Team Type 1 signs-up European talent

Team Type 1 riders in action at the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Team Type 1 riders in action at the Cascade Cycling Classic. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/

The Atlanta-based Team Type 1 has signed four European riders from current or former ProTour or European Continental teams to its 17-man roster for the 2010 season. Spanish all-rounder Javier Mejias Leal makes the move from Fuji-Servetto, a ProTour team.  Dutch sprinter Thomas Rabou transfers from the Continental Rabobank team and Russian Alexey Shmidt is moving from the Junost Moscow after previously riding for the Katusha Continental team. Finally, Martijn Verschoor is jumping over from the Dutch continental team Slenema & Co. Belastingadviseur. The team hopes the four will introduce some international flavour and experience and play a part in moving the squad up the National Racing Calendar (NRC) ranks in 2010.

"Ultimately, this means we'll be reaching out to more people to spread our mission that people can take control of their diabetes through diet, exercise and the best technology available today," said Type 1 Sports Director Vassili Davidenko.

Team Type 1 was co-founded three years ago by two young athletes, Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, who themselves live with Type 1 diabetes. Southerland spent the better part of the 2009 season seeking out riders like Mejias Leal. The Spaniard was also born with Type 1 diabetes and fits in well with the squad's goal of bring international awareness of the disease through professional cycling.

"The real highlight is signing the new rider in Mejias who will be capable of winning big races," said Southerland. "We've had a great job getting our message out. Now adding him into the mix will is to get in the big races and, beyond that, reach the international market."

The squad have announced a complete roster of 17 riders for the 2010 season, four of whom live with Type 1 diabetes. In addition to Mejias Leal, fellow newcomer Verschoor and returning riders Joe Eldridge and Fabio Calabria live with Type 1 diabetes.

Davidenko and new directeur sportif Mike Carter will lead team which include new signings Mejais Leal, Rabou, Shmidt and Verschoor along with Davide Frattini from Colavita-Sutter Home, Thomas Soladay from Mountain Khakis, and Scott Stewart from Team Waste Management.

Returning riders include Fabio Calabria, Michael Creed, Will Dugan, Joe Eldridge, Ken Hanson, Daniel Holt, Aldo Ino Ilesic, Chris Jones, Valeriy Kobzarenko and Shawn Milne.

"The development in roster just came with everyone getting comfortable racing together and what everyone needs to do. It's always a trick to get cohesion with first year riders. We have proven winners and we want to come out of the gate strong," said Davidenko.

"We have typically started slow and ramped up and in April through June when we start winning. I don't want to be slow out of the gate this year. I want them to start a trend and then carry that from the beginning to the end of the season."

In 2009, Team Type 1 won 55 races, finished fourth in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) standings and captured the King of the Mountains title at five races, including the Tour of Missouri. In two seasons, the squad has registered 100 victories and 219 podium finishes.

According to a Team Type 1 press release, Southerland will continue as the team's Chief Executive Officer, but not compete professionally after being sidelined much of the past two seasons by a leg injury. The second-year pro competed in the Amgen Tour of California in 2009 and was part of Team Type 1's winning eight-person team in the Race Across America (RAAM) in 2006 and 2007.

The team will release a drum roll of new sponsors along with a 2010 race schedule at a later date.

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