgen Breakaway from CancerMost Courageous Rider, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk): “The plan from my director was to get in the break and it went perfectly. I got up there with a few guys and then my goal shifted to getting a jersey. I’m so proud to wear this beautiful jersey tomorrow at this amazing race. I hope it inspires everyone affected by diabetes or any other condition to keep chasing their dreams. I remember being here five years ago and earning this jersey. It was my first day ever racing in America. I was only 20 years old, I couldn’t speak any English, and it came as a bit of a surprise. Fast-forward to today and my goal going into the day was to get a jersey.”

AMGEN Tour of California stage 1 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:14:10
2. Travis McCabe (USA) USA National Team
3. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos
5. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Owain Doull (GB) Ineos
7. John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo at 0:04
8. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
9. Erik Baska (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates.

AMGEN Tour of California Overall After Stage 1:
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe in 3:14:00
2. Travis McCabe (USA) USA National Team at 0:04
3. Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Sunweb at 0:06
4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Ineos at 0:10
5. Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
6. Owain Doull (GB) Ineos
7. Tyler Stites (USA) USA National Team at 0:11
8. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 0:12
9. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 0:13
10. Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana.

ATOC stage 1:

Elia Viviani Unveils Special Giro d’Italia Tricolour Jersey
The 30-year-old celebrates participation in his final Grand Tour as reigning Italian National Champion

After working with our clothing provider, Vermarc, the special jersey has been designed to celebrate Elia’s beautiful year as national champion. The orientation of the stripes has been adjusted to vertical from horizontal, to match the pattern of a traditional Italian flag and give even more spectacular visual.

“The Tricolour jersey is the main reason that I want to be at the Giro, because I want to respect Italian cycling and repeat my success from last year”, said Elia on the unveiling of the new jersey. “The Giro d’Italia is my last big race in the jersey, and as the national championships this year do not suit me, we wanted to do something special with the jersey to mark what has been a very special twelve months for me. This is the result, and I want to thank to our sponsors and the Federation for making it possible.”

“I have had some very special wins in the jersey, but the one that stands out to me is the one in Madrid at the end of the Vuelta. I can remember the feeling from the way that we rode as a team and the way I won, capping off an unbelievable season”, continued Elia, who last year finished on 18 victories.

“I will be very proud to wear this jersey, which the amazing and hard-working people at Vermarc have made so I can celebrate my year in it in a special way. The design of this high-quality jersey is the Italian flag in a horizontal pattern, like on the flag, and we have tried to be creative with the white sleeves in order to make the stripes stand out. This will make it even easier for the fans to spot me.”

Elia, who is just the second sprinter this century to win the Italian National Championships, will be looking to add to his eight victories in the Tricolour and five stage wins at the Giro, and has his eyes on several stages in particular. “Stage 3 is the first proper sprint stage of this year’s race and it is always good to get a first win under the belt and take the confidence into the rest of the race. After that, Stage 10 to Modena will be a special one, as it’s close to where my parents live, which will give me extra motivation. Let’s hope it will be another great Giro for our Deceuninck – Quick-Step team.”

Elia Viviani’s Giro’19 kit:

British Champions Dominate Opening OVO Energy Tour Series Rounds
The opening round of the OVO Energy Tour Series in Redditch, Worcestershire, saw the men’s and women’s British Road Race Champions coming out on top in wet conditions, with individual victories for Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) and Jess Roberts (Team Breeze).

In the opening women’s race Roberts headed home Brother UK – Tifosi p/b OnForm duo Anna Henderson and Rebecca Durrell, whose placings helped their squad into the first OVO Energy Green Jerseys as initial Series leaders. Twenty-year-old Jess follows in the wheel tracks of elder sister Amy, who took victory in the Redditch event in 2014.

With skies darkening and conditions getting wetter, it was Madison Genesis rider Swift taking the individual honors with an impressive solo victory by almost one minute, adding to two previous wins in the OVO Energy Tour Series during 2017.

That impressive solo ride by Swift, along with team-mate Tom Moses following him home, albeit 45 seconds in arrears, was enough to help Madison Genesis into the lead of the men’s OVO Energy Tour Series following Round One, with the quintet of riders pulling on the OVO Energy Green Jerseys on the Redditch podium.

Round Two of the men’s and women’s OVO Energy Tour Series takes place in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire on Tuesday 14 May, with action getting underway with a packed program of support events by Scottish Cycling from Midday.

Highlights of the OVO Energy Tour Series are screened on ITV4 and broadcast around the world. Action from the men’s event in Redditch will be shown at 23:25 on Saturday 11 May with the women’s highlights at 18:00 on Monday 13 May, with both programs also available on demand via the ITV Hub catch up service.

Kittel Leaves Katusha-Alpecin
Team Katusha-Alpecin and Marcel Kittel have agreed to terminate their contractual relationship before its terms.

