As a co-founder of Team Novo Nordisk’s predecessor, Team Type 1, Joe Eldridge brings depth both on and off the bike to Team Novo Nordisk. A former U.S. track national champion (team pursuit, 2012), Eldridge displays his power in the sprintsat criteriums and single-day classics. He also serves as a mentor for young riderson the team.
Years with the team: 7
Age of diagnosis: 10
Since childhood, Eldridge dreamed of being a pro athlete. His father encouraged him to play sports, but Eldridge never anticipated it would be cycling. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, he played several high school sports at the top level and only rode a bike as a way to manage his diabetes. While at Auburn University, he started riding with a group of cyclists, and riding quickly led to racing. One day at a race, Eldridge met Phil Southerland -- the only other cyclist with diabetes Eldridge had ever encountered -- and they quickly built a close friendship. Eldridge and Southerland went on to found Team Type 1, and together, created a platform for other endurance athletes with diabetes to develop and compete.
For 31-year-old Eldridge, his career is about much more than just racing a bike. He finds great value in showing people that athletes with diabetes can compete at the top level of their sports. Off the bike, Eldridge enjoys fishing and hiking. After he retires from racing, he plans to continue working in diabetes outreach. Eldridge is married and has a son and two mix-breed dogs, one being a rescue dog.
"I don’t let diabetes hold me back, and I don’t use it as an excuse for anything."
Personal story: I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was ten years old. I went on to lead a normal childhood managing my diabetes, playing sport at the top level and not letting diabetes prevent me from doing anything. When I was attending college, diabetes management was not very high on my priority list. It was at this time that I found bicycle racing and met fellow type 1 Phil Southerland. Cycling pointed my life with diabetes in the right direction. I put diabetes management back at the top of my priority list and we then created Team Type 1. The rest is history!
Message to people with diabetes: If you can manage your diabetes then you can manage anything in life. Diabetes will not hold you back if you have a good strategy.
Cycling dream: To compete in the best races in the world.
Life dream: Have a healthy and loving family and group friends.