Team Type 1 Earns Amgen Tour of California Invitation
Team Type 1, the only professional cycling team in the world with a mission to spread inspiration to those affected by diabetes, will be one of 17 teams participating in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California.
Billed as America’s largest and most prestigious cycling event, the Tour of California will cover nearly 750 miles over nine days between Feb. 14-22, 2009. More than 1.6 million fans watched the third edition of the race last year. That number is expected to increase significantly in 2009 with the expected participation of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong (Team Astana).
Team Type 1 co-founder Phil Southerland said the team’s inclusion completes another objective on the way to its long-term goal of participating in the 2012 Tour de France.
“This will also provide us with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how – through proper diet, exercise and the use of the best treatment and technology available – people with diabetes can live a normal, healthy lifestyle,” Southerland said. “We hope people with diabetes, and those affected by it, come out to meet us at the start and finish cities as well as cheer us at points all along the route.”
Team Type 1 was created in 2004 by Southerland and Joe Eldridge, a pair of avid cyclists with Type 1 diabetes. In 2006 and 2007, the pair captained Team Type 1 to back-to-back victories in the eight-person team division of the Race Across America (RAAM). In 2008, the team grew to include a 15-rider professional continental team that included four riders with Type 1 diabetes. In its inaugural pro season, Team Type 1 compiled 45 victories, including winning the team classification at the Tour de Beauce and the Vuelta Mexico and placing two riders in the Olympics.
In 2009, Team Type 1 is growing again – to include a triathlon team, a development team, a women's professional squad and a second team for RAAM: “Team Type 2.” The Type 1 athletes in these programs strive to instill hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes.
Team Type 1’s roster for the Tour of California will be announced shortly. The team has previously competed in a number of international stage races, including the 2008 Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T – a race in which it finished third in the team classification.
Team Type 1 General Manager Tom Schuler, a former U.S. national road race champion who participated in many of the country’s biggest races during his own racing career, said it will be an honor for the team to be part of a top-notch field that includes some of the top cycling teams in the world.
“We will certainly do our best to live up to the competitive expectations of what promises to be one of the most competitive bicycle races in the history of professional cycling in the United States,” Schuler commented.