On Monday, Team Novo Nordisk warmly welcomed a RCS wildcard invitation to the inaugural UAE Tour. The seven-day stage race serves as the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team’s World Tour debut for the 2019 season. Reactions from Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland and General Manager Vassili Davidenko below:
Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland:
We are forever grateful for RCS’s continued support in helping Team Novo Nordisk show not only the cycling industry but the entire world the real value behind our riders and organization. We raced at the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour for the past two years and are eager to take on the new UAE Tour as it races through all seven emirates.
It is an honor to be part of the only UCI stage race held in the Middle East, where diabetes is growing to epidemic levels. Currently, 16% of the population has diabetes, which is predicted to rise to 67 million in the Middle East and North Africa region by 2045. Racing at the UAE Tour means we can show the value of exercise to the diabetes and pre-diabetes communities and help change the health of the world.
As Team Novo Nordisk continues to invest and develop the best cyclists in the world with diabetes, we know that we have the riders and attitude to perform well at what will be a very demanding UAE Tour.
 International Diabetes Federation: https://www.idf.org/our-network/regions-members/middle-east-and-north-africa/members/49-united-arab-emirates.html
Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko:
This wildcard invitation serves as a critical step forward in making 2019 a successful season and helping us show the world what is possible with diabetes. Since Team Novo Nordisk launched at the end of 2012, RCS has supported this unique project and generously invited us to its races so together we can inspire, educate and empower the 437 million people affected by diabetes.
The 2018 season saw Team Novo Nordisk achieve its best results to date, including 11 top five finishes and seven podium appearances. At last year’s Dubai Tour, we took home the overall UAE Intermediate Sprint jersey, earned two top 10 finishes, and placed a rider in the breakaway on every stage.
We are fresh off a strong winter off-season and are motivated to return to the UAE and place our Changing Diabetes® jersey aggressively at the front of the race.
All images are ©TeamNovoNordisk-Per Fledelius