The 2018 season serves as Italian neo-pro Umberto Poli’s second year in the professional ranks. During his debut season, he quickly made his mark on the pro peloton after receiving a late-race call up for the iconic one-day Italian race, Milan-San Remo. He started as the youngest rider in the race and rode in the day’s main breakaway for most of the 298-kilometer race, proudly bringing worldwide attention to the Team Novo Nordisk jersey. He also earned his first top 10 result at a UCI 2.HC categorized race when he sprinted to 10th on Stage 4 of the Tour of Hainan in October.
Poli found his love for the bike when he was a young boy and started competing by six, but as a child never believed he could race professionally. At age 16 and following a bike race, Poli noticed he wasn’t feeling well. He was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. With the support of his close-knit family, friends, coaches and medical team, he soon returned to training and racing.
By the time Poli turned 18, he realized that with dedication and commitment he could earn a professional contract. Soon a coach put Poli in touch with Team Novo Nordisk through sport director Massimo Podenzana, who invited him to attend that summer’s Talent ID camp in Georgia. Based on those results “Umbe” earned a spot on the 2016 development team. In his first season, he won Stage 2 and Stage 6 of the Georgia Cycling Grand Prix and was runner-up at the Mt. Victory Road Race. Poli credits his time with the development team as helping him to grow as a bike racer and learn to better manage his diabetes.
When he isn’t traveling around the world racing, Poli enjoys spending time with family and friends and exploring his hometown by bike.