Team Type 1 Unveils Roster For 2009 Amgen Tour of California
Team Type 1's roster for the Amgen Tour of California is both historic and of an international flavor.
Team Type 1’s roster for the Amgen Tour of California is both historic and of an international flavor.
Never before has a rider with Type 1 diabetes participated in the race billed as “America’s largest and most prestigious cycling event.” That changes Saturday when two riders from Team Type 1 roll down the start ramp in Sacramento to begin the more than 750-mile race that ends Feb. 22 in Rancho Bernardo.
American Phil Southerland and Australian Fabio Calabria – who both have Type 1 diabetes – represent two of the five different nationalities on Team Type 1’s roster for the Tour of California. Joining them will be Americans Chris Jones and Ian MacGregor, Australian Matt Wilson, Moises Aldape of Mexico, Ukrainian Valeriy Kobzarenko and Darren Lill of the Republic of South Africa.
Southerland, 27, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was only seven months old, while Calabria, 21, learned he had Type 1 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 their blood sugar levels multiple times a day, eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking other diabetes medications as prescribed, the pair use long-acting basal insulin Lantus®, rapid-acting mealtime insulin Apidra®, or a combined treatment regimen of both insulins to manage their diabetes.
Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko said he made the final decision on the team’s race roster after carefully evaluating all 16 members of the team at a training camp in the Santa Ynez Valley last month.
“These are the eight riders we believe have the best chance of achieving our goals and objectives in what could very well be our most challenging race of the entire year,” Davidenko said. “We also know Phil and Fabio’s participation will serve as an inspiration for the millions of people around the world who have diabetes.”
Davidenko will be assisted at the race by Team Type 1 women’s professional team Director Sportif Jack Seehafer, who will be subbing for Gord Fraser, men’s team assistant director. Fraser was seriously injured during a training ride Sunday in Tucson, Ariz., and is unable to travel to California.
“We will certainly miss having Gord for what would have been his first race as assistant director,” Davidenko said. “All the riders and staff send out well wishes to him and his family for a quick recovery.”
Team Type 1 is one of 17 teams in the nine-day race that includes seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and two-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer (both racing for Astana), 2006 Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas) and U.S. professional road race champion Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing).
Fans can follow the Tour of California daily on the Versus network (check local listings for broadcast times). Last year, more than 1.6 million people turned out to watch the race in person.