Now in his second professional season with Team Novo Nordisk, two-time Dutch Junior National Champion Rik van IJzendoorn grew up in a cycling family with both his father and brother racing as professionals. By age eight, van IJzendoorn had competed in his first bike race and never looked back. As a junior, he quickly earned several top results, including Dutch Junior National Cyclocross Champion (1997), Dutch Junior National Road Champion (1999), runner-up at Dutch Junior National Cyclocross Championship (2004) and third place at the UCI cyclocross World Cup race in Pijnacker (2004).
Van IJzendoorn continued to earn top results at cyclocross races throughout Europe, and in 2010, decided to switch to road racing. During pre-season training in 2015, van IJzendoorn suddenly couldn’t find his form on the bike for the first time in his life. The Dutchman’s father and grandfather both have type 1 diabetes and the family quickly recognized his symptoms of fatigue, unquenchable thirst and unexplained weight loss. After an elevated blood glucose result, van IJzendoorn was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Receiving the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes served as a relief because he knew many athletes still competed at the highest level of professional sports while managing the condition. With the help of his healthcare team, van IJzendoorn resumed training as soon as possible.
After learning about van IJzendoorn from former Team Novo Nordisk pro rider Martijn Verschoor, the team invited him for physiological testing. Based on those numbers and an early 2016 training camp in Spain, van IJzendoorn earned a spot on Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad for that season. While on the development team, van IJzendoorn earned top 10 finishes at the Healthy Newton Omnium, Jonathan Thompson Memorial Mt. Victory Road Race and the Three River Rumble Road Race. He debuted with the pro squad in August of 2016 as a stagiaire. Following a strong showing at the Tour of Taihu Lake in China, including 15th place on Stage 1, van IJzendoorn earned a professional contract.
Off the bike, van IJzendoorn loves spending time with his family and his Jack Russell terrier, Rakker.