Marcel Kittel: “On my request Team Katusha-Alpecin (TKA) and I have mutually decided to an early termination of my current contract.

It was for me a long decision process where I raised a lot of questions about how and where I want to go as a person and athlete and what is really important to me. I love cycling and my passion for this beautiful sport is never gone, but I also know what it requires from me and what I need to do to be successful. I believe that everyone has his strengths and weaknesses and that it is an ongoing process to deal with them within a team to be strong and successful. In the last two months I have had the feeling of being exhausted. At this moment, I am not able to train and race at the highest level. For this reason, I have decided to take a break and take time for myself, think about my goals and make a plan for my future.

At this point I’d like to thank the team for the last 1.5 years and their support. Especially I’d like to thank the team staff. From the bottom of my heart I can say that they are the best and hardest working people that I’ve ever seen. I’m sorry that I couldn’t fuel your passion with more wins and results. I’d like to thank the sponsors and partners as well that keep believing in the team with their support and knowledge.

I’ve taken this decision based on my experience that changes lead you to new paths and opportunities. Despite all the insecurities I’ve got confidence that I ultimately will find new chances and challenges. From now on I will put my happiness and joy above everything and seek ways to find this also in my future. I’m very excited about what is going to come. I would like to ride and race again in the future and I have to work out a plan to be able to reach this goal. This is the biggest challenge of my career and I’m accepting it.”

José Azevedo, General Manager TKA: “It is with sadness that we have agreed with Marcel’s request to step away from the team and from racing. We understand the situation in which Marcel is and we fully support him in this difficult time. All the team members will continue supporting Marcel in the future and we hope that he will soon get back to racing as the champion he is. On behalf of Team Katusha-Alpecin and all its sponsors and partners we wish Marcel all the best for the future.”

What next for Marcel?

BORA-hansgrohe to Continue Two-Year Sponsorship with Specialized Through 2021
Specialized is proud to announce the renewal of partnership with the world-class team, BORA – hansgrohe through 2021. The wins and growth shown in the first three years of sponsorship exceeded expectations that the team had back in 2017.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to make an early extension of our partnership with Specialized Bicycles for another two years. When one looks to the list of victories that have been taken on Specialized bicycles within the past few years, it quickly becomes evident that they are of top-class quality. At BORA – hansgrohe, we have high demands of our equipment and continuously strive to improve our performance in every area, right down to the last detail. I know that Specialized makes the same demands of itself, and so both sides profit from this partnership. That is why I am proud that we are part of the Specialized family.”Ralph Denk, Team Manager, BORA – hansgrohe.

Scott Jackson, the Specialized Road Sports Marketing Manager, is eager to see success continue with this team. “Extending the partnership with BORA – hansgrohe is a proud moment for us as we look to the future of professional cycling. We see a team that has helped Peter Sagan to win two World Championships, while also building a base of developing and growing talent to take the stage when their time comes. We could not be more excited to grow with the team and share in more victories to come.”

World Champion, Peter Sagan, is also looking forward to seeing the partnership continue with the brand in the coming years. “I’m delighted with the news that BORA – hansgrohe and Specialized are extending their partnership until the end of 2021. I have been closely working with Specialized since 2015, and for me, they are much more than a simple technical partner of the team. They have been instrumental in my victories in the last five seasons, but the roots of this special relationship go even further back. My first ever World Champion title, at the 2008 UCI Junior Mountain Bike World Championships, was won on a Specialized bike, as were my three consecutive victories at the UCI Road World Championships in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Last, but not least, I think that the decision to create my personal Sagan Collection with Specialized speaks volumes about the mutual trust and close collaboration that exists. I can only be happy seeing that BORA – hansgrohe will continue its winning ways hand in hand with Specialized.”

Novo Nordisk Becomes Longest Running Continued Title Sponsor of an American Team with Commitment to Team Novo Nordisk Through 2020
Global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, announced Friday its extended commitment to Team Novo Nordisk through 2020. The commitment will take the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team through its eighth season, making it the longest-running continued title sponsorship for any current US-registered UCI professional team, including all World Tour, Professional Continental, and Continental squads.

“Sponsorship is challenging for any team and we are honored to now have the longest-running title sponsor of any current American-registered professional team,” said Phil Southerland, CEO and Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk. “We believe this is a testament to our mission, the multi-faceted approach we’ve taken through successes at races, global media exposure across endemic and non-endemic outlets, an unmatched social media presence and extensive community activities.”

Team Novo Nordisk’s partnership with the Danish pharmaceutical company began in December 2012 based on the shared goals to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. Before Team Novo Nordisk, the squad raced as Team Type 1 for five seasons with a mix of riders with and without type 1 diabetes.

