What's Cool In Road Cycling

Brian Kamstra Joins Team Novo Nordisk Pro Squad as Stagiaire

Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team, is bringing one of its best development team athletes, Dutchman Brian Kamstra, onto the men’s pro squad as a stagiaire for the remainder of the 2015 season.

“We see moving Brian up to the professional ranks as a great opportunity for this team. He has incredible endurance that should serve him well as a strong climber,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “Team Novo Nordisk is a unique team where we only field a roster of cyclists with diabetes so it is always exciting to get another young, motivated athlete.”

The 22-year-old Dutchman just began racing earlier this year. Before switching over to the bike, Kamstra was a four-time Dutch national cross country runner and won the European Cross Country Running Championship in 2011. Kamstra was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013 and with the help of his healthcare team, he resumed running as quickly as possible.

Kamstra was first introduced to Team Novo Nordisk when he attended Martijn Verschoor’s (NED) Diabetes Classic in June 2014. Verschoor saw Kamstra as more than a fellow athlete with diabetes, he saw a potential new teammate and encouraged Kamstra to attend Team Novo Nordisk’s training camp in Alicante, Spain in January 2015. This was Kamstra’s first introduction to bike racing. Physiological tests and training rides showed he had the skills and abilities to be a strong bike racer and Kamstra left camp with an invitation to join Team Novo Nordisk’s development team. He competed in his first race this April.

“It’s a dream come true to be part of Team Novo Nordisk. I am so proud to be part of this team,” Kamstra said. “I have already learned so much from my fellow athletes and I feel incredibly supported, both physically and mentally.”

“Brian has made the transition to the elite level of bike racing quite well and we have seen amazing improvements from him in the months we have been working together,” Davidenko explained. “We are confident in his ability as an athlete and we’re excited to see what he can do as part of our pro squad.”

While Davidenko hasn’t officially named Kamstra to any upcoming rosters, he is hoping to see the stagiaire racing soon.

“If all goes according to plan, Brian might be racing as early as the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado or at the Tour of China in early October,” Davidenko said.

As for Kamstra, he knows the next few months are all about gaining more experience at racing in the pro peloton.

“My goal is to learn as much as possible so hopefully I can earn a contract to race for the pro team next year,” Kamstra concluded. “Right now, I’m focused on properly managing my diabetes and racing as hard as I can.”

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