Juan Pablo Gonzalez grew up in the small town of Loja, Spain. He comes from a supportive, attentive family and has a younger sister. From a young age, Gonzalez loved the bike and the freedom, competition and social network it provided. He won numerous races but eventually stepped away from the sport as he got older to focus on his studies. It wasn’t until he heard about the world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team that he returned to his childhood passion.
Known as “Juanpa”, the Spaniard was diagnosed with diabetes at age eight after a week of extreme thirst and increased urination. He spent 17 days in the hospital. Following his discharge, his doctors recommended Gonzalez continue riding as a way to manage his diabetes and his family and friend encouraged him to keep chasing his dreams.
At age 16, Gonzalez read on Facebook about Team Novo Nordisk. 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. Speaking no English, Gonzalez flew to the camp and based on his performance was invited to join the team’s development program. Now the young Spanish climber believes he has the potential to ride professionally and has the ambition to showcase the Team Novo Nordisk jersey at the front on mountain climbs. During the 2017 season, he earned six top 10 finishes including taking third at the Hapeville Criterium.
Gonzalez’s interest off the bike include spending time outdoors with his family in Loja (Granada) and basically any activity that gets him out into nature activities. His family has three dogs and a horse, which he feels is everything he needs to get mentally ready for training and racing.