Interview with Joonas Henttala of Team Novo Nordisk

Amgen Tour of California 2016, Stage 1 Breakaway
Photo ©TDWSport. Used with permission.

Joonas Henttala is a professional cyclist with Team Novo Nordisk. Joonas started the 2016 Tour of California aggressively. We was the first rider to attack after the neutral start of Stage 1. This created a break away with 6 other riders that was off the front for over 85 miles. The break away was reeled back in before the final 3, resulting in a bunch sprint. Joonas’s teammate on Team Novo Nordisk – Martijn Verschoor – was able to capture a 5th place finish against some of the best sprinters in the world.

We caught up with Joonas Henttala before the start of the Tour of California to ask him some questions about his life as a professional cyclist, overcoming Type 1 Diabetes, and competing at the highest levels of the sport. Keep reading →

Team Novo Nordisk showing new kits for Tour of California

Photo ©Team Novo Nordisk. Used with permission.
Photo ©Team Novo Nordisk. Used with permission.

Team Novo Nordisk will be returning to the Amgen Tour of California this year with a whole new look that will be exclusive to the US races. The new green kits feature Tresiba®  – a long-acting insulin produced by title sponsor Novo Nordisk.

Team Novo Nordisk is a global team made up of nearly 100 endurance athletes with diabetes, including cyclists, runners and triathletes. The men’s professional cycling team includes 17 athletes from nine countries, 8 of which will be on the starting line for the Amgen Tour of California.

The Amgen Tour of California is the biggest cycling event on U.S. soil and it’s definitely one of the most important races of the season for Team Novo Nordisk, so we are excited to introduce our new U.S. kit at this prestigious race. This year marks our third consecutive appearance at the Amgen Tour of California, and we are eager to use this opportunity to show the 415 million people around the world living with diabetes what may be possible.

Phil Southerland, co-founder & CEO of Team Novo Nordisk

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Chris Horner on diet, cafes and California

[singlepic id=57 w=320 h=240 float=right]I found it particularly rewarding to watch Chris Horner win the 2011 Amgen Tour of California.  Horner is one of my favorite riders in the peloton.  As anyone that has been reading my posts will have noticed, I’m primarily a Leopard-Trek fan.  Or, more precisely, I’m a Voigt, Schleck, Schleck and Cancellara fan, and they just happen to still be riding on the same team.

While my Leopard Trek fandom comes form watching the guys race, my appreciation of Chris Horner is much more personal.  I had the opportunity to both meet and ride with Chris Horner at last years Clark’s Corner Cycling Challenge.  That’s where I learned that, well, Chris is just a really cool guy.  There are few folks as down to earth, approachable and humble.  Oh – and the guy seems to have a perpetual smile on his face.

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Sacramento treated to great racing

Sacramento was treated to some fantastic pro racing as the modified stage 2 course of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California offered 3 circuits around the state capitol building.  A breakaway of 4 riders struggled to stay ahead of the peloton, but were caught before rolling onto the streets of California’s capitol city, where huge crowds waited despite the threat of poor weather.

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AToC Stage 2 Start Moved To Nevada City

In response to anticipated weather conditions, officials have moved the start of stage 2 of the 2011 mgen Tour of California to Nevada City, CA.  The start time has also been delayed to 12:15 Pacific Time.  This essentially moves the start along the original route to the location and time it was expected to pass the new start location, thus allowing the rest of the 61 miles to follow the originally planned route.

The route was expected to leave Squaw Valley and pass over Donner Pass.  However, the threat of more winter-like conditions again raised concerns for the safety of riders, spectators and crew, prompting this change.

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Tour of Cali Possibly Effected Tomorrow

Snow at Lake Tahoe
Photo via UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis rider Rory Sutherland

Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California was unfortunately canceled due to the risks presented to riders, spectators and staff by winter-like weather conditions.  Many riders expressed their agreement that the cancellation of stage 1 was the right thing to do.  This was further underscored by reports that as many as 6 race marshals may have been involved in an incident or incidents resulting in their motorcycles crashing in the slippery conditions.  There are no reported injuries as a result of these crashes.

However, while stage 1 is behind us, there is still risk of potential impact on tomorrow’s stage 2.

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Stage 1 of Tour of Cali still “on hold”

Update: Stage 1 was canceled. And Delores Pickford (@dpk4d) gives us a really good example of why.

The official release from officials says that Stage 1 of the Tour of California is slated for a 1:15pm Pacific time start – using a much shortened course allowing for the scheduled end time of  3:15-4pm pacific to remain as scheduled.

However, given the weather that just rolled through Sacramento, there still remains the possibility of a complete neutralization of the inaugural stage of the 2011 race.

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Riders in Tour of Cali honor fellow cyclist

Riders in this years Tour of California will be wearing wrist bands to honor fellow cyclist Wouter Weylandt.  Weylandt was a rider for Pro team Leopard Trek.  His life tragically ended after a crash in stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia.

Stage 4 of the Giro was neutralized in memorial, with riders completing the stage as a group, Leopard Trek leading across the finish.

Also joining Leopard Trek at the front of the peloton was Tyler Farrar, friend of training partner of Weylandt.  Farrar opted not to complete the Giro after Stage 4 in an understandable move to mourn the loss of his friend.

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Ride your bike to Tour of California

If you are planning on attending the finish of Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California.  Sacramento can be tricky it park in and negotiate on a good weekend day.  Throw in all of the traffic for a major cycling event and you’re likely to find yourself walking miles even if you do drive downtown.  However, Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA) are helping to solve this problem for you.

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Amgen Tour of California just around the corner

We’re getting close to another Tour of California.  The team lists show a competitive field that should make for some great racing.  I’ll be covering a few of the stages for VeloReviews, as well as looking out for Team Type 1 for here at  Also, there are plans brewing to get some like minded folks together during some of the stages.  If you are going to be at any of them, let me know so that we can meet up in person.