Monday, March 17, 2008

Lanterne Rouge in Taiwan

Congratulations to Phil Southerland who finished the Tour of Taiwan in the Lanterne Rouge position while supporting a fifth-place team finish for the first-year pro cycling team, Team Type 1.

Southerland is one of four riders on the team who face the grueling challenges of bike racing at the professional level while simultaneously managing his blood sugar levels for Type 1 diabetes. (There is an additional development squad of nine riders, all with diabetes).

Southerland was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was seven months old. With the guidance of his mother and his own competitive attitude, he maintains that he is not living an adjusted life, but rather a normal life with small adjustments. Phil says: "I have never said 'no' to anything because of diabetes, I just made the adjustments so I could say 'yes'."

Southerland was one of the founding members of Team Type 1, created in 2004 to inspire people living with diabetes to take a proactive approach to managing their health and overcoming the obstacles often associated with the condition. In just its second showing in the annual Race Across America (RAAM) last year, the team took home the victory – beating every other team by more than three hours.

Southerland maintains a blog where he talks about his approach to combining high-level cycling performance and management of diabetes. He hopes to continue the successes of the team and take it to a Tour de France entry one day.

Photos courtesy of Marco Quezada.


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