Stick to your plan, dare to ask questions, enjoy and just believe in it! Dream big, aim high and don’t let yourself get distracted by the opinions of other people.
New to the Team Novo Nordisk development team for 2021 is Dutchman Tom Tiegelaar who makes the progression form the junior team.
Only 18 years old, Tiegelaar and the rest of the Team Novo Nordisk junior athletes had a difficult 2020 with their entire racing calendar slashed due to COVID-19, however after impressing during the 2019 talent ID camp Tiegelaar remained in the team’s plans.
Growing up in the South Holland region of the Netherlands Tiegelaar’s first sport was football, but he quickly realized he had a love for cycling and persistently asked his parents to let him out on two wheels until they finally relented, and he joined the local cycling club, RWC Ahoy aged 10.
Tiegelaar’s passion for the bike grew every time he rode, playing and racing together with his friends after school and at weekend’s. Suddenly he could no longer keep up with them and as days turned into weeks, Tiegelaar began to think that something was wrong.
After some tests the Doctors diagnosed Tiegelaar with diabetes, he was 11 years old. However, a few weeks later Tiegelaar was called back by the doctor who had run more tests and discovered that Tiegelaar in fact had MODY2 (maturity onset diabetes of the young 2).
Tiegelaar’s family has some history with diabetes as his grandfather on his father’s side has type 1 and their support alongside positive encouragement from his doctor enabled Tiegelaar to manage his diet and weight really well and importantly, build his strength back up on the bike.
In 2017 Tiegelaar made his first podium in a national junior race and hasn’t looked back since, setting himself the goal of reaching the Team Novo Nordisk development team and achieving it by the tender age of 18.
Off the bike Tiegelaar enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with the family dog Tiamo and he enjoys reading, writing, music and learning about the sports science behind training.