Pro Squad as Stagiaire
“Every season we are excited to move an athlete from our pipeline up to the men’s professional team. We have invested substantial time and resources into developing young athletes with diabetes, and Sam serves as another example of the strong and talented athletes within this unique project,” said Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “Sam has extensive race experience from triathlon and has transitioned smoothly over to the road in recent years. He has an impressive motor and we are eager to see how he continues to develop as a cyclist.”
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 10 years old, Brand’s friends, family, and medical team were very supportive of him resuming his active childhood. Throughout high school Brand competed in a variety of sports. Sam’s father competed at the triathlon age group level for Great Britain, and soon the younger Brand began competing in local triathlons. It wasn’t until his first year at university that he took the sport seriously, and quickly began to excel, within a year representing Great Britain at the 2013 ITU World Championships.
After the ITU World Championships, Brand gained the attention of Team Novo Nordisk, joining the elite triathlon program the following season. In 2014, he finished 12th in his age group at the Nottingham Triathlon, a World Championship qualifier. By 2015 and after graduating from university, Brand began to focus exclusively on cycling, moving over to Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad for the 2016 season.
“Getting to know Sam over the past two years, we have seen the depth of his character, integrity, and talent. His goal is the Tour de France, and together we at Team Novo Nordisk are working towards this goal. Sam is an ambassador internally and externally at TNN, and joins as our first professional rider from the UK. We are excited to bring him up, and give him the time needed to develop as a pro cyclist,” said CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland.
“It feels fantastic, and to be honest, a bit surreal to be called up to the pro team. I've worked very hard to transition from triathlon over to cycling, and I aim to take this next challenge in stride,” Brand said. “For the remainder of the season, my goals are to gain vital experience in the professional ranks and help Team Novo Nordisk empower those around the world affected by diabetes. That’s the reason I love racing for this team. Team Novo Nordisk gives everyone around the world affected by diabetes a reason to believe and chase their dreams.”
Brand begins racing at the seven-day Tour of Utah and is slated to race at the Colorado Classic before moving on to later season races in Asia.
About Team Novo Nordisk
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes UCI Professional Continental cycling team. In 2012, Phil Southerland, co-founder and CEO of the team, and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, came together to create Team Novo Nordisk, based on a shared vision to inspire, educate and empower people around the world affected by diabetes. For more information, go to www.teamnovonordisk.com.