Megias gets aggressive in Denver

DENVER, Aug 28 – Team Type 1 rider Javier Megias shot off from the front of a breakaway on Sunday in the final stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, trying to establish himself as the most aggressive rider in front of countless thousands of people in Colorado’s state capital.

With an earlier-than-usual start to the 118km stage in nearby Golden, Megias, who has type 1 diabetes and must monitor his blood glucose continuously, sought an escape from the peloton with three other riders some 20km from the entrance to Denver and its six complete circuits in and around the downtown area, in front of enormous crowds under a hot sun on a beautiful late-summer day.

“There were attacks in the group all day from the start. A large pack of riders with all the favorites got away first, but then came back. With some other riders I attacked before we got to Denver and we held a two or three minute advantage for the circuits,” Megias said.

Fans stood shoulder to shoulder on sidewalks, park lawns, rooftops and city streets as Team Type 1 – SANOFI rider Megias sped through the city. Television commentators mentioned his diabetes, supporters shouted his name, competitors followed his rear wheel and the entire crowd watched as Javi then attacked the breakaway, jumping off the front of a speeding train to ride solo through Denver.

“They told me if I attacked the breakaway I could try for the most aggressive jersey, so I looked at my companions in the escape and jumped. Only one could come with me, but he lost some speed and it was just me. The crowd was so loud, it was better than anything I’ve ever seen,” Megias said.

Sunday’s most aggressive rider was instead Tim Duggan of Colorado, who helped pave the way for his teammate, Italy’s Daniel Oss, to win the stage. Levi Leipheimer of California held on to win the overall classification.

Team Type 1 – SANOFI rider Rubens Bertogliati said the crowds from Golden to Denver were something he had rarely seen in his career.

“Maybe on the best day at the Tour de France, Alpe d’Huez or coming to Paris, it’s this crowded. The people today were the biggest number of fans I’ve seen in a long time,” Bertogliati said.

Megias said his BG at the start of the day was 120, and he held flat the entire two and a half hour race. He said he drank five water bottles in the 35 C heat, and one bottle with electrolytes.

Based in Atlanta, Team Type 1 – SANOFI is the men’s professional squad from Team Type 1, an organization of athletes, professional and amateur, who run, ride, swim, train and race to show that with the proper technology, a healthy diet, plenty of exercise and good control, a life with diabetes is no limit to extraordinary achievement.

Five of the 22 athletes on the team have type 1 diabetes, and more than 80 on the other six squads are affected by the disease.