New kit, two new riders for Novo Nordisk in 2018

Novo Nordisk, cycling's all-diabetic Pro Continental team, will return in 2018 with a new navy blue kit and two new riders on the 16-rider roster. 

New to the team in 2018 are Briton Sam Brand, who raced as a stagiaire with the men's professional team since August, and Argentinian Emanuel Mini, who is moving up from the team’s development squad. Returning from the 2018 squad are Mehdi Benhamouda, Fabio Calabria, Stephen Clancy, Romain Gioux, Joonas Henttala, Brian Kamstra, David Lozano, Reid McClure, Andrea Peron, Charles Planet, Umberto Poli, Quentin Valognes, Rik van IJzendoorn and Chris Williams.

Gone from the 2017 roster are Corentin Cherhal, Gerd De Keijzer, Javier Megias and Martijn Verschoor.

"The 2018 roster features some exciting changes for Team Novo Nordisk," said Team Novo Nordisk CEO and co-founder Phil Southerland. "We reduced our roster size so we can focus on the dedicated athletes whose primary goal is to inspire, educate and empower everyone around the world affected by diabetes.

"This new roster features our most committed athletes to date, and you can feel the increased motivation and morale that's driving them to succeed," Southerland said. "We are going into the 2018 season with renewed confidence and are motivated to get on the top step of the podium."

The team announced earlier this year that title sponsor Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical giant, renewed the sponsorship deal for two more years through 2019. Novo Nordisk will change the look of their kit heading into the new deal. After racing five seasons in a predominantly white kit, in 2018 the team will compete in a navy blue GSG-designed jersey that features a light blue circle and the words 'Changing Diabetes' across the front.

"The elements within this Italian designed and produced jersey have significant meaning to the diabetes community, and we are proud to continue bringing global attention to diabetes and creating heroes for everyone affected by diabetes," Southerland said. "The blue circle is the symbol of the diabetes community and it reflects unity. Changing Diabetes is Novo Nordisk's response to the global diabetes epidemic. At Team Novo Nordisk, we race to change diabetes."

As cycling's only all-diabetic team -- all the riders race with Type 1 diabetes -- the development and junior prorgams are essential to Novo Nordisk's future. Both Brand and Mini came up through the development team.

"Our 2018 goal is to continue developing all our pro riders to be competitive at the top level of the sport by racing at UCI WorldTour and HC categorized events around the globe," said Vassili Davidenko, Team Novo Nordisk's senior vice president of athletics. "Over the past six seasons, we've gone from being a team that struggled to find enough riders to field a complete squad to now being on the podium and aggressive in breakaways at some of the biggest races in the world. We plan to continue this progression, and I'm excited to see what the 2018 season brings our squad."

Brand is a former triathlete who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 10. He move exclusively to cycling in 2016 and joined the Novo Nordisk development team, earning three top-10 finishes in 2017, including two podiums.

Mini first met the team at the Tour de San Luis in 2014, a year fete he had been diagnosed with diabetes. He joined the development team after attending one of Novo Nordisk's Talent ID camps, and in 2017 he earned eight top-10 finishes.

Novo Nordisk 2018 roster: Mehdi Benhamouda (Fra), Sam Brand (UK), 
Fabio Calabria (Aus), Stephen Clancy (Irl), 
Romain Gioux (Fra), Joonas Henttala (Fin), Brian Kamstra (Ned), 
David Lozano (Spa), 
Reid McClure (Can), 
Emanuel Mini (Arg), Andrea Peron (Ita), 
Charles Planet (Fra), 
Umberto Poli (Ita), Quentin Valognes (Fra), 
Rik van IJzendoorn (Ned), Chris Williams (Aus).

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