Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, has confirmed its 2021 roster complete with 17 riders from 12 different countries, including two new signings moving up from its development team.
Coming out of what has been an unprecedented year for the world, Team Novo Nordisk is eager to shift focus to 2021 where the onus will be on celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the discovery of insulin, meaning life for people with diabetes. The yearlong celebration is extra meaningful to Team Novo Nordisk’s title sponsor, Novo Nordisk, since its inception in 1923, has remained focused on defeating diabetes by pioneering innovative medicines.
“Aside from Covid-19, 2020 has been a pretty stellar year. For our organization, the biggest highlight was Novo Nordisk extending our partnership through 2023. We are incredibly proud to have such an amazing partner to continue changing diabetes for the world,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said. “We saw tremendous progress within our pipeline, including our biggest Talent ID camp in the team’s history. The development team had a great year of growth and success and the pro team made a solid step forward in confidence.”
All athletes on Team Novo Nordisk race with diabetes. This unique distinction means that the team’s foundation makes it feel like a family and many riders remain with the organization for their entire professional careers.
After only 40 race days across 12 races due to Covid-19, Team Novo Nordisk started focusing on 2021 early and quickly moved to sign new riders Lucas Dauge (FRA) and Logan Phippen (USA) from the development team and extend with team veterans David Lozano (ESP), Andrea Peron (ITA), Charles Planet, and former Hungarian champion Peter Kusztor, who joined the organization in 2019.
“What a difficult, stressful, and strange year, but I feel the entire organization stepped up as strong ambassadors for the diabetes community. Throughout the year, we focused our attention on keeping everyone safe while still figuring out creative ways to keep sharing the team’s mission to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “I am proud to say that all our major sponsors stayed with us through this difficult time. We are incredibly grateful for each and every one of them. Now we are eager to move on to 2021 and hopefully it will include more consistent racing!”
Before travel restrictions went into effect, Team Novo Nordisk kicked off the 2020 season by securing numerous top 10s at the International Rhodes Tour. Following the racing hiatus, the team returned to racing with a seventh-place finish at the Circuito de Getxo by Planet. In late August, Lozano wore the King of the Mountain’s jersey for multiple stages at the Tour de Hongrie.
“We started strong in Greece, with three different riders taking top 10s, and after lockdown, watching Charles return with a top 10 in Spain was huge. But I would say the team effort at the Tour de Hongrie was my highlight of the year,” Southerland explained. “The guys rode their hearts out to keep David in the red jersey, which was only lost on the final stage through a tiebreaker. It is that passion and hunger that makes me so proud of this team.”
Building on the positives will be key for 2021 and what will be a landmark year for the team and the global diabetes community.
“2021 is a year we’ve had our sights on for some time, and we are proud and honored to celebrate 100 years of life for people with diabetes on a global scale. We do not take our roles lightly and we are driven to keep showing the world what is possible when you take control of your diabetes thanks to the lifesaving invention that is insulin,” Southerland concluded. “We look forward to leveraging the added layer of visibility this brings to the project to show how far the world of diabetes has come and to keep inspiring the next generation of heroes out there living with the condition.”
The full 2021 roster includes:
Hamish Beadle – NZL
Oliver Behringer – SUI
Mehdi Benhamouda – FRA
Sam Brand – GBR
Stephen Clancy – IRL
Lucas Dauge – FRA
Gerd de Keijzer – NED
Joonas Henttala – FIN
Declan Irvine – AUS
Brian Kamstra – NED
Peter Kusztor – HUN
David Lozano – ESP
Sam Munday – AUS
Andrea Peron – ITA
Logan Phippen – USA
Charles Planet – FRA
Umberto Poli – ITA