One of the teams that debut in the Tour Colombia is the American Novo Nordisk, composed of runners affected by type 1 diabetes. Like any other professional team today, it forms an amalgam of nationalities. The sextet in this race has a Swiss, a British, a Finland, an Italian, an Uzbek and a Spanish, David Lozano (Terrassa, 1988), who has started his eighth season here with this training. “I am the veteran, but not the boss,” he warns.
S is the most valued of the team and who are entrusted with results in the great races to which the American team is invited, from the second world division (ProTeams). “But they don't give me the responsibility, you have to take it yourself“, says Lozano.
In Colombia he is suffering, knowing what he had to do. It arrived five days before the start of the race, so your body cannot perform at this altitude above sea level as most of the participating runners. The Italian Leonardo Basso arrived on the same plane as Lozano and left Thursday in the Ineos team, which had called him at the last minute to cover Ivn Sosa's leave. “And I'm still here, even if I suffer like never before, mother, to make legs and take advantage of the height in the next races.”
The “mother ma” refers to her suffering on Thursday's stage towards Sogamoso. In the Alto de la Mora, which has risen every day, it was in the main group and He was completely empty. “Three kilometers away from crowning, I couldn't take a pedaling, I couldn't breathe, everything hurts and I had no strength left. I thought about leaving, but I arrived in any way to the banner of the port and then I did not take a single pedaling on the descent, “he says. I arrived 22 minutes late with respect to the main group.
We underline that his suffering is not related to his diabetic condition. He was accompanied by acute suffocation by dozens of runners registered in the Tour Colombia. The Novo Nordisk runners, taking care of the disease, are athletes like others. There has not yet been one that can win a Tour de France, which is known, but not vetoed in the future.
The history of this team began in 2008 under the name Type-1 – heir of the Navigator Isurance yanqui- where not all runners were diagnosed with the disease or diabetic condition, as some prefer to call it. At that time, Lozano was a good professional cyclist in the cyclocross and mountain bike specialties and he could not imagine what would happen to him in 2012.
“He had won enough races and the day before the Cyclocross World Cup test in Igorre I was diagnosed with diabetes and was admitted to me and it was a very important show, “he recalls smiling.”I lost sight in one eye due to the high glucose I was carrying. I went to the hospital to see if it was stress or any other problem. The diagnosis was of diabetes, “he says. And his immediate feeling, although insulin returned his vision immediately, was that “professional cycling was over”.
I did not know Team Novo Nordisk, the new name of the set since 2013. All recalled in 2013, with the reference of another Spanish cyclist, Javier Megas, who had won a stage in Chihuahua with the Saunier Duval and had been on the team of diabetics since 2010.
“We want to carry the message through the team that you can play sports and do not stop chasing your dreams”, summarizes Javier Lozano, recovered from his agonized searches. “Where we go, we draw attention, because although it is a widespread disease (about 400 million people affected worldwide) it is little known and that is why we are here. People do not believe that we can do what we do.”
“Sportingly I have grown,” Lozao continues. “I thought everything would be much slower, but it has been the natural physical evolution, I have not noticed that it has been worse because of diabetes. At first, you have to learn how your body reacts, manage the food and routines necessary to do sport”.
If someone thinks that diabetic athletes eat differently than the rest, they are wrong. “We eat the same as any other, because if not, do not pull forward. The fact that you have to eat green so that sugar does not go up can not be done if you are a cyclist or professional athlete, because you will run out of strength and without the protein necessary for the recovery of efforts. “
Medicine evolves (the doctor is a pharmacist specializing in these treatments) and doctors “they move on things that can be improved to recover faster“.
To the “torture” of this Tour Colombia, Lozano add in less than a month the Tour of Rwanda, which is also in height – “and from there the desire I had to be here to catch some competition” and then Sicily, Bro-Lon in France, Tour of Castile and Len … It was announced for the middle of March in the Chilean Vuelta a Chilo, but although it is a diabolic 'superman', Lozano does not see it clearly. “I leave it in the air, because I don't know how I'm going to recover after two races in height so demanding. And with so much travel in between you have to be realistic.”
At 31, the future does not arise. “I will continue to enjoy cycling until I can stand here”, says goodbye to another day with visions of agony.
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