Over the past few years, Team Type 1, a team of elite and professional cyclists living with type 1 diabetes, has competed in races like the Tour of Georgia and the AT&T Austin Downtown Criterium, and it has twice won the ultra-endurance, 3,052 mile Race Across America (RAAM).
In 2009, Team Type 1 is expanding to five athletic teams, including:
- A men’s professional cycling team and a women’s professional cycling team, both of which have a mixed roster of riders with and without type 1 diabetes
- An elite cycling team for the 2009 RAAM composed entirely of riders with type 1 diabetes
- A triathlon team whose members all have type 1 diabetes
- Team Type 2, a team of amateur cyclists with type 2 diabetes
Team Type 1 was founded by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, both of whom were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as children. Their goal, according to a press release, is to “inspire people with diabetes to take a proactive approach to managing their condition by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, monitoring their blood sugar levels, taking their insulin and other diabetes medications as prescribed, and working closely with their healthcare team.” Southerland said that Team Type 1’s ultimate goal is to compete in the Tour de France.
It’s exciting that there is now a Team Type 2, consisting of ten amateur cyclists living with type 2 diabetes. Their long-term goal is to compete in the RAAM, just like the Team Type 1 elite team. To help prepare for RAAM, Team Type 2 will participate in several racing events in 2009, primarily the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure.
Members of both Team Type 1 and Team Type 2 plan to participate in educational speaking engagements across the country to spread awareness of diabetes and encourage others with the disease to take an active role in managing their condition.
Team Type 1 is sponsored by sanofi-aventis’s long-acting insulin Lantus® and their rapid-acting insulin Apidra®.