Important wildcard invites for Team Novo Nordisk
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Important wildcard invites for Team Novo Nordisk

by VeloNation Press at 5:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Presidential Tour of Turkey
Diabetic team gets green light for Presidential Tour of Turkey and the Bayern Rundfahrt

Team Novo NordiskTeam Novo Nordisk, the successor to the Team Type 1 squad, has confirmed that it has received two important wildcard invites for upcoming races, with a slot in the Presidential Tour of Turkey being the first of those.

Last year the TT1 squad competed in the Turkish event, with Daniele Colli netting third place on stages one and four.

Since then, the structure of the squad has changed entirely, with a new title sponsor on board and, equally significantly, a team roster which is now completely comprised of diabetic riders.

While the releasing of many of its more experienced competitors has meant that the team has accepted that it may take some time to raise the level, it has been given a vote of confidence by the Turkish organisers.

“The team is thrilled and enthusiastic to ride in our first ‘hors catégorie’ stage race,” says Team Novo Nordisk founder and CEO Phil Southerland, who regards the changes this year as marking the start of a new team. “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 [the Route Adélie de Vitré – ed.], show we’re headed in the right direction. We feel very optimistic heading into our first ‘hors catégorie’. Let's try and surprise the favourites!”

The Presidential Tour of Turkey will feature nine WorldTour teams and 25 squads in all. It will begin in April 21st in Alanya and runs for a week.

The second wildcard is for the Bayern Rundfahrt, which takes place in Germany between May 22nd and 26th. Twelve teams that will ride the Tour de France will take part, with eight other squads also getting a green light. An extra wildcard slot has been allocated this year, enabling Novo Nordisk to take part.

“Both invitations are a great honour to us,” states the general manager 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.”

Speaking in December, team founder Phil Southerland explained the time table that the team and sponsor had laid out, with the gradual development of its diabetic riders taking precedence over any pressure for short-term results.

“We definitely have a Grand Tour in our sights. It is not an immediate goal. We are fortunate at Team Novo Nordisk to have a more long-term vision,” he told VeloNation, confirming a long-term sponsorship committment. “Vassili Davidenko believes a Grand Tour can be done in the next three to four years. I trust him on that one.”

Southerland is referring to the Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a España, with the Tour de France a longer-term target. “I've set a nine year goal to get Team Novo Nordisk to Le Tour by 2021. We want to have it done before the 100th year celebration of insulin's invention,” he said.

“It's going to be a challenge, but a challenge that both we and Novo Nordisk are up to tackling.”


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