Huri Huri News
8 December 2016
A professional cycling team made up of riders who all have Type 1 diabetes will make its first appearance in January’s New Zealand Cycle Classic, a UCI 2.2 five-stage race held entirely in the Wairarapa.
Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, will contest the 30th Anniversary of the Cycle Classic being held from January 22nd – 26th 2017. Race director Jorge Sandoval said he’s delighted to secure Team Novo Nordisk’s development team which is being led by Kiwi Scott Ambrose.
“Team Novo Nordisk is the first overseas team confirmed for January’s tour and they will be making their New Zealand debut,” says Jorge. “It’s pretty exciting for me with this being the 30th year of organising and promoting the New Zealand Cycle Classic. It’s also terrific news for Kiwis with a couple of New Zealanders in the team including former Wellingtonian Scott Ambrose.”
In 2011, Ambrose won the Junior Tour of Canberra, Australia’s Premier Junior Tour but two years later on the back of a period of heavy training his performance began to deteriorate. After seeking medical advice he was told he showed all of the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes and after having his blood glucose checked was rushed to the hospital.
“I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 18 years old. Lying in the hospital bed crying I called my coach and told him I couldn't train the next day as this was my main worry at the time. He told me not to worry and to look at Team Novo Nordish online. He said that my dream of becoming a professional cyclist was not over, and that we would work together to get into that team,” recalls Ambrose.
As Ambrose began to manage his diabetes and return to racing, he started a blog, which was read by Team Novo Nordisk athlete Justin Morris. Morris put Ambrose in contact with Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-founder Phil Southerland who invited the young Kiwi to race with the team’s Development squad. Ambrose quickly proved himself and, in the summer of 2014, was invited to join the men’s professional team.
Now this summer he will return “home” and lead his team made up of riders from New Zealand, Australia, America and Uzbekistan.
“Team Novo Nordisk inspired me to never stop chasing my dreams. That Diabetes is not a barrier but only a challenge in life. I hope that I am now able to inspire the younger generation who are living and yet to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes the way Novo Nordisk inspired me. That you can still chase your dreams and live a successful and fulfilling life!” said Ambrose, who won a stage in the Tour de Filipinas last year.
Ambrose will be joined by a diverse squad composed of experienced and young athletes. It includes Australians David Nickels and Samuel Munday; New Zealanders Caleb Aoake, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 12, and Hamish Beadle; American Justin McQuerry and Ulugbeck Saidov from Uzbekistan.
Team manager Justin Morris is looking forward to the event
“Team Novo Nordisk’s development team is eager to compete at its first New Zealand Cycle Classic in January. As the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, we race to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes. This will be the team’s New Zealand debut, and we aim to display our Changing Diabetes jersey proudly,” said Morris. “We are all excited to experience New Zealand's fast and aggressive style of racing.”
The 30th New Zealand Cycle Classic runs from January 22nd – 26th 2017 and features new stage routes for riders and an exciting line-up of community events that are part of Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Festival of Cycling. The three new routes include the opening 156km stage which takes riders from Masterton to the spectacular coastal community of Castlepoint; “The Five Towns” which will see riders cycle through all of the Wairarapa’s characterful townships and a fast and furious 12 lap, 10km circuit just west of Masterton.
Being held simultaneously is Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Bike Festival which celebrates the Wairarapa’s bike-friendly roads, tracks and trails; the people that ride on them and the bikes they ride. The 2017 Festival (www.hurihuri.co.nz) has a variety of events and activities held across the region, catering to all levels of involvement in biking and to all ages.
Sandoval said he will announce more international teams later this month.
For more information please visit www.cycletournz.com.