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by Shane Stokes
May 8, 2015
As the clock counts down until it starts the 2015 Tour of California – and as the momentum continues towards what it hopes will be its first Grand Tour inside the next couple of seasons – the Novo Nordisk team is celebrating a show in faith from its title sponsor.
The global healthcare company Novo Nordisk came on board prior to the 2013 season, its addition seeing the squad’s name change from Team Type 1 and the recruitment policy shift to one where 100 percent of the lineup would comprise diabetic riders.
While the squad had some athletes with this condition before 2013, it became the first professional team in sport to have a fully diabetic lineup.
Now Novo Nordisk has opted to extend its backing for another two years, taking the team to the end of the 2017 season.
“As a global leader in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a responsibility not only to provide innovative products to tackle the diabetes pandemic, but to also invest in initiatives that support the diabetes community,” said Jakob Riis, the company’s executive vice president of marketing, medical affairs and stakeholder engagement.
Riis was responsible for finalising the original agreement with the team’s co-founder Phil Southerland.
“Our partnership with Team Novo Nordisk reinforces this commitment and we’re proud to support the team in its mission to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes.”
Southerland described the company as an incredible partner. He said that the extended commitment was one which enabled the team to keep racing at a high level and thus “show the 387 million people around the world living with diabetes what may be possible.”
The team comprises 18 athletes from 11 countries, and the overall structure also includes junior and development squads.
The Pro Continental arm is set to line out in the Tour of California on Sunday and hopes to improve on the third-place finish it achieved on a stage last year.
Longer term, riding a Grand Tour is a big goal. After that, it hopes to eventually field a team of diabetics in the Tour de France.