Team Type 1 will race as a UCI registered Professional Continental team for the 2011 season, cycling’s governing body said on Tuesday in an email to the team.
“We got the official email today, so it has been really exciting for us around the office all morning,” said Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko.
“The whole process was very challenging, and we’re lucky to have such a great crew here in Atlanta. Without them there’s no way we’d have been able to get through so many different levels of paperwork. They did everything they could to keep us on track and get us through this process,” Davidenko said.
Team Type 1 was founded in 2004 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, two cyclists with diabetes who went on to win the Race Across America with an eight-rider team of T1 athletes. They won the race 4 times and in the meantime expanded the program to include a men’s and women’s professional team, a triathlon team, a development team and Team Type 2.
Team Type 1 rose up through the North American National Racing Calendar, taking wins, podiums and King of the Mountain jerseys at top stage races and then expanding to race around the globe as a UCI Continental squad. But the ambition of Southerland and the rest of the Team Type 1 organization was always to reach higher.
“Now we can race the biggest races,” said Southerland.
“The Giro, the Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, all of those are now within our reach, and even if the Tour de France is not a goal for us in the immediate future – let’s face it, that’s the biggest sporting event in the world and you have to ride around the block a couple of times before they invite you – the races we will be competing at in 2011 are the ones with the highest visibility, and they will let more people with diabetes know what they can do with this disease,” said Southerland.
“Our sponsor Sanofi Aventis is a diabetes company, this cycling team provides exposure to people with diabetes around the world that they can take control of their lives,” Southerland said.
“Cycling has taken a beating the past few years, and hopefully Team Type 1 can help the sport by providing a positive message, and we can work with the UCi, with race promoters to educate, inspire and empower the diabetic community,” Southerland said.
The team has signed a full line up of experienced European cyclists to complement its US-based riders, and will be based in Italy and Atlanta in 2011. Six of the riders are insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetics, and 14 are non-diabetics.
For 2011 Team Type 1 has expanded – the full roster is as follows:
- Laszlo Bodrogi – FRA
- Daniele Callegarin – ITA
- Alessandro Bazzana – ITA
- Alexander Efimkin – RUS
- Jure Kocjan – SLO
- Andrea Grendene – ITA
- Rubens Bertogliati – SUI
- Olaf Kerkhof – NED-T1*
- Aldo Ino Ilesic – SLO
- Alexey Schmidt – RUS
- Martijn Verschoor – NED-T1*
- Scott Stewart – USA
- Valeriy Kobzarenko – UKR
- Javier Megias Leal – ESP-T1*
- Will Dugan – USA
- Fabio Calabria – AUS
- Joe Eldridge – USA-T1*
- Kiel Reijnen – USA
- Ben King – AUS
- Alex Bowden – USA-T1*
* = Type 1 diabetic