Team Novo Nordisk, a global team of athletes with diabetes, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, kicks off the first of two talent identification camps today in Athens, Ga. The talent identification camps serve as a key recruiting tool for Team Novo Nordisk to develop athletes for the men’s professional squad and help fulfill the team’s ultimate goal of racing in the Tour de France by 2021. Currently, 48 young athletes with type 1 diabetes from 18 different countries are slated to attend. Applications are open for a limited amount of remaining spots at the second camp, which begins July 12, at teamnovonordisk.com.
“One of Team Novo Nordisk’s biggest goals is to race in the Tour de France by 2021, marking the 100th year anniversary since the discovery of insulin. Our pipeline of athletes is the future of this team,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and cofounder Phil Southerland said. “We need to discover the next superstars by looking at young, talented athletes with diabetes from around the world and how they perform on the bike. This is the fourth year we’ve held talent identification camps, and they serve as a vital recruitment tool to help us build a large, stable core of athletes.”
The Team Novo Nordisk talent ID camps are held each summer on the University of Georgia campus, which is Southerland’s alma mater. During the two one-week camps, campers get the opportunity to train with experienced athletes living with diabetes, including members of the Team Novo Nordisk Development Team and Junior Team, and work with licensed health care professionals to learn more about sports and diabetes management. The camps are open to young, active, endurance athletes ages 15-23 with type 1 diabetes.
Team Novo Nordisk recently bolstered their development program by hiring veteran cyclist Alexander Efimkin as an assistant coach. Efimkin, who raced for Team Novo Nordisk’s predecessor, Team Type 1, for two seasons, brings extensive experience and depth to the coaching staff. His addition helps solidify the team’s long-term commitment to developing young athletes.
“It is with great pride that Alex returns to the Team Novo Nordisk organization,” said Team Novo Nordisk Senior Vice President of Athletics Vassili Davidenko. “His lengthy resume includes podiums at prestigious races such as the Giro d’Italia and we are excited to share his knowledge with our developing riders. He also understands the mission of the team and is vested in helping us inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes.”
In addition to the men’s UCI professional continental cycling team, which currently includes 17 athletes from nine countries, Team Novo Nordisk features development and junior squads currently totaling 30 members. To find out more about joining Team Novo Nordisk’s junior or development squads or to apply for one of the talent ID camps, visit teamnovonordisk.com.