Juan Pablo Gonzalez grew up in the small city of Granada in Loja, Spain. He comes from a supportive, attentive family and has a younger sister. From a young age, Gonzalez loved the bike and valued the environment that surrounds the world of professional cycling including values, discipline, and talent.
Known as “Juanpa,” the Spaniard was diagnosed with diabetes at age eight during his birthday week after experiencing extreme thirst and increased urination. He spent 17 days in the hospital. Gonzalez loved pedaling his bike, and his doctors recommended that he continue riding as a way to manage his diabetes. His family and friends also encouraged him to keep chasing his dreams. Soon he started training and competing in the youngest category in bike racing.
He won numerous races but eventually stepped away from the sport after experiencing difficulities knowing how to manage his diabetes and racing.
At age 16, Gonzalez read about Team Novo Nordisk on Facebook, which inspired him to return to his childhood passion. He began reaching out to the Spaniards on the team, and Brais Dacal let him know about the team’s summer Talent ID camps in the United States. Gonzalez flew to the camp and based on his performance was invited to join the team’s development program.
Over the years, the Spanish climber has learned English and allowed his character to grow and develop as he fights through the challenging stages that bike racing throws his way. During the 2018 season, he earned several podiums, including second at the Georgia State criterium, and numerous top 10 finishes.
Gonzalez spent six seasons with Team Novo Nordisk’s development team. While no longer racing, he serves as one of Team Novo Nordisk’s ambassadors. Off the bike, his interest include spending time outdoors with his family in Loja and basically any activity that gets him out into nature. He also continues to study nutrition, diabetes, and leadership. He will soon earn his first title as a sports director and trainer, which he plans to use to help other young people living with diabetes.