Global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, renewed its partnership with Team Novo Nordisk for an additional two years, extending the company’s commitment to the first-ever all-diabetes professional cycling team to a total of five years. The team, made up of 18 athletes from 11 countries, all living with type 1 diabetes, will compete in its first major U.S. stage race this year at the prestigious Tour of California, beginning May 10th in Sacramento.
Team Novo Nordisk was launched in 2012 by former professional cyclist and global diabetes advocate, Phil Southerland, together with Novo Nordisk, based on a shared goal to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. Prior to 2012, there was no professional team in any sport made up entirely of athletes with diabetes and Novo Nordisk Executive Vice President, Marketing, Medical Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement, Jakob Riis, who forged the original agreement with Southerland, pledged the company’s support to achieve this historic first.
“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 Riis. “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.”
“Novo Nordisk is an incredible partner and its renewed commitment to this world class team of athletes enables us to continue racing at the sport’s highest level and utilize cycling as a platform to show the 387 million people around the world living with diabetes what may be possible,” said Phil Southerland, co-founder & CEO of Team Novo Nordisk. “It also allows us to continue our focus on identifying and developing the next generation of athletes living with the condition and creating new heroes for people with diabetes all over the world.”
With a title sponsorship secured through 2017, Team Novo Nordisk seeks to increase awareness of diabetes to millions of cycling fans worldwide while bringing a new audience of people affected by diabetes to the sport. Racing on the International Cycling Union (UCI) Professional Continental Tour, the team earned 21 top-10 finishes and eight podium appearances in 2014, including a third place finish on Stage 4 of the Tour of California. To date in 2015, Team Novo Nordisk has achieved 12 top-10 finishes, including a stage win at the Tour de Filipinas in February. Team Novo Nordisk also includes junior and development squads currently totaling 30 athletes.