A few years ago, when Kevin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, he was told he would never race again. Kevin is not only still racing, he's on Team Novo Nordisk's Pro Men's team. Team Novo Nordisk was the first all-diabetes cycling team, and is proving that an athlete with diabetes is still competitive.
We sat down with Kevin to learn more.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into cycling.
I'm Kevin De Mesmaeker, 23 (almost 24) years old, and I’ve been a competitive cyclist since I was 16. Before cycling, I participated in different sports like soccer and judo, but they were not really my thing.
My dad was a pretty good cyclist when he was young, and he introduced me to it. I got my first steel-racing bike when I was 12, a present from my grandfather, but I really started to do competitive cycling when I was 16.
2. What does a typical week of training look like?
The team’s Performance Director develops my training schedules, and there’s generally a bit of a pattern to it.
Normally, it's two to three days of hard, long training followed by two days of recovery rides, where I usually go for a coffee. I often train alone because of the specific workouts.
3. What is your favorite cycling memory so far?
Finishing 3rd place on stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California in 2014 is definitely a highlight. It was an incredible feeling to stand on the podium next to some of the best riders in the world.
And of course, being among the first riders with diabetes to ever finish the World Tour race, Milan-Sanremo, this year was an epic feeling!
4. If you could ride your bike with anyone, who would it be?
One of my good friends, Kristof. He's an amateur cyclist, and we do a lot of recovery rides together.
5. What’s your favorite flavor of Nuun, both on and off the bike?
I mostly use Nuun while I’m riding, and my favorite flavor is definitely lemonade!
6. Do you have any advice for other athletes with diabetes in the Nuuniverse?
Stay hydrated- on and off the bike!
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