Three-Time Former Hungarian National Champion Signs For Team Novo Nordisk
04 December 2018
Team Novo Nordisk is proud to announce that Olympian Peter Kusztor will join its 2019 roster
For the first time since launching in late 2012, Team Novo Nordisk is adding a new rider to its professional roster from outside of its development pipeline. Team Novo Nordisk is proud to announce that Hungarian Peter Kusztor will join its 2019 roster. The Olympian was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and will bring depth and experience to the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team.
Phil Southerland, CEO & Co-Founder of Team Novo Nordisk
For everyone, a diabetes diagnosis is a terrifying moment that comes with a lot of uncertainty. Life changes in an instant and it is a condition that immediately affects the entire family. I’m proud that our organization could give Peter hope through those first days when he struggled and his entire family was fearful of his future. While we never wish anyone to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, we are eager to welcome Peter into our family.
Vassili Davidenko, General Manager of Team Novo Nordisk
Peter is a very experienced rider as an Olympian and former multi-national champion. That exposure and level of experience will bolster our overall performance in 2019, and we are all looking forward to welcoming him to the team.
“For everyone, a diabetes diagnosis is a terrifying moment that comes with a lot of uncertainty. Life changes in an instant and it is a condition that immediately affects the entire family,” Team Novo Nordisk CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland said. “I’m proud that our organization could give Peter hope through those first days when he struggled and his entire family was fearful of his future. While we never wish anyone to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, we are eager to welcome Peter into our family.”
While racing for MyBike Stevens on Stage 3 of the Czech Cycling Tour, Kusztor broke his collarbone (August 2018). Before going in for surgery, doctors checked his fasting blood glucose levels, which were elevated. Initially, doctors believed he had type 2 diabetes and hospitalized him to bring down his blood glucose. He did not respond to medication, and eventually endocrinologists ran a series of new tests that lead to his type 1 diagnosis.
The diagnosis and lifestyle changes were difficult for Kusztor, and he couldn’t imagine racing professionally while managing the condition. Yet the Hungarian had raced against Team Novo Nordisk over the years and knew that all riders on the team competed with type 1 diabetes.
“Over the years, I’ve always admired the riders at Team Novo Nordisk and the way they raced while managing such a serious condition. I knew about their unique mission, which has become my own personal mission,” Kusztor said. “In Hungary, people still don’t believe that you can race at the top level with diabetes and I’m motivated to overcome these judgments and prove that it is still possible to race with diabetes.”
Not wanting to give up his career and dream, Kusztor reached out to Team Novo Nordisk to receive information on nutrition and training advice for someone newly diagnosed with diabetes. After several conversations, the team offered him a spot on the 2019 squad.
“Peter is a very experienced rider as an Olympian and former multi-national champion,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko explained. “That exposure and level of experience will bolster our overall performance in 2019, and we are all looking forward to welcoming him to the team.”
Throughout Kusztor’s career, accolades include representing Hungary at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, two-time Hungary national road race champion (2010, 2012), Hungary national time trial champion (2010), winner overall at the Tour of Bretagne (2011), second overall at Gemenc GP (2017) and lining up for four UCI Road World Championships (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013).
“Moving up to Team Novo Nordisk means that a very big and old dream of mine is finally coming true. While I fully believe I have the ability to race at this level, I’ve never had the chance to move up,” Kusztor said. “My primary goal for the 2019 season is to get to know Team Novo Nordisk and learn how to train and race with diabetes at this top level. Additionally, I recognize that I still have a lot to learn around racing at this level.”
Outside of Italian Andrea Peron, Kusztor is the only rider on Team Novo Nordisk’s 2019 roster who didn’t come through the organization’s pipeline.
“It’s invigorating to add a rider with this level of experience from outside the team to our roster,” Southerland said. “His intense hunger and fight are very palpable and I’m eager to see how this drive will motivate all our riders.”
The 33-year-old went professional in 2005 with P-nivo Betonexpressz 2000 and has raced the past 13 seasons with continental squads including Atlas Personal, Utensilnord, Amplatz-BMC, and MyBike Stevens.
“I’m excited for next year’s program and believe it will be well suited for me. The professional continental calendar is more balanced, and I’m motivated to achieve my best results, but first and foremost, I want to fit into this program and work with my new teammates to earn our best results together,” Kusztor concluded.
Off the bike, Kusztor is married and has two daughters. His family lives outside of Budapest in Páty where he and his wife also run an amateur cycling team.