Sam Brand: Race Day Essentials

29 May 2018


Sam Brand

When it comes to training for sports and living with diabetes, preparation is a key factor. What’s “essential”, however, can be different for everyone. Below, Team Novo Nordisk rider Sam Brand lists his Top 5 Essentials for race day.

My Manx Flag

I am Manx (hailing from the Isle of Man), and this flag belonged to my grandma. After she passed away it became mine.

It has a big meaning and significance to me, and I adore it. I always take it on my travels, and it sits in my bag while I race.

As a proud Manxman, I am privileged and honored to represent our tiny island wherever I race, and this small token is little part of my grandma racing with me too.


I listen to a lot of music. I usually zone out to my headphones drumming away on route to the start of the stage or post race. It’s a great way to get pumped up and prepared for the battle ahead. 


I seem to have developed a reputation for red shoes. Although this was unintentional shoes are one of the (if not the most important) pieces of equipment for a cyclist.

This pair were custom designed for the recent Commonwealth Games, with 50 names of people affected by diabetes. A beacon, if you will, something to show those all around the world affected by diabetes that they aren’t alone.

I love representing everyone around the world affected by Diabetes as well as racing to inspire, educate and empower those people alongside Team Novo Nordisk.


For me, my Dexcom is the most valuable piece of kit I have, since it allows me to constantly monitor my blood glucose levels while racing and training. 


Mindset is one of the most valuable assets you have, and I have depicted it in my photo with a race route card. Knowing something as simple as the stage route, I can assess the race profile and see where I may need to be more vigilant.

Being prepared is a huge part of cycling and being proactive in these times can save unnecessary stress. Knowing your goals makes them that much more achievable, and this gives you the ability to be positive towards them. Having a positive, “I can do this” mindset might be one of the top essentials in the cycling world.

Sam’s Essentials:


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