Today was an amazing day! We rode fantastically as a team and the guys put me in perfect position in the last meters. It is my first professional podium and I’m so happy for myself and the team. We will continue to push hard to get more results at the Tour of China,
Benhamouda Runner-Up on Stage 5 of Tour of China
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, came within inches of securing its first win of the season when Frenchman Mehdi Benhamouda sprinted to second place on Stage 5 of Tour of China, his best result of his professional career.
“Today was an amazing day! We rode fantastically as a team and the guys put me in perfect position in the last meters. Oli and Stephen worked until two km to go and Declan stayed on my wheel as protection,” Benhamouda said. “In the end, I just sprinted full gas and took second. It is my first professional podium and I’m so happy for myself and the team. We will continue to push hard to get more results at the Tour of China.”
Wednesday’s short 116-kilometer flat course within the city of Hunan saw the peloton ride at a high pace making it virtually impossible for a breakaway to stick.
However, after a hectic first 35 km of attacks, a small group got away that included Team Novo Nordisk’s Argentinian Emanuel Mini. The escapees opened a maximum gap of under a minute but were caught after 15 km to go as the attacks from the bunch kept coming thick and fast.
Team Novo Nordisk had set their eyes on the anticipated bunch sprint finale and worked tirelessly to keep Benhamouda in optimal position leading up to the final kick.
The 24-year-old, who had already shown great form when he took a top five result on Stage 3, laid down a brilliant sprint and finished runner-up to Marco Benfatto (Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec). It was the first podium result for Benhamouda and the second for Team Novo Nordisk this season after Andrea Peron finished third on the opening stage of the Tour of Estonia.
On Saturday, following a transfer day, Team Novo Nordisk resumes racing with Stage 6, a 132-km race between Yongshou and Ningyuan.
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes.
For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.
All images are ©AnneWu.