Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Local patients of type 1 diabetes cheered for Team Novo Nordisk in Taipei on Sunday, during the first leg of the Tour de Taiwan. The five riders and two replacement riders are all twenty-something men. This is the second time the team has taken part in the five-day race. Team Novo Nordisk is made up of cyclists, triathletes and runners all with diabetes and spearheaded by the world's first all-diabetes professional cycling team. Its mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. Dozens of type 1 diabetes sufferers, mostly teenagers, cheered for the team, dancing with traditional folk icon Prince Nezha (??) to educate people about glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and type 1 diabetes. In the crowd was Chu Pei-chen (???), a 10th grader who won sixth place in an Asian triathlon competition in Thailand in December 2013. The 15-year-old girl from Taitung, who discovered she had type 1 diabetes at the age of eight, has been invited by Team Novo Nordisk to participate in a summer training camp in the United States and wants to be a triathlete. Sufferers of type 1 diabetes are mostly children and teenagers.
In 2009, Taiwan had 8,043 type 1 diabetes patients according to the "Diabetes Taiwan" (???????) yearbook. In the Tour de Taiwan, 188 riders from 32 countries on 23 teams cover a distance of 583.5km, riding south from Taipei to Taoyuan, Changhua, Nantou and Tainan, finishing at Dapeng Bay in the southernmost county of Pingtung. The Tour de Taiwan is a five-day Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) class 2.1 race, which means it is open to national and UCI professional continental teams. (By Chen Ching-fang, Lee Hsin-Yin and Kuo Chung-han)