Having joined Team Novo Nordisk’s professional squad for the 2019 season, 23-year-old neo-pro Ulugbek Saidov performed well with a strong ride for eighth place in the Uzbekistan National Road Race Championships and garnered plenty of experience at the Tour du Rwanda and both Tours of China I & II.
Along with his two brothers, the Uzbekistani experienced an active childhood in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. At nine years old, he started losing weight, had increased thirst, and experienced general malaise. When his symptoms increased, his parents took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Being so young, Saidov says he didn’t fully understand the diagnosis. At the time, all he comprehended was that he would have to give himself injections every day for the rest of his life. Without any family history or connection to diabetes, the diagnosis was an adjustment for his entire family, yet his parents focused on maintaining a positive outlook. Saidov soon returned to his active childhood.
In Tashkent, Uzbekistan, there is a cycling club designed for children with diabetes. Saidov joined the club when he was 15, and after a month of hard training, he entered his first bike race. Immediately, he was hooked. The following year, he attended one of Team Novo Nordisk’s talent ID camps in Athens, Georgia. Initially, he made Team Novo Nordisk’s junior team.
Thanks to his motivation and dedication, Saidov improved on both his diabetes management and bike handling skills and earned a place on Team Novo Nordisk’s development squad. During the 2017 season, he earned four top 10 finishes including finishing second on Stage 5 of the Georgia Gran Prix. In 2018, he won the Georgia State Road Race and Criterium Championships for his age group.
When he is not riding his bike, Saidov enjoys spending time at home with family and friends and appreciates a great movie.