The World of Team Type 1: The world of cycling is being impacted by Type 1 diabetes. In fact one team is hoping their efforts results in a run at the Tour de France in 2012.
There are six teams that make up Team Type 1. These include professional men and women’s teams, a triathlon team and a development team. According to the Team Type 1 website, “Team Type 1 is the world’s only professional cycling team with a roster that includes riders who have Type 1 diabetes.
“In 2009, Team Type 1 won 55 races, finished fourth in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) standings and captured the King of the Mountains title at five races, including the Tour of Missouri. In two seasons, the squad has registered 100 victories and 219 podium (top three) finishes.
“Four of the 17 riders have Type 1 diabetes: Fabio Calabria, Joe Eldridge, Javier Megias and Martijn Verschoor. In addition to nine Americans, there are riders from Australia, Holland, Italy, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and the Ukraine.”
As Team Type 1 has grown they’ve also assembled a cycling team featuring those who live with Type 2 diabetes. The emphasis has been to educate others on ways to combat diabetes while still pursuing the dreams each person has for their lives. This has included multiple placings in national and international cycling events.
It was also recently announced via press release, “Team Type 1 and 23andMe announce a strategic partnership to research and understand Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes through 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service. 23andMe, an industry leader in personal genetics, conducted a genetic analysis of all 88 members of Team Type 1, to investigate diabetes and how genes impact athletic performance. The analysis was conducted at Team Type 1’s training camp in Georgia where saliva samples from each team member were collected.
“The process by which 23andMe genotypes DNA uses the latest in DNA technology. Once the lab receives a sample of a person’s saliva, DNA is extracted, cut into smaller, more manageable pieces and applied to a DNA “chip.” The DNA chip is a small glass slide with millions of microscopic beads on its surface. Attached to each bead are “probes”—bits of DNA complementary to sites in a person’s genome where their single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, are located. SNPs act as biological markers and allow scientists to locate genes associated with disease.”
This partnership between Team Type 1 cyclists and the 23andMe follows other successful partnerships with the NFL in determining how athletics affects the human body.
Team Type 1 is also using social media like Twitter and Facebook to connect with their fans and provide updates on pending races and weekly success stories.
Phil Southerland is the brainchild behind Team Type 1. According to his personal website he, “was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 7 months of age. He lived in Tallahassee, Florida. He was born and diagnosed at Tallahassee Regional Medical Center. Phil’s mother, Joanna, kept taking him to doctors for a week saying something was wrong. He was finally diagnosed after she took him to the ER on her own. The lives as a family changed that instant. At that time she was told good news “He will live.” Bad news, “He has juvenile diabetes and the prognosis that he would probably have renal failure or be blind by age 25. Instead, at 24 years of age he raced his bike 3000 miles across the United States with a team of other persons with Type 1.”
To find out more about the efforts of Team Type 1 visit teamtype1.org.