Now in his fifth season with Team Novo Nordisk, Frenchman Mehdi Benhamouda came close to crowning his 2019 season with a victory when he took second on Stage 5 of the Tour of China I while also securing top 10 placings in both the mountains and points classifications.
Benhamouda first found his love for the bike at a young age after growing up watching the Tour de France and other famous races in his native France. By age 10, he was racing himself.
Three years later, Benhamouda started experiencing the typical symptoms of type 1 diabetes, a condition familiar to his family as his father also lives with type 1 diabetes. The diagnosis initially scared the young man, but a supportive medical team encouraged him to continue riding, and thanks to his family’s experience with the condition, Benhamouda adjusted to managing his diabetes quickly and went on to win the first race he competed in following his diagnosis.
After Team Novo Nordisk launched in late 2012, former Team Novo Nordisk pro and fellow Frenchman Quentin Valognes reached out to Benhamouda and encouraged him to get in touch with the team. Benhamouda was soon invited to attend a talent ID camp held annually in the United States. Following the trial, Benhamouda received an invitation to race with Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad where he won the HHC Rumble @ Roebling Road Race and Georgia Cycling Gran Prix Criterium and earned podiums at Begin, Believe Criterium, Litespeed BMW Twilight Criterium, AMP Cycling Series Criterium, Georgia State Team Time Trial Championship, Georgia State Road Race Championship and Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Criterium.
After two successful seasons with Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad, the 24-year-old Benhamouda earned a contract to join the men’s professional team for the 2016 season. He was the first athlete located through the Team Novo Nordisk’s talent ID program to sign with the pro squad.
For the 2019 season, Benhamouda finished fifth on Stage 3 of the Tour of China. Other career accolades include 10 finishes on stages at the Tour de Korea, Tour of China II and Tour of Hainan.