Team Type 1 - SANOFI Update: Tour of China Race Reports & Univest Grand Prix Roster Announcement

Posted: Sep 17, 2011

Verschoor top 20 in hot circuit race around Bishan at Tour of China Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Martijn Verschoor sprinted to a top 20 finish on a hot, dusty circuit race in stage six of the Tour of China on Friday. Verschoor, from the Netherlands, stayed in the protected bunch of sprinters during the 100km eight-lap race around Bishan, while teammates gathered at the front of the peloton to patrol the attacks that invariable come in a relatively short and fast race. "The goal was to scoop up some bonus seconds at the two intermediate sprints, but the racing all day was very aggressive, and there were no successful escapes to speak of," said Director Sportif Michael Carter. Verschoor finished 15th, with the same time as stage winner Boris Shpilevsky of Russia. Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Vladimir Efimkin remains just seconds away from second place, a tight band of competition he shares with nearly a dozen riders. "The race will shake out the top three on the final mountain stage, but that's Sunday and before we get to that there's one more circuit race in Chengdu," Carter said. Efimkin, a Tour de France stage winner who retired last season to spend more time with his family and returned to competitive cycling this season in August, said the long transfers between stage finishes and race hotels have been hard. "There hasn't been much time. Races, transfers, and it's tough even to get the basic stuff done. Massages, washing clothes. The organizers are trying their best, and the hotels are all top class," Efimkin said. "There are a few teams all racing directly behind me in the peloton. Spanish, Russian, others. It's really difficult to get away in a break, but sometimes it works out. My thought is if I don't finish the race in the top 3, then I am going to make it as tough as possible for my competitors," Efimkin said. Verschoor, along with teammates Fabio Calabria and Joe Eldridge, has type 1 diabetes, and must monitor his blood glucose continuously and periodically take insulin to manage the disease. On Friday Verschoor started stage six with a reading at 136 and finished at 220. Eldridge began at 120 and finished at 190, while fabio began at 220 and dropped to 110 by the end of the roughly two hours of racing. After stage six the team and staff piled into rented cars and a bus for a 350km transfer back to Chengdu for the final three days of racing. Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider poised to unleash "the old Efimkin" on Sunday's Queen Stage at Tour of China Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Vladimir Efimkin kept his powder dry on Saturday, choosing to sit in the relative comfort of the peloton in order to make his big move on Sunday at the Tour of China. Vladimir, who lives in Sacramento, said the short, fast circuit race in downtown Chengdu had some bonus seconds up for grabs at intermediate sprints, but the risk and effort were outweighed by the time gaps that will inevitably arise come Sunday in the mountains. "I've been racing actively all week, in spite of the fact that my every move is being covered by my competitors. So today I did the opposite and decided not to spend extra energy, with an eye on tomorrow's stage. It is precisely the eighth stage that should be decisive in the balance of power," Vladimir Efimkin said. Team Type 1 - SANOFI Director Sportif Michael Carter said Saturday's stage seven was brief and to the point. "Six laps, 104km, dead flat. The only significant move came with three laps to go, but it got chased down and finished in a field sprint. Tomorrow is the big day, and should see time differences of minutes rather than seconds," Carter said. Vladimir Efimkin, a Tour de France stage winner who retired last summer and then returned to professional racing Aug. 1, said he is feeling like his old self. He is currently in 10th on GC, 3:36 behind race leader Muradjan Khalmuratov of Uzbekistan, but only 11 seconds behind second place rider Ivan Kovalev of Russia. "The sensations I had on stage three in the mountains gave me confidence. I felt like the old Efimkin," Vladimir Efimkin said. Team Type 1 - SANOFI rider Fabio Calabria, who has type 1 diabetes and must monitor his blood glucose continuously and periodically take insulin to manage the disease, said Sunday's 134km starting in Dujiangyan are the Queen Stage of this year's Tour of China. "Tomorrow is the big day. It's two climbs but reasonably short, and we're all in for Vladimir," Calabria said. Vladimir Efimkin praised Calabria and the entire team's efforts in keeping him within stroking distance of the podium on Sunday. "The last couple of stages Fabio has really livened things up with his activity. On Friday he was by my side the whole stage in a good break, and had the Spanish riders not got their act together in time and chased us down, who knows how things would have gone," Vladimir Efimkin said. Calabria said his BG at the start was 200, and he took 0.5 units of insulin before beginning the race. He finished at 160. Team Type 1 - SANOFI riders Joe Eldridge and Martijn Verschoor also have type 1 diabetes. Eldridge said his starting BG was 190, and he raced at 140, finishing the sprint at 190. Verschoor started at 240 and finished below 200. Team Type 1 - SANOFI at the Univest Grand Prix Team Type 1 returns to Pennsylvania this weekend at the Univest Grand Prix 2011, fielding a fast squad for two days of classic American racing. On Saturday the Univest Grand Prix runs 160km over a circuit in the Pennsylvania towns of Souderton, Franconia and Telford, with 12 laps on a 10.4km opening loop and five finishing loops of 7km. Sprinters who can withstand the rolling changes of a hilly course typically fare well at the Univest Grand Prix, and Team Type 1 - SANOFI is bringing riders best suited to the course. "We have Aleksei Shmidt, who is an Olympic track rider for Russia in the Madison, an event that combines hard sprints and big endurance. We also have Will Dugan, who has had a strong season this year in hilly stage races," said Team Type 1 - SANOFI General Manager Vassili Davidenko. On Sunday the racing shifts to a classic American criterium, with 35 laps on a 1.4 mile circuit in Doylestown. "These races are very specific in the kinds of rider who can do well. Ben King and Scott Stewart are very experienced in criteriums, and Alex Bowden has just returned from the US national Criterium Championships and is looking to continue with his form," Davidenko said. Univest Grand Prix Team Type 1 - SANOFI roster Sept. 17-18 Alex Bowden* - USA Will Dugan - USA Ben King - AUS Aleksei Shmidt - RUS Scott Stewart - USA * athlete with type 1 diabetes