The Team Type 1 women's professional team makes its debut Thursday at the 25th edition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Six of the team's total of eight riders will race in California. Two of the riders, Monique Hanley and Morgan Patton, have Type 1 diabetes.
Hanley and Patton must closely monitor their blood sugar level because their bodies do not naturally produce insulin. Women's Directeur Sportif Jack Seehafer said one of the team's primary goals is to get Hanley and Patton onto the podium throughout the year.
"We also want to show that we have put together a great team and that every rider has that potential," Seehafer said. "My expectations are few, but they will be demanding."
Patton will be joined at Redlands by Jacqueline Crowell, Veronica Leal, Alison Powers, Samantha Schneider and Kori Seehafer. Powers is the reigning national time trial champion and a former national-level ski racer, while Seehafer (the spouse of the team director) has won stages at virtually every women's stage race in the United States and is an accomplished criterium racer.
Jen McRae, the eighth member of the team and the winner of the USA CRIT Finals last year in Las Vegas, will join Hanley in sitting out the second event on the women's National Race Calendar.
The Redlands Classic consists of a 3.1-mile (5 km) individual time trial Thursday, a 72-mile (116 km) circuit race Friday, an hour-long criterium on Saturday and a 65-mile (107 km) road race on Sunday. Team Type 1 is one of 21 women's teams in the race.
The women's team is part of a larger program whose mission is to instill hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes. There is also a men's professional team, two teams for the Race Across America (Team Type 1 and Team Type 2), a triathlon team and a developmental squad.