One of four children, from a young age Lakota Phippen was involved in highly competitive endurance athletics, including Nordic Skiing. He was first introduced to cycling by his father when they watched Paris-Roubaix or the Tour de France together on TV. Phippen did his first mountain bike race when he was 14 and added in road racing at 18.
In 2016, Phippen’s life changed drastically when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. That spring, Phippen grew weak and frail and noticed he didn’t have the energy to keep up with his friends while out riding. The weekend after his 24th birthday, he was horrified how thin he’d become, and after a conversation with his father, he went to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with diabetes.
Phippen found the diagnosis a relief because it was a condition that could be managed and he was concerned something much worse was wrong with his body. His medical team told him that he could return to an active life if he properly managed his diabetes. Phippen was back on the bike within a week. Phippen was familiar with Team Novo Nordisk before his diagnosis, so he reached out to the team immediately to see if they’d be interested in taking him on as a mountain bike rider as part of the elite team. Instead, Team Novo Nordisk offered him have a chance to race for the development squad, and Phippen immediately jumped at the opportunity. During the 2017 season, he earned nine top 10 finishes including second at the Upstate Cycling Classic Time Trial, third at the Pensacola Cycling Classic Time Trial and fifth overall at the Pensacola Cycling Classic.
Off the bike, Phippen loves reading, learning, yoga, and meditation. He says his life looks completely different than it did barely two years ago and he finds it surreal and exciting to be back racing full time and taking life by the horns.