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Team Novo Nordisk: All-Diabetes Pro-Cycling Team Saddle up to Compete in the Tour of Britain 2014-09-04 10:02:01

Team Novo Nordisk racing to inspire and educate diabetes community

Team Novo Nordisk: All-Diabetes Pro-Cycling Team Saddle up to Compete in the Tour of Britain

Novo Nordisk UK
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Rebecca Hess
+44 1293 762103

The first all-diabetes professional cycling team, Team Novo Nordisk, competes on British roads for the first time today in the country’s leading professional cycling race, The Tour of Britain. The team is racing, at the highest level of cycling, to inspire, educate and empower the 3.2 million people affected by diabetes in the UK.1

Team Novo Nordisk is a global sports team with more than 100 cyclists, triathletes and runners who live with diabetes, spearheaded by the professional cycling team. This unique team of cyclists all have type 1 diabetes, and manage their condition while training and competing in one of the toughest endurance sports.

Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of Team Novo Nordisk said, “When diagnosed with diabetes, many people think it means they won’t be able to live life the way they’d hoped. Team Novo Nordisk is racing to inspire people with diabetes to set and achieve their goals, whatever they may be, and show that the first step towards this is good diabetes control.”

As part of the current diabetes epidemic, the UK has also seen an increase in avoidable diabetes complications. Regular physical activity has been shown to have both short- and long-term health benefits for people with diabetes, including improved blood glucose control, reduced body-fat, and reduced risk of cardiovascular complications.2,3,4

Dr Rafael Castol, Team Novo Nordisk Medical Director said, “Good control can be achieved through diet and exercise, in combination with medication in many cases. Stepping up levels of exercise doesn’t have to be off limits for people with diabetes, provided it is discussed and planned with the individual’s healthcare team”.

Rachel Cummings, Head of External Relations and Policy, Novo Nordisk UK and Ireland, said, “Novo Nordisk is proud to support Team Novo Nordisk as they race across the UK to raise awareness of diabetes, and encourage those who have diabetes that it should not prevent them from reaching their goals. This initiative is part of the Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes® campaign that aims to bring attention to the need for earlier detection and better management of diabetes so that people can live full lives without suffering complications that can result from poor management.”

Racing through nine stages across the country, over eight days, The Tour of Britain will begin in Liverpool, and advance through UK towns and cities such as Worcester and Brighton, towards the finish line in London for a time trial and circuit race. Everyone, whether affected by diabetes or not, is welcome to come and support Team Novo Nordisk at any of the race stages.

Details of the Tour of Britain race stages can be found at


Notes to Editors:

More information about the team can be found by visiting, following the Team @teamnovonordisk on Twitter, or liking the Team Novo Nordisk Facebook page*.

*Novo Nordisk is not responsible for the content of these websites and social media channels.

About Phil Southerland and Team Novo Nordisk

Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of Team Novo Nordisk was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just seven months old. He began cycling at the age of 12, and climbed through the ranks of junior competitions. In 2007, Phil competed, along with his teammates, in the 3,000 mile Race Across America - a race which the team went on to win.

He has since combined his passion for the sport and his mission of redefining the boundaries for those living with diabetes by forming Team Novo Nordisk, and becoming a global ambassador for diabetes, educating and empowering people with diabetes across the world.

The Team Novo Nordisk pro-cycling team competed in its first International Cycling Union (UCI) race in 2013, and includes 17 riders from around the world. Team Novo Nordisk is part of the Changing Diabetes® initiative, the Novo Nordisk global commitment to improve conditions for the 382 million people living with diabetes today, and those at risk of developing diabetes tomorrow.

About Diabetes

Diabetes (or diabetes mellitus) is a serious and challenging health condition that develops when there is too much sugar in the blood due to the body being unable to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, in the normal way.5 Over 3 million people have already been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and this figure is projected to rise to 5 million by 2025.1,2

There are two main types of diabetes. In type 1 (also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or early-onset diabetes), the body’s immune system destroys the cells that produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes therefore need insulin injections for the rest of their lives. About 10% of all people with diabetes have type 1.5

Type 2 (also known as obesity-related or maturity-onset diabetes) is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body's cells do not react to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes can sometimes be controlled by exercise and eating a healthy diet and monitoring blood glucose levels, but if the condition gets worse over time, it may need to be managed by medication.5

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. For more information, visit


1. Diabetes UK. Diabetes Prevalence 2013: Key statistics on diabetes. Available at: Accessed July 2014.

2. Diabetes UK. State of the Nation 2013. Available at: Accessed: July 2014.

3. Colberg S, et al. Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes. The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement. Diabetes Care 2010;33(12):e147–67.

4. Chimen M, et al. What are the health benefits of physical activity in type 1 diabetes mellitus? A literature review. Diabetologia 2012;55:542–51.

5. NHS Choices. Diabetes introduction. Available at:

Accessed: July 2014.

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Hossam Abdel-Kader
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