Desire to achieve knows no “Unbound” for Lozano and Irvine

For the first time in the history of the world's first all diabetes professional cycling team two Team Novo Nordisk riders will take part in the worlds biggest gravel event Unbound Gravel in Kansas next week, as Catalan David Lozano and Australian Declan Irvine line up to represent the global diabetes community on the dirt roads of the American Midwest.

Both are experienced riders off road with Lozano a former national mountain bike champion and Gravel Earth race winner in 2023 and currently sitting third overall in the 2024 series, while Irvine represented Australia at the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships in Italy.

“For me, being able to take part in the biggest race in the world of gravel is just amazing,” said Lozano. “I’ve been riding gravel bikes the last four years really sporadically and this year with the news that we had the chance to go to Unbound I rode more and it's just a way of loving the sport in it's full essence surrounded with nature, speed and lots of hours, mentality is a key factor and I'm really afraid and excited at the same time so it's a beautiful feeling like the first day of school.“

Unbound Gravel takes place across the rolling prairies and Flint Hills around Emporia, Kansas. With five different race distances to choose from and 4,000 participants Unbound is without doubt the biggest gravel event in the world and both Irvine and Lozano are set to take on the 200 mile Elite event on Saturday 1st June.

“I am stoked to be heading to Kansas,” began Irvine. “I have been racing gravel for a few years now and Unbound is the holy grail of gravel! This is my Olympics. It’s just the biggest and best there is and as an athlete with type 1 diabetes going into the elite 200-mile event is a little like stepping into the unknown, I haven’t raced that far in one day and fueling is going to be crucial.”

“To be completely honest I am quite nervous about stepping into this particular unknown and consider myself lucky to be a professional athlete with diabetes in 2024, where we have all this great technology like continuous glucose monitors, semi-automated pumps and fuel such as Maurten Hydrogels to keep our glucose levels stable throughout the race. Innovation is a key part of what enables us to compete at the highest level and keep trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Fueling for between 11 and 12 hours of racing is only one of the factors of competing over 200 miles on open gravel roads, only one of the elements to contend with and while advancements in technology are great, no one can help you with the weather or the terrain and whatever nature will decide to throw at you on any given race day.

Factor in the sharp flint stones of the famous Kansas hills and you’re left with fine margins between finishing, being stranded in the middle of nowhere or even making that coveted podium spot. Unassisted. Pure. Racing. We can’t wait.

Foto: www.teamnovonordisk.com

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