Team Type 1 and its mission to instill hope and inspiration for people affected by diabetes will be in the spotlight later this week when the men’s professional team participates in the Tour of Ireland.
The three-day, international stage race begins Friday south of Dublin and ends in the seaside port of Cork on Sunday. Team Type 1 is one of 16 teams fielding seven-man rosters. Included among the 116 riders from 20 countries is seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and British sprinting star Mark Cavendish, winner of six stages at this year’s Tour de France.
The race will be same-day televised to millions of viewers in more than 140 countries, including the Versus network in the United States. Versus’ one-hour of daily coverage begins Friday at 6 p.m. EDT/3 p.m. PDT, continues Saturday at 5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT and wraps up Sunday at 4 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. PDT.
Representing Team Type 1 will be Austrailians Fabio Calabria and Matt Wilson, Americans Michael Creed, Ken Hanson and Shawn Milne, Ukranian Valeriy Kobzarenko and Aldo Ino Ilesic of Slovenia. Last year, Wilson earned the King of the Mountains title as the squad compiled six top 10 finishes.
This year, Team Type 1 has won 50 races and earned 107 podium (top-three) finishes.
Calabria, 21, learned he had Type 1 diabetes eight years ago. People with Type 1 diabetes have too much sugar in their bloodstream because their bodies don’t produce insulin. In addition to carefully checking his blood sugar level multiple times a day, eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking other diabetes medications as prescribed, he uses long-acting basal insulin Lantus?, rapid-acting mealtime insulin Apidra?, or a combined treatment regimen of both insulins to manage his diabetes.
Before, during and after races, Calabria receives insulin using Insulet’s OmniPod wireless Insulin Management System. He monitors his blood glucose using the FreeStyle Navigator Continuous Glucose Monitor made by Abbott Diabetes Care.
Team Type 1 Founder Phil Southerland, who will accompany the team to Ireland, said the squad’s inclusion in the world-class field is yet another step toward Team Type 1’s long-term goal of participating in the 2012 Tour de France.
“This will also provide us with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how – through proper diet, exercise and the use of the best treatment and technology available – people with diabetes can live a normal, healthy lifestyle,” Southerland said. “We hope people with diabetes, and those affected by it, come out to meet us at the start and finish cities as well as cheer us at points all along the route.”
Team Type 1 was created in 2004 by Southerland and Joe Eldridge, a pair of avid cyclists with Type 1 diabetes. In 2006 and 2007, the two captained Team Type 1 to back-to-back victories in the eight-person corporate team division of the Race Across America (RAAM) before turning professional in 2008.
Team Type 1 has expanded to include a women’s professional racing team, a triathlon team, a developmental squad for promising racers with Type 1 diabetes and Team Type 2: which competed in – and finished – the Race Across America this summer.