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Diabetics get on their bikes to inspire others to reach for their dreams

Submitted by on January 24, 2012 – 2:03 pm

Reigning Australian sprint cycling champion and type one diabetic Fabio Calabria takes on Auckland diabetic Jack Hailstone in a cycle challenge at the Team Type One Sanofi diabetes outreach event in Auckland.

Diabetics get on their bikes

Team Type 1 cyclists to compete in New Zealand

Young New Zealanders living with diabetes will join leading professional cyclists, Team Type 1 Sanofi, in fun Cycle Challenges in Auckland, Wellington and Palmerston North in January. They aim to show that having diabetes need not stop you from reaching your personal goals in life.

Team Type 1 Sanofi may be unique in that six of its 21 riders have Type 1 diabetes. The international team is coming to New Zealand for the first time to compete in the New Zealand Cycle Classic Men’s Road Cycling Tour in Manawatu from January 25-29, 2012.

The team members for the New Zealand Cycle Classic are:

Rubens Bertogliati (Switzerland), Fabio Calabria (Australia), Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slovenia), Kiel Reijnen (United States) and Joey Rosskopf (United States).

Fabio Calabria, who is the reigning Australian sprint cycling champion, has Type 1 diabetes.  Rubens Bertogliati is a previous stage winner in the Tour de France, Kiel Reijnen won the demanding Tour of Rwanda in November and Joey Rosskopf was second.

“The race organisers are very excited that we have been able to bring this top level team to New Zealand to take part in the Tour,” says Sanofi New Zealand General Manager, Alan Carter.

“Team Type 1 Sanofi is the first UCI Professional Continental team to compete in the Tour in its 24-year history and it’s also a great opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes in New Zealand,” he said.

Diabetes is a major and growing health issue for New Zealand. Of high income countries, this country has the fourth highest rate of diabetes. Over 200,000 New Zealanders have diabetes, and every day 40 more people are diagnosed. By 2021, it’s estimated it could cost the country over a billion dollars each year.

While Type 1 diabetes is unavoidable, the most common form of diabetes in New Zealand, Type 2 diabetes, can mostly be prevented by staying active and choosing healthier foods.

Mr Carter says Sanofi’s diabetes team is working with Diabetes New Zealand and Tour organisers to create a programme of community outreach activities with the team while they are in New Zealand.

“We’re holding special diabetes outreach events in Auckland (January 23), Palmerston North

(January 23) and Wellington (January 30).”

Mr Carter says the company has already had diabetes specialists in both Auckland and Wellington offering to support the community events.

“This is a great opportunity to show people with diabetes, especially recently-diagnosed young people, that they can control this disease and achieve their goals.”
About Team Type 1 Sanofi
Team Type 1 Sanofi is the brainchild of Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge who met in a
university cycle race in the United States in 2003 and discovered they both had diabetes. In
2005, they set up what has now become a global sports organisation with the aim of proving
that people can take control of their diabetes and achieve their dreams.

Today, the team changes the lives of people with diabetes around the world through racing,
ground-breaking research, international outreach and philanthropic initiatives in developing
countries like Rwanda.

The team competes in many high profile events worldwide from the Race Across America,
which it won in 2010, to the major tours of professional cycling. www.teamtype1.org

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