ATLANTA, Ga. — Following a successful debut as a stagiaire with Team Novo Nordisk, Sam Brand will join the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team’s ranks for the 2018 season.
"The motivation and endurance that Sam displayed at his first two races as a stagiaire proved that he has immense potential. Sam comes in with a diverse set of racing skills and a strong athletic background, and we are looking forward to helping him continue to develop with Team Novo Nordisk,” said Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “As he gets more and more familiar with racing in the professional peloton, it’ll be a natural progression for him to start earning results.”
The 26-year-old Brand recently completed the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, known as America’s Toughest Stage Race, and the Colorado Classic. The strong showing at these American races earned Brand the professional contract he’s dreamed of for years.
“To race for our professional team in the pro peloton is a dream come true. I've dreamt of this for a long time and it's more than just racing a bike; it's also the ability to empower those around the world affected by diabetes,” said Brand. “To be honest, I don't think it has really sunk in yet. I'm elated and enjoying the whole experience. This was a huge goal for me, and now the next goals have moved into sight. I'm eager to continue the hard work.”
Brand serves as the first athlete to start in Team Novo Nordisk’s elite program and progress through the pipeline to the men’s professional squad. For Davidenko, this showcases the strength and value of the team’s development programs.
“With this unique project, we cannot go recruit new riders for the team,” said Davidenko. “It is important for us to locate and develop talent within the diabetes community and we are excited to be bringing up a rider who shows this kind of potential.”
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, the Isle of Man native gained the attention of Team Novo Nordisk and joined the elite triathlon program the following season. In 2014, he finished 12th in his age group at the Nottingham Triathlon, a World Championship qualifier. In 2015, Brand decided to focus exclusively on cycling and moved over to Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad for the 2016 season.
Brand will continue racing as a stagiaire for Team Novo Nordisk for the remainder of the 2017 season. His next race is the Tour of China I in September.
“In the short-term, my goals are to support our team towards some podiums and hopefully victories,” said Brand. “Looking towards 2018, one of my more specific goals is to represent the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, but overall, I want to gain more experience, move up the ranks, and earn results with Team Novo Nordisk.”
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.