Mon, Mar 23, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Tour de Taiwan team inspires children with diabetes

Staff writer, with CNA

Netherlands-born Wouter Wippert of Australia’s Drapac Professional Cycling team yesterday raises his fist as he crosses the finish line in front of Taipei City Hall, taking first place in Stage 1 of this year’s Tour de Taiwan.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Local patients of type 1 diabetes cheered for Team Novo Nordisk in Taipei yesterday as the first leg of the Tour de Taiwan got under way.

The team is made up of cyclists, triathletes and runners with diabetes, and spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. Its mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes.

The five riders and two replacement riders are all aged in their 20s and this is the second time the team has taken part in the five-day race.

Dozens of type 1 diabetes sufferers, mostly teenagers, cheered for the team, dancing with traditional folk icon Prince Nezha to educate people about glycated hemoglobin and type 1 diabetes.

In the crowd was Chu Pei-chen, a 10th-grader who won sixth place in a triathlon in Thailand in December 2013.

The 15-year-old girl from Taitung, who discovered she had type 1 diabetes at the age of eight, has been invited by Team Novo Nordisk to participate in a summer training camp in the US and wants to be a triathlete.

Sufferers of type 1 diabetes are mostly children and teenagers. In 2009, Taiwan had 8,043 type 1 diabetes patients, according to the Diabetes Taiwan (臺灣糖尿病年鑑) yearbook.

In the Tour de Taiwan, 188 riders from 32 countries on 23 teams cover a distance of 583.5km, riding from Taipei to Taoyuan, Changhua, Nantou and Tainan, finishing at Dapeng Bay in the southernmost county of Pingtung.

The Tour de Taiwan is a five-day Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) class 2.1 race, which means it is open to national and UCI professional continental teams.

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