All three riders, Antonio, Doriand and Nathan understand that this will be a big step up for them and it will be important that they focus on working hard to continue their progression.
Talented trio make step up from Devo to Pro for Team Novo Nordisk in 2024
ATLANTA, Ga., October 23, 2023 - Team Novo Nordisk welcome Frenchman Doriand Percrule, Italian Antonio Polga and Brit Nathan Smith to the senior professional team for 2024 as all three riders make the move up from the development team.
“This is another example that shows our development pipeline is in good working order,” began General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “All three riders, Antonio, Doriand and Nathan understand that this will be a big step up for them and it will be important that they focus on working hard to continue their progression.”
“How they transition in the first few months will be crucial to the next phase of their development and it’s important that all three make the most of this opportunity. They have all shown what they can do while racing for the Development Team and we’re all excited to see them progress, it’s our goal and responsibility to do all we can to help them realize their maximum potential.”
After three years with the TNN development team Briton Nathan Smith is finally realizing his dream and becoming a senior professional. A stagiaire role in early 2022 left the 23-year-old with a clear idea of what was needed to take the next step in his career and now the hard work has paid off.
"It feels amazing to be able say I’ll be turning professional with Team Novo Nordisk next year,” began Smith. “Definitely a dream come true! It will be a big step up from racing with the devo team but, I’m ready to give it my all.”
“Next season I'd like to gain valuable experience racing at a higher level, do my job for my teammates in races and have an all round consistent year of racing while showing what’s possible with diabetes.”
Frenchman Doriand Percrule has also spent three years in the development pipeline with standout results at races such as the Tour of Sakarya and the Tour of Bulgaria running alongside unfortunate periods of injury that the 24-year-old has now overcome.
“After three years in the Development Team I learned a lot,” said Percrule. “I was able to gain experience in different races and this enabled me to move through the stages as I went along in order to make the necessary progress.”
“I feel like these three years have shaped me well, so that I can now move up to the pro team and be ready for the next step. I'd like to thank the whole Team Novo Nordisk family for this opportunity and I hope to show my true ability. I am highly motivated for 2024 and my main goal is to help the team and keep learning and developing.”
Stories of dogged determination are commonplace in professional sport, as so often drive and hard work combine to form the opening paragraphs to a story of success. 24-year-old Antonio Polga fits right into this category of never giving up. After repeated attempts to join the pro ranks of the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team, the Veneto native has finally made it.
“I am so happy about this step of my life,” concluded Polga. “I knew since the beginning that I could do this, and even with some high and lows I continued to dream and fight hard on the bike, making the sacrifices of the usual life of someone in their early twenties and focusing only on becoming a professional athlete.”
“Now for sure it's the start of a new chapter and I have to work harder every day to improve and improve. I am looking forward very much to be doing this with a team as unique as Team Novo Nordisk.”
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 and promote a healthy and active lifestyle. For more information, visit http://www.teamnovonordisk.com.