Team Type 1 gets nod for Tour de Georgia

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21.03.2008/ Team Type 1, a first-year professional team that has twice won the Race Across America corporate team division, will be among 15 squads at this year’s Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T. The race organisation announced the other participating teams at the US stage race as well.

© Marco Quezada
Team Type 1 2008 ( Marco Quezada)

Team Type 1 was founded in 2004 by racers Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge to inspire people living with diabetes to take a proactive approach to managing their health and overcoming obstacles often associated with the condition. Four of the 15 riders on the Team Type 1 professional squad – Southerland, Eldridge, Tim Hargrave and Fabio Calabria – have Type 1 diabetes.
“This is great news for Team Type 1, and it is a major stepping stone toward our hopes of getting to the Tour de France in 2012,” Southerland said. “Being a native of Georgia, it means the world to me to be able to take part in the biggest race in the state, if not one of the most prestigious in the entire country.”
The 660-mile race begins Monday, April 21 on Tybee Island and ends with a circuit race through the streets of Atlanta on Sunday, April 27. The Tour de Georgia is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious stage races in the United States.
Eldridge said Team Type 1’s berth in the race – which is now in its sixth year – is a major milestone in sports for people with diabetes.
“For the first time, we’ll have riders with diabetes racing against guys who will be competing in the Tour de France,” Eldridge said. “This is our opportunity to show the diabetes community, as well as fans of pro cycling, what we are able to achieve.”
The eight racers who will represent Team Type 1 in the race will be announced at a later date by Team Type 1 Sport Director Ed Beamon and Assistant Sport Director Vassili Davidenko.
Beamon said the squad will have its sights set on a stage win and not necessarily the overall individual or team classification.
“With the terrain that Georgia presents – up and down and rolling – we’ll put a squad together that will be good in that arena,” Beamon said. “Field sprints won’t be for us and realistically, with the climb up Brasstown Bald mountain (on Stage 6) being such a decisive element in the classification, trying to win the race overall would be a real reach for us. However, that stage will be a good opportunity for Chris Jones to show what he can do.”
Team Type 1 has already experienced success this season on the international stage, having finished runner-up at the Tour de Taiwan with Shawn Milne last week and second in the team classification at the Tour of Langkawi in Malaysia in February.
The race organisation announced the other participating teams at next month's Tour de Georgia as well. The following teams will start at the US stage race: Astana, Saunier Duval-Scott, Team CSC, Team High Road, Gerolsteiner , BMC, Slipstream/Chipotle presented by H30, Bissell, Health Net - Maxxis, Jelly Belly, Jittery Joe's, Symmetrics, Team Type 1, Toyota-United Pro and GE/Marco Polo - Trek team.
Next up for Team Type 1 is the San Dimas Stage Race in San Dimas, Calif., March 28-30.

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