QUEBEC CITY, June 17, 2015 /CNW/ - As Team Novo Nordisk, the world's first all-diabetes professional cycling team, crosses the finish line at Tour de Beauce, the riders leave Quebeckers with an inspirational Changing Diabetes® message – with drive, dedication and the proper channels of support and disease management, anything may be possible!
The men's pro cycling team has been racing in Canada since the team's first season in 2013, spreading their inspirational message to millions of people across the country. By competing in key races, such as Tour de Beauce, they've proven they can compete with the world's best and achieve great things, despite their diabetes.
"As a team of committed, high-performing athletes, we've all embraced our condition as a motivater to help us go beyond what people believe to be possible for people, like us, living with diabetes," said Team Novo Nordisk professional cyclist, Martijn Verschoor. "As a team, we encourage each other to face the daily challenges of diabetes with strength. While we strive to achieve success in every race appearance, a bigger accomplishment is helping others living with diabetes recognize and achieve their true potential."
When diagnosed with diabetes, many people think it means they won't be able to live life the way they'd hoped. The Team Novo Nordisk athletes are people with diabetes who happen to have a talent and a strong desire to not let their condition stop them from following their dreams of competing at the top level.
This year, fans, fellow riders and the local diabetes community who came out to the race had the opportunity to meet members of Team Novo Nordisk and learn about the training demands of a high-performance cyclist, as well as get the insider track on bike riding techniques for the average cyclist. A select few even had the opportunity to participate in a ride-along with former Team Novo Nordisk professional cyclist and team mentor, Joe Eldridge.
Tour de Beauce consisted of a 643.3 km race over five days in and around Québec City. Day one of the race ended with Team Novo Nordisk's Martijn Verschoor of the Netherlands taking sixth place and Charles Planet of France finishing in 10th place. Verschoor would earn two top 10 finishes during Tour de Beauce. Kevin De Mesmaeker of Belgium held on to his top 20 place in the last two races in the general classification following a challenging final stage at the Tour de Beauce.
As the team gears up for its next big race, it's challenging the diabetes community to be active and get involved in sport as a way to further manage their diabetes and empower others living with the condition.
"Each race is our opportunity to grow in strength and demonstrate to the world that when you have diabetes you can still follow your dreams," said Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO, Team Novo Nordisk. "This is our third season racing as an all-diabetes team and we have high ambitions. We hope to perform well and inspire and empower more people affected by diabetes to take control of their condition and pursue their dreams."
"Novo Nordisk is very proud of the unique Team Novo Nordisk partnership. As part of our long-standing Changing Diabetes® program, the athletes are raising awareness of the diabetes pandemic and inspiring millions of people affected by diabetes around the world," said Novo Nordisk Executive Vice President of China, Pacific and Marketing, Jakob Riis.
Team Novo Nordisk
The Team Novo Nordisk professional men's cycling team roster for 2015 in Quebec included:
Stephen Clancy (Ireland), Kevin De Mesmaeker (Belgium), Joonas Henttala (Finland), Javier Megias (Spain), Charles Planet (France), Simon Strobel (Germany), Martijn Verschoor (The Netherlands).
About Changing Diabetes®
Today, 387 million people are living with diabetes, which is predicted to rise to 592 million by 2035.1 By 2020 it is expected that 3.7 million Canadians will be diagnosed with diabetes in Canada.2 Changing Diabetes® is the Novo Nordisk global commitment to improve conditions for the millions of people who live with diabetes around the world today, and those who are at risk of developing diabetes tomorrow.
About Novo Nordisk
Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk employs approximately 41,000 employees in 75 countries, and markets its products in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit novonordisk.ca.
Notes to editor:
Team biographies, backgrounder and photography available on request.
- - IDF 6th edition Diabetes Atlas, 2014 Update
- An economic tsunami, the cost of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Diabetes Association. Available from: http://www.diabetes.ca/CDA/media/documents/publications-and-newsletters/advocacy-reports/economic-tsunami-cost-of-diabetes-in-canada-english.pdf. Last accessed: May 2014.
SOURCE Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.