One of Australia's newest professionals Justin Morris, is quietly confident in making the leap from his current Team Type 1 - Sanofi Development team to the newly announced Novo Nordisk Professional Continental team in 2013. His confidence stems from not only a belief in his own ability but also the level of support his team will provide in the coming year.
Stepping into the pro ranks is a daunting task for any rider but for those living with Type 1 diabetes, the challenge is ever greater. Morris understands that he will need to major changes to his training and preparation to compete in some of the world's biggest races but he says the support crew around himself and his teammates will ensure they have all the elements necessary to "achieve whatever you want in life".
"One of the really good things about this team is they are so supportive, in all aspects of life," said Morris to Cyclingnews.
"We have a plethora of team doctors to help us with our diabetes, our general health and we have a huge squad of high-level coaches for every rider. We also have some of the best DS's in the world.
"We have the best support behind us and that makes me more confident of going into these races and being able to compete."
Morris had recently finished the demanding Tour of Rwanda where he said the huge number of races days, split between the road and his mountain bike ambitions, meant he was fairly empty by the end but with just a couple of weeks off to attend the team's launch in Copenhagen and then a team camp in Spain, he's ready to kick-start his training for the coming year which will likely be very different to what he's done in the past.
"It's been a big year. So during Rwanda I was pretty smashed, it's been good to have some time off. Just to allow the body to recoup and rebuild," said Morris.
"The reality for me is I'm going to have to step it up a bit. I'm usually pretty laissez-faire with my training regimes, I just love to ride my bike. I haven't really used heart rate and power but this season the team is putting a big emphasis on using power to train.
"So, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and use these technologies that our available to us and be a bit more smart about how I train for these races."
The Australian will be back in Sydney within the next week and will spend most of the summer at home before leaving to return to the United States. Morris says half the team will stay in the US with the other in Europe however, regardless of where the team race, the message and purpose are clear.
"Wherever we race, we are going to be reaching out to that community; Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, China. We'll be reaching out to the diabetes community in those areas and really pushing the message that with the proper management there's hope to achieve whatever you want in life, even with the challenges of being diabetic," said Morris.
"Phil [Southerland] said: 'although getting results is important, when we line-up at these races, we've already won. We have beaten this huge challenge in our lives to compete against some of the best riders in the world who don't have the challenges we have'".
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