Team Type 1-Sanofi “shocked and disappointed” to miss out of Tour of California invitation
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Team Type 1-Sanofi “shocked and disappointed” to miss out of Tour of California invitation

by Ben Atkins at 4:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
 
Diabetes team invited to some of Europe’s biggest races but is passed over for it’s home country’s biggest race

team type 1-sanofiWith the list of invited teams to May’s Amgen Tour of California billed as the biggest yet, one team that is not impressed is Altlanta, GA-based Team Type 1-Sanofi. The US-registered Professional Continental team - which races to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and features a number of riders that suffer from the condition - did not make the list, and is “shocked and disappointed” with the news.

On the list of invitees are both of the US’ first division ProTeams - in BMC Racing and Garmin-Barracuda - as well as four of its biggest third division Continental teams - in Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies, Bissell Pro Cycling, Team Exergy, and the Bontrager Livestrong Team; of the country’s two second division Professional Continental teams however, only the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team gets an invitation.

The remaining three Professional Continental teams invited are Canadian Team Spidertech Powered By C10, Dutch Project 1t4i, and Colombian Colombia-Coldeportes.

"We are shocked and disappointed,” said Team Type 1 CEO and founder Phil Southerland. “So far this season we are the most successful Professional Continental team in the United States, with a deep race program that goes around the world.

“This upcoming weekend we are going to Milano-San Remo in Italy, next weekend the Criterium International in France, and later in the season we are already invited to more World Tour events at Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour of Poland. And yet we weren't invited to our own home country's biggest event."

Team Type 1-Sanofi has ridden each of the three previous editions of the race - as a Continental team in 2009 and 2010, and as ProConti last year - with Alexander Efimkin finishing 13th overall in 2011, which is one reason why it has come as such a surprise to miss out this year.

Another thing the team will miss will be the spreading of its message about the disease, as it passes through the US’ most populous state.

"Our message provides inspiration and our omission will be a huge loss for millions of fans who look forward to seeing us compete,” said Southerland. “We race around the world with a message of hope for people who live with diabetes. We inspire families to get out and exercise and get on top of this disease and live life to the fullest every day.

“We have had phenomenal support at the Tour of California, meeting with moms and dads and kids who cheered us on from Sacramento to Thousand Oaks along the way. This year we'll have to figure out a way to keep these families interested in a race that would not invite us.”

The team’s start to the season is the other big factor that has meant that Southerland is surprised by his team’s omission; with a number of prestigious results in some of Europe’s biggest early season races, he had assumed that this would mean that Team Type1-Sanofi had earned an invitation to California.

"We've had enormous success as a team so far in 2012,” he said. “[Daniele] Colli was on the podium both days of the Reggio Calabria season opener races in Italy; [Georg] Preidler won the KOM jersey at the Tour du Haut Var in France, and Julien El Fares was second overall in that same race.

“We even had our young Russian sprinter Aleksandr Serebryakov take fifth in the Belgian semi-classic Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne,” he added, “so we know we have a team that can get results against the best in the world. That we can't go to California this year is a frustrating challenge that we want to overcome and put behind us."

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