Two more diabetic pro cyclists emerge

TeamNovoNordiskProCyclingThere was a time when the idea of diabetic pro cyclists was rare. Common wisdom held that diabetics had too many obstacles to be competitive. However, thanks to the continued efforts of Team Novo Nordisk, we’ve seen that diabetic pro cyclists can compete at the highest levels of the sport. And do it successfully.

Recently two additional riders with type 1 diabetes have made the transition to the pros. Frenchman Quentin Valognes and Dutchman Rik van IJzendoorn have moved up from the Team Novo Nordisk development squad onto the men’s pro squad as stagiaires for the remainder of the 2016 season. Keep reading →

Just Another Diabetic Cyclist

sm-06051Type 1 diabetes sucks. Cycling, however, doesn’t suck. So how do we put the two together? With hard work, diligence, knowledge and a sprinkling of modern technology. At least – that is my approach.

First off – a disclaimer. I’m not a doctor. Please read my Standard Medical Legal Mumbo Jumbo. Did you read it? I’ll wait…

Training for cycling events at even the moderately-serious recreational level takes a lot of fine-tuning. In a sport where a few watts can make a huge difference, things like diet, sleep patterns, and training scheduling can separate the mediocre from the truly awesome. Throw in a metabolic disorder like diabetes and it can feel like 10 times the number of variables to try and manage. Keep reading →

LCHF diabetic cyclist…

…now there’s a mouthful. The low carb high fat lifestyle (LCHF) is a way of eating that has been applied to many different goals. Also known by the synonym ‘Ketogenic diet,’ the idea is to switch your body from burning carbohydrates to fats. While also sometimes compared to the Paleo diet, there are some subtle differences there.

For some, LCHF is a temporary transition with the sole purpose of causing your body to burn off body fat. Here, the primary goal is weight loss, and often it is adopted only for a short period of time – weeks to months. In addition, many athletes have adopted the approach for performance reasons only. As with all things diet related however, there is ample conflicting information regarding the success of this approach.

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Another great cyclist blogger – and diabetic

You’ve read about my diabetes here on JustAnotherCyclist a couple of times.  I’ve even claimed to not write about my diabetes much on this blog (as I write about diabetes on this blog – yet again!)  Nonetheless, it is a huge part of my life by necessity.  So it was with some interesting that I happened across another cyclist and diabetic – and blogger.

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An open letter to Diabetic cyclists

It is an unfortunate necessity of being a cyclist with Type 1 diabetes that a fair amount of thought goes into blood sugar levels on the days before, during and after major rides.  Despite all the warm fuzzy “Diabetes doesn’t stop me from doing anything” sentiments – which I in fact do agree with – there is still an inescapable fact of life: Diabetes is a big pain in the ass.  I’ve talked before about some of the challenges that cycling, or any athletic endeavor, can present to a diabetic.  To that end, I’ve decided to share some of my methods of managing my diabetes while I’m riding, and ask for your stories to help me address some of the areas I’m struggling with.

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Diabetics get an advantage in the pro peloton … maybe

Cyclicious (www.cyclelicio.us) has a knack for finding cycling stories outside of the mainstream.  Well, that and being Johnny-on-the-spot for photos of celebs on bikes.  So it is no surprise that he would find a story about the US Military (DARPA) working to fund research into drugs to dilate blood vessels.

The body produces nitric oxide and releases it into the bloodstream to dilate the blood vessels when increased blood flow is needed. Dr. Stamler plans to research ways to deliver nitric oxide to the blood through inhalers.

The Case Western Reserve School of Medicine notes potential non-military applications to enhance blood delivery such as with “heart failure, ischemic heart disease, stroke, sickle cell disease and diabetes,” though I can think of a certain other class of users *cough*enduranceathletes* who might see a use for an inhaler that can increase blood flow and improve their athletic performance.

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2010/military-funds-blood-doping-research/

This could, however, create something of a moral delimea for me.  It may put into contention my desire to remain healthy as a diabetic (something I deal with now) with my desire to race competitively (something I hope to deal with shortly.)  It may present a real situation where medications that may help diabetics could also be banned for use by athletes due to performance enhancing characteristics.

Why eliminating TUEs is wrong

There is an old saying – don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Unfortunately, that is exactly what some are calling for in response to the abuse of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs). Namely, a total ban. While that reaction may seem like “common sense” to other racers that feel cheated by the abuse of TUEs in the pro peloton, it actually impacts others in an unintended way. In fact, there is one entire team that relies on valid, legitimate Therapeutic Use Exemptions to even compete. TUEs were made for a reason – and we must not let that reason be forgotten.

There is a need for TUEs and that is for someone to treat an illness or a
sickness. They are not intended and should never be used to improve
performance.

Phil Southerland. CEO and Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk

Keep reading →

The winter of my discontent

“Oh c’mon. Work can wait an hour. Ride across me! You’ll love it!” — Golden Gate Bridge Siren Song

It has been a tough month. Well, tough couple of months. Many of the readers can understand the impact a lack of bike riding can have on an avid cyclist. When I should have been basking in my new bike glory, I’ve instead struggled against a series of both planned and unplanned events that seem like a sinister conspiracy to keep me off the bike.

It all started when the office of my day job moved.

The old commute was 10 miles one way, across beautiful scenery that encouraged me to add even more miles – just for fun. Without even “training” I was on the bike over 100 miles every week just in my commute. It made doing even more rides not only easier but also more enjoyable. Cycling can be funny that way – the more you do it the more you want to.

Keep reading →

Team Novo Nordisk: From California to Paris

Team Novo Nordisk, 2016 Tour of California
David Lozano, Team Novo Nordisk, 2016 Amgen Tour of California Individual Time Trial

You’ve definitely read a lot about Team Novo Nordisk here on JustAnotherCyclist.com recently. The reasons for that are pretty clear to my frequent readers. But for everyone else, their results alone – aside from their mission – are worthy of note

The team, made up entirely of professional cyclists with Type 1 diabetes, have been at the Tour of California for three consecutive years now. But this year has been particularly successful for the team, driven in a large part by World Tour veteran Javier Megias. Javier took 14th overall in the general classification at the Tour of California, going head to head with some of the best cyclist in the world. In addition to the GC success in California, Martijn Verschoor was able to cross sabres in stage 1 for a 5th place sprint finish. Keep reading →

Interview with Joonas Henttala of Team Novo Nordisk

Amgen Tour of California 2016, Stage 1 Breakaway
Photo ©TDWSport. Used with permission.

Joonas Henttala is a professional cyclist with Team Novo Nordisk. Joonas started the 2016 Tour of California aggressively. We was the first rider to attack after the neutral start of Stage 1. This created a break away with 6 other riders that was off the front for over 85 miles. The break away was reeled back in before the final 3, resulting in a bunch sprint. Joonas’s teammate on Team Novo Nordisk – Martijn Verschoor – was able to capture a 5th place finish against some of the best sprinters in the world.

We caught up with Joonas Henttala before the start of the Tour of California to ask him some questions about his life as a professional cyclist, overcoming Type 1 Diabetes, and competing at the highest levels of the sport. Keep reading →