Brand Takes Prix du KM19 Sprint Trophy on Tour du Limousin Opener
Limoges, France – Tuesday’s opening stage of the Tour du Limousin-Nouvelle-Aquitaine saw Team Novo Nordisk’s Sam Brand star in the day’s main breakaway and take top honors through the Prix du KM19 Sprint. The strong opener to the four-day French race earned the Manxman a podium appearance to receive the Prix du KM19 Sprint Trophy.
“It was a tough stage mixed with a short season where there are not as many opportunities. I won the sprint of the day and made it to the podium, so I’m really happy about that and ready for Stage 2,” said Brand.
The 183.5-kilometer stage ran between Couzeix and Évaux-les-bains with three categorized climbs and a lengthy 6.3 percent ramp up to the finish in Évaux-les-bains.
It was a fast and nervous start with many attacks, but Brand eventually escaped with three other riders (Euskaltel-Euskadi, Vini Zabu-KTM, Tony Hurel). After 15km of racing, the four-man breakaway was at 3:20 on the peloton. At KM19, Brand went for the Prix du KM19 Sprint Trophy.
The breakaway reached a maximum advantage of five minutes after two hours of racing, but the peloton caught it before the intermediate sprint point.
“The team’s plan was to be aggressive and look after Andrea [Peron] and Charles. I was in a good position at the start of the race and decided to go in the breakaway,” explained Brand. “I felt good and I wanted to go for a jersey, but the peloton started to attack earlier than expected; they wanted to get us back before the intermediate sprint and they did.”
The stage ended with Luca Wackermann (Vini Zabu-KTM) attacking on the hilltop finale and taking the win. Charles Planet was Team Novo Nordisk’s best-placed rider over the line just a few seconds behind.
The world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team takes on Stage 2 at the Tour du Limousin on Wednesday. The 173.9-km stage runs from Dordogne through the Departmental Base of Rouffiac and finishes at the Grand Étang de Saint-Estèphe.
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional 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.
Photos are ©Rene Vigneron and Gus Sev Photography