Boasting four years of experience with the Team Novo Nordisk development team, Lakota Phippen is back for the 2020 season. A challenging 2019 saw Phippen perform well in races like the Joe Martin Stage Race, Vuelta Independencia Nacional and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, but injury and illness blighted his calendar and limited his race days.
One of four children, from a young age Phippen was involved in highly competitive endurance athletics, including Nordic skiing, running, and mountain biking. He fell in love with cycling while watching the European races on television and swiftly began harboring his own ambitions of becoming a cyclist. He promptly found progress racing with Hanger 15 Bicycles (formerly Canyon Bicycles) on the US domestic Pro Road Tour (PRT) circuit and gaining valuable experience in teamwork and leadership.
In 2016, Phippen’s life changed drastically when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. That spring, he 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 saw how horrifically thin he’d become, and after a conversation with his father, Phippen went to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with diabetes.
The diagnosis never disheartened Phippen as he knew it was a condition that he could manage. With the help from his medical team, he knew he could live the same active life and was back on the bike within a week. Because he had already seen Team Novo Nordisk riders in the peloton, he reached out to the team immediately to see if they had a spot for him on their elite mountain bike team. Instead, Team Novo Nordisk offered him a chance to race for the development squad, and Phippen instantly jumped at the opportunity.
Phippen experienced a breakthrough season in 2018, earning 14 top 10 finishes including eight podium finishes with two wins and one overall victory. His proudest result came at the UCI Europe Tour of Bihor in Romania where he finished 11th in the individual time trial.
Off the bike, Phippen loves literature, writing, and meditation. He says his life looks completely different than it did barely three years ago and loves being back racing full time and taking life by the horns.