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Team Type 1′s Efimkin wins the Tour of Turkey

Team Type 1 - sanofi-aventis rider Aleksandr Efimkin kisses the winner's trophy at the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in Alanya on May 1, 2011

Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis rider Aleksandr Efimkin won the 47th Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey on Sunday, riding to the finish of stage eight in Antalya surrounded by teammates to take the Turquoise jersey and step to the top of the victory podium.

Sunday’s stage was 158km from Side to Antalya along the Aegean Coast, and finished in a group sprint, with Kenny Van Hummel of team Skil-Shimano first across the line.

Efimkin said the victory was the biggest of his career so far, thanked the organizers for a beautiful race, and praised his teammates Laszlo Bodrogi, Rubens Bertogliati, Daniele Callegarin, Jure Kocjan, Valeriy Kobzarenko and Martijn Verschoor.

“We’re a strong team and every day in Turkey we got stronger. To have these gladiator monsters pulling for me and protecting the leader’s jersey has made me a very happy man, and I feel we have strong momentum for the next two months of racing,” said Aleksandr Efimkin.

Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis General Manager Vassili Davidenko praised the race organizers for a challenging course that saw the leader’s jersey change hands five times in eight stages, and said the combination of hard climbs, a strong peloton and great hotels made the race a world class event. Davidenko said the team had shown great determination in achieving the victory in Turkey, and had come together after a promising spring campaign was marred by the theft of the team’s bicycles in March.

“A few weeks ago at Coppi e Bartali all of our bikes were stolen. Everything. We lost wheels, we lost tools, we lost time trial positions built in to the framesets. But we took the right measures to build back up, and everybody on the team, riders, staff, management, all put in overtime to get back to where we were. Winning the Tour of Turkey this year is a great honor for us, and a great reflection of the program we have built,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko.

Team Type 1 – sanofi-aventis CEO and Founder Phil Southerland said the win on Sunday was a victory for global diabetes awareness.

“What started as a bet between two type 1 cyclists in American collegiate racing has turned into a global mission to inspire people with diabetes around the world. Aleksandr’s victory today helps us spread this message of hope, that diabetes can be managed and controlled, that a normal life can be lived, and that a dream can be achieved,” said Team Type 1 CEO and Founder Phil Southerland.

Team Type 1 sanofi-aventis rider Martijn Verschoor, who has type 1 diabetes and must check his blood glucose level continuously and periodically take insulin to control the disease, said he began the race with a BG around 230 and finished at 140.

“The work today was important, to protect Aleks and keep him safe from any emergencies. Luckily there weren’t any, and we got to the finish safely and kept the jersey. My legs felt much better today after a solid week of very fast racing. Overall I’m eating normally, usually one panini during the race, and my fitness is better so my sensitivity to insulin is higher,” Verschoor said.

Team Type 1 - sanofi-aventis poses for a group photograph before stage eight of the Tour of Turkey in Side on May 1, 2011

Based in Atlanta, GA, Team Type 1 competes around the world with an international squad of athletes to raise diabetes awareness and demonstrate that the disease does not prevent individuals from living their lives.

Six of the professionals on the men’s team are type 1 diabetics, and 14 are non-diabetics. Team Type 1 also runs a women’s professional team, a triathlon team, an elite amateur squad, a development team for T1 diabetics under 25, and a Type 2 team.

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