A cyclist with
type 1 diabetes has spoken out about winning an epic ultra-endurance 25-hour bike race, in one day.
George Kirkpatrick, who uses a flash glucose monitor, claimed victory in the solo category in the Red Bull Time Laps race which took place in Great Windsor Park.
Now in its third year, 1,000 cyclists came together in October to pack in 25 hours of riding into a day. This is possible once a year when an extra hour is gained from the transition from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time.
Speaking to Cyclist magazine George, who has trained hard to manage his type 1 diabetes so he can race, said: “There’s now a lot of support and medication to help you manage.
“Still, it’s draining, racing for so long; but I almost like the extra challenge of having diabetes. Hopefully, it can be an inspiration. It’s nice if you get contacted by a parent whose child has just been diagnosed.
“I want to prove there are no limits to what you can do. Having diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing things like this.”
George said he made the decision not to sleep at all during the race, but he did stop every hour for a couple of minutes.
The cyclist said: “Gus my brother also has type 1 diabetes. So, it’s great to have him along as my support crew, having him as well made it a diabetic team.
“Gus would stand at the side of the track and scan me every few laps. He’d shout out the reading, and I’d shout back a plan as to what I needed to eat or drink.
“You keep a continual eye on your glucose level. At one stage we had to do some insulin injections too. During training, it’s something you need to keep on top of too.”
The conditions during the race became challenging at some points when torrential rain and wind started.
George explained that by the end of the competition he was getting frostbite in his fingers and toes, but he said despite everything he endured it had been worth it in the end.
The athlete added: “I didn’t turn up expecting to win, I just wanted to do the best I could. If I got off at the end having finished second or third and felt I had more in the tank, I’d have been gutted. As it turned out, I got off with nothing left and having won, so it all felt worthwhile.”