Never feel like you’re not going to make the breakthrough and turn the corner. Stay focused. Stay driven and diabetes will turn that corner with you.
2022 marked the tenth year with Team Novo Nordisk for versatile Italian sprinter Andrea Peron and it also marked his best ever season as a professional with a first career victory at GP Kranj in Slovenia and six top ten finishes. 2023 is set be another important year as Peron looks to build on good foundations and chase more victories.
Back in 2021 Peron season started with a bang as he instigated and then animated the breakaway at the prestigious monument, Milan-Sanremo. Before going on to perform as the team’s most consistent rider of the year with repeated top 20 finishes before finally breaking into the top ten on the last stage of the last race of the season with 8th in the sprint in downtown Zagreb at CRO-Race.
The 34-year-old from Veneto is known for his power and fearlessness in the sprints. In Team Novo Nordisk’s first year, he earned 14 top ten finishes, including podiums at Canada’s Tour de Beauce and the Tour of China. Three times Peron rode in the day’s main breakaway at the iconic one-day Italian race Milan-San Remo for most of the 298-kilometer event, proudly bringing worldwide attention to the Team Novo Nordisk jersey.
Additional highlights over his professional career include nine top 10 finishes throughout the 2019 season, a podium finish on Stage 5 of the Tour de Korea (2015), two top five placings at Brazil’s Volta Ciclística Internacional do Rio Grande do Sul (2016) and fifth place on Stage 1 of the Tour of Estonia (2018).
Peron was drawn to sports at a very early age. He enjoyed motor racing at first, but at 10, his parents found it too risky, and so he switched to cycling and soon began competing. He immediately found success and was already winning races in his first year. As he continued winning throughout Italy, he realized he might have the talent to be a professional cyclist.
At 16, when Peron was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he thought his dream of racing was over. Fortunately, his doctor encouraged him to continue training and to use the bike as a way to manage his condition. After four successful seasons with Cyber Team-VC Breganze, the young sprinter was introduced to Team Novo Nordisk Sport Director, Massimo Podenzana, and joined the team the following season.
Off the bike, the 33-year-old enjoys relaxing at home with his family. He and his wife are proud parents to a son, Filippo and are expecting their second child.
- 19th – Circuito de Getxo-Memorial Hermanos Otxoa
- 3rd – Tour of Estonia, Stage 1
- 6th – Tour of Estonia, GC
- 5th – Tour of Estonia, Stage 1
- 7th – Tour de Hongrie, Stage 2
- 10th – Tour of Estonia, GC
Tell us about when you were diagnosed and how you found out?
I had not been feeling good for a couple of months- nothing too bad, but I wasn’t feeling 100%.
Eventually, I began to have trouble seeing, and I had to pee every ten minutes and drink a lot.
What was your initial reaction?
I didn’t know anything about diabetes, so in the beginning I was confused
How did your family/friends/fellow athletes react?
My family was worried at the beginning, of course. And for a while, the only person outside of my family who knew that I had diabetes was my cycling director.
Did you think your days as an athlete were over? Did others? What did your doctor say?
My doctor immediately told me that my days as an athlete were not over.
For those diagnosed after they started cycling: What was it like riding with diabetes and how did you adjust?
I was diagnosed in the off-season, so I had some time to learn a little bit about managing diabetes.
Tell us about how you got started in your sport.
My father used to ride the bike, just for fun. And I used to see him ride the bike and watch some races on TV, and I decided to start. At first, my dream was to ride a motorbike, but after a while I got started with cycling.
When did you start competing?
I began when I was about 10-11 years old.
How/when did you know cycling was something you wanted to do professionally?
When I began to win a lot of races in U23 category, I knew wanted to become a professional. And I began to have reach out to some pro teams.
What do you think is your biggest achievement in your athletic career?
The knowledge that, when I’m riding my best, I can be in the top ten at major races.
Being part of Team Novo Nordisk
How did you come to join Team Novo Nordisk?
My ex-director put me in touch with Directeur Sportif, Massimo Podenzana.
How has your life changed since you joined the team (both as an athlete and as a person)?
I am more mature as a result of being a pro cyclist. I need to travel a lot and this allows you to know how the world runs, and, because cycling is my work, I‘ve learned to do the life of a cyclist life at 100%.
Off the bike (Other Interests)
How do you spend your time when you’re not training or racing? Any other passions?
I like to spend time at home with my family and friends.
What do you want to do when you retire?
I’d like to own a gym or a bar, something like that.
What are the three most important things in your life?