“We are thankful to Novo Nordisk for this ongoing opportunity and look forward to the future. Over the past seven years, we have grown together with a long-term vision of identifying and developing athletes with type 1 diabetes. This partnership has allowed us not only to help them grow into amazing bike racers but also to be heroes for every person with diabetes around the world,” said Southerland. “In the first half of 2019, we have showcased our Changing Diabetes jersey aggressively at World Tour races by wearing the Intermediate Spring jersey for four consecutive days at the UAE Tour and placing a historic four riders in the breakaway at the iconic Milan-San Remo.”

Team Novo Nordisk is part of the Novo Nordisk’s Changing Diabetes initiative, a global commitment to improving conditions for the 425 million people living with diabetes today and those at risk of developing diabetes.

“We are proud to continue the partnership, Team Novo Nordisk is truly showcasing that when managed well, diabetes does not have to hold you back,” said Camilla Sylvest, Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy & Corporate Affairs at Novo Nordisk.

Racing on the International Cycling Union (UCI) Professional Continental Tour, the team aims to increase awareness of diabetes with the world’s passionate cycling fans while also bringing a new audience to cycling through the extensive diabetes community.

With title sponsorship secured through 2020, Southerland emphasized that the team’s objectives remain focused on investing and developing athletes with type 1 diabetes.

“As Team Novo Nordisk and Novo Nordisk approach the 100th anniversary since the discovery of insulin as dedicated partners, I am proud to continue changing diabetes together. We keep setting the bar higher and are driven to see how far our athletes can take this dream. We are determined to change the world one individual at a time.”

Since its launch, Team Novo Nordisk has built one of the largest fan bases in both professional cycling and diabetes. As of May 2019, the team has more than 8.4 million fans across its social media platforms.

“We are grateful for our millions of fans who follow our athletes daily along with the growing interest from physicians and journalists,” said Southerland. “Last year, we reached nearly four billion people through the media, and we are extremely motivated to keep growing this number. Together with Novo Nordisk, we are truly changing diabetes.”

The Étape du Tour de France
Everything needed to fulfill the objective!

The Étape du Tour de France returns for its 29th edition. On 21 July, 16,000 amateur riders will have the chance to experience what the Pros go through, by riding the 135kms from Albertville to Val Thorens, which just happens to be stage 20 of this year’s Tour. To prepare themselves better, the participants will be able to rely on a training plan created by the French Cycling Federation (FFC) as well as a dedicated application.

Key points:
The riders are expected at the highest altitude finish-line in the history of the Étape du Tour de France, the leading cyclosportive event in Europe
Ø A participatory application to assist participants in their preparation has been launched
Ø A tailor-made training plan is available to work on velocity, strength and power

A small idea of the magic of the Tour
Sold out in 8 hours! The Étape du Tour de France invites all amateur cyclists, who are passionate about the Tour de France, to ride a stage that will be contested a few days later by the elite of the cycling world. The event, unique in its kind, faithfully transcribes the magic of the Tour de France: a timed race on closed roads with mechanical assistance and a festive atmosphere. By correctly duplicating the sporting intensity, regulatory framework and the conviviality specific to the Tour de France, the Étape du Tour de France, the leading cyclosportive event in Europe, remains an unforgettable experience for all participants.

A high-altitude finish
While the event promises to be a hit, the 135kms between Albertville and Val Thorens will not be easy to complete. Never has the Étape du Tour de France ventured this high. The amateur cyclists will face several challenges, such as the 19km climb of the Cormet de Roselend, before taking on the 6.7km côte de Longefoy with a 6.8% gradient. Then they will have to dig deep to climb the 1,800 meters of elevation gain on the 33.5 km between Moutiers and the finish in Val Thorens.

A brand-new app
Before taking it on, participants first have to prepare for the Étape du Tour de France. And the official app comes at the right time. Available on Android and IOS, the app offers cyclists the possibility to accurately track their performance and share it with their community. This app offers different challenges and several prizes. In addition, it provides each rider with preparation tips, a chance to interact with the community, and finally the opportunity to share their race live with family and friends. The spectators will also have the chance to follow their favorite cyclists in live.

Discover the app on Android and IOS

A training plan to finish the race
With the goal of accompanying amateur cyclists in their preparation, the French Cycling Federation has created a 14-week training plan divided into 3 periods: the first month focuses on velocity, the second on strength and third on power: a session to work on fundamentals, a long-intensity session and a session dedicated to climbing. The participants now have all the tools to get ready for 21 July.

Discover the training plan here

More information on l’Étape du Tour www.letapedutour.com

#InsideOut at the Giro d’Italia – Opening day TT
Join us #InsideOut from the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia, which saw a tough time trial around the streets of Bologna, with a brutal finish climb. Daily #InsideOut videos will be posted to all of our channels throughout the Giro, so be sure to check them our for more behind the scenes footage.

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