Rosskopf flies into 2nd at Tour of China prologue

XI’AN, China, Sep 9 – Team Type 1 – SANOFI rider Joey Rosskopf rose to the occasion on Friday, with a lightning fast prologue time trial at the Tour of China.

Rosskopf, from Georgia, finished the 5.5km race against the clock in 6:59.35, one second behind stage winner Aleksei Markov of Russia.

“Joey missed the leader’s jersey here by one second. He blazed the TT for second place, and was ahead of last year’s winner by two seconds. Not a bad start!” said Team Type 1 – SANOFI Director Sportif Michael Carter.

Rosskopf, 22, joined the men’s professional squad in the second half of the 2011 season as a stagiaire, coming up from a strong first half of the year racing national events in the United States and some select days with the US national team in Europe.

The Tour of China begins in earnest on Saturday, with a 129km circuit race in Xi’an. Running for nine stages, with two rest days, the Tour of China will wend its way roughly southwestwards towards Chengdu before finishing on Sept. 20 in Tianjin.

Team Type 1 – SANOFI riders Joe Eldridge, Martijn Verschoor and Fabio Calabria, who all have type 1 diabetes and must monitor their blood glucose continuously and periodically take insulin to manage the disease, all finished within one minute of Rosskopf in the prologue.

Eldridge, who arrived with his teammates late Wednesday from a long transoceanic flight, said his BG at the start was 250, and he finished at the same level.

“I took four units half an hour before the start. The effect of a short TT will sent the BG up for most people with diabetes,” Eldridge said.

Verschoor started at 180 and finished at 210, with no unites of insulin taken. Calabria started and finished at 180, having woken up for breakfast with a BG at 100.

“The BG has been up and down since our arrival. It has always been tough for me the first few days when I come to Asia and try to dose my rapid insulin for the food here. Lots of white rice and sauces that usually contain sugar. Each meal has been followed by a high or low BG. I hope to get it figured out in the next days,” said Eldridge.

Based in Atlanta, Team Type 1 – SANOFI is the men’s professional squad of Team Type 1, a non-profit organization of more than 120 athletes on seven teams, professional and amateur, all affected by diabetes and sharing a message of hope for others.

Five of the 22 riders on the men’s professional team have type 1 diabetes, and all are committed to showing that with the proper technology, good control, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, those with the disease can live normal, even exceptional lives.