The Amgen tour of California made its way from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita in Stage 4.
That pack of riders includes a unique team, called team Novo Nordisk.
All the riders on this international team have type one diabetes. These professional athletes are constantly monitoring their blood glucose levels while keeping pace with the rest of these world class racers.
“Our riders have all the tools they need to manage diabetes. They have monitors they have insulin. They have what they need and when you have that and the education on how to manage it which we spend a lot of time on education for our riders then they are normal. Throughout the race the thing they are doing that the other riders are not is checking their blood sugar, whatever it is, sometimes they are injecting insulin, sometimes they are eating more food, but it is all about trying to stay on top of the control,” said Phil Southerland of Team Novo Nordisk.
Results are obviously important, but the team also hopes to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes around the world.
“When I was diagnosed I was seven months old and the prognosis was death or blindness by 25, but exercise was the one thing that kept pushing the limits and showing that maybe there is something. I never had a hero growing up. I never knew what was possible going forward, but because of our team now every kid in the world that has the internet can quickly find a bunch of heroes from all over the world racing to inspire,” said Southerland.
Ian Mcewan of Ventura has been following team Novo Nordisk since he was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 2011, he was just ten years old at the time.
“It was a shock. It wasn’t something that I ever expected and it left me wondering what am I going to be able to do and seeing these guys it just totally proved that you can do whatever you want,” said Mcewan.
“They come every year, and now Ian is taller than me. He is riding centuries every year, and whatever his dream is it is going to come true, and it is this team, Team Novo Nordisk, that is the inspiration behind it,” said Southerland.