Hamish Beadle will join the professional ranks in 2020 as part of the Team Novo Nordisk outfit, the all-diabetic ProContinental team that has previously been the home a number of Kiwi riders.  We got to catch up with the 21 year old to chat about the move.

It’s been a journey that’s taken in both road and track, but after years of progression – that still takes him just to the age of 21 – Beadle has his first professional contract on the road.  The rider who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three and become accustomed to the condition with apparent ease, is ecstatic.

“It’s unbelievable really.  After all these years of going through the journeys up til now, to think that all that hard work’s paid off.  It’s surreal,” Hamish told RoadCycling.

In 2019 Hamish was based primarily in America and Canada, where he raced the Joe Martin Stage Race, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and the Tour de Beauce on the UCI circuit.  A fine fifth place finish in stage 3 of the GP de Saguenay featured as one of the highlights that took in a generous – and typically American-style – serving of criterium racing.

“I think that 21 is young but nowadays you see Remco Evenepoel and a lot of those guys going World Tour and it’s like a new era of cycling.”

“I came into the season pretty confident and motivated, the American scene is obviously lots of criteriums, lots of omnium racing, while the racing in Canada is all on circuits; short, sharp and fast.  I’ve really wanted to show what I can do, especially in the criteriums at Speed Week, Washington Armed Forces Criteriums and the Intelligentsia Cup as well.  I was hoping for a couple of podiums but didn’t quite get there. However, I did pretty well on the GC for all those races.  It was definitely a breakthrough year for me and building that confidence to not only stay in those races but make things happen.”

Beadle’s palmares in 2019 over around 50 days of racing included four race wins, including the Outback Bikes Hapeville Criterium and Georgia State Games, four top ten finishes in the Intelligentsia Cup and podium finishes in races such as the UCOR Oak Ridge Velo Classic.  It’s been a busy season for the 21 year old; who spent the year in Team Novo Nordisk’s set up as part of its Development Team.

The graduation into professional cycling, at just 21 years of age, is a continuation of a trend that is taking hold certainly in a more obvious way with the rise of riders such as Egan Bernal, Remco Evenepoel; and even the newly crowned world champion Mads Pedersen who himself is just 23.  Riders like these seem to be proving true the theory that age really is just a number; but despite that theory Beadle appears to be concentrating on building a career that has longevity rather than risking going too deep too soon.

“I’ll definitely be working closely with the directors and the coaches to make sure I won’t be overdoing things,” Hamish explained.  “I think that 21 is young but nowadays you see Remco Evenepoel and a lot of those guys going World Tour and it’s like a new era of cycling.  If I play my cards right and do whatever’s necessary training-wise and recovery-wise it’s going to be a good year . . . good years hopefully.”

“I just really want to be a sponge with these guys, learn as much as possible and then in the races I’m in I can show the team what I can do and hopefully get up for some sprints.”

Being part of Team Novo Nordisk  automatically brings with it the attention of being a diabetic professional cyclist; that added element is there with all of the team’s riders.  To the majority of the population diabetes is one of those invisible conditions that can go unnoticed and disregarded, but it does influence those who have to live with  it; and in a high performance environment dealing with diabetes wrong brings serious and very visible consequences.  Hamish, however, has an inspiring water-off-a-duck’s-back approach to diabetes; that has been a part of his life since before he can remember.

“Mentally it’s pretty challenging to have the condition and also physically.  There’s a lot of management that goes into it.  You’ve just got to be onto it 24/7 because it’s a condition that doesn’t stop.  It’s a real domino effect if you have bad blood sugars the night before a race, it affects  everything hours or days after that so you have to be really careful about the way you manage it.  I’ve had it since I was three years old so it’s second nature to me now.”

“I’d like to think that it doesn’t affect  me at all.  Once I’m out there racing I’m the same as any other guy in the peloton; but at the end of the day it is what it is,” Hamish told us.  “It does have an effect but you don’t want to use it as an excuse for a bad day.”

It’s been a big year in America and Canada for Beadle that has seen him embrace the criterium and circuit race scene, photo Team Novo Nordisk

Team Novo Nordisk  has been involved in the sport in various guises since 2008 back when they were called Team Type 1; and has been the home of the likes of CCC Team’s Joey Rosskopf, Trek-Segafredo’s Kiel Reijnen and UAE Team Emirates’ Vegard Stake Laengen.  As Beadle gets ready to add his name to the team he does so impressed with the way the team operates with an all-diabetic squad.  

“The team’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected  by diabetes globally, so we have a very well-run team of doctors, physicians, coaches who all know the condition.  They cater to what we need.  It’s a big team, we have a big support network within it.”

As we begin to knock on the doors of 2020 and Hamish’s graduation from the Development squad to the ProContinental level, the Kiwi is looking forward to taking his fast-finishing ability and plying it in a domestique role as he finds his feet in the big time.  “I’m definitely more of a sprinter so hopefully I’ll be getting up there for a couple of sprints this year, but for me being new in the team I’ll be in more of a support role and I’m really happy with that.  I’m happy to learn off of some of the older guys in the team like Charles Planet, David Lozano and help them out so we can get some good results. 

“I just really want to be a sponge with these guys, learn as much as possible and then in the races I’m in I can show the team what I can do and hopefully get up for some sprints.”

With the contract signed for 2020, Hamish doesn’t have to worry about putting up a New Zealand summer’s worth of performances to try and get the attention of other teams.  Security for the new season is a beautiful thing.  But with that pressure off in one sense, a new pressure comes on.  

“It’s unbelievable really.  After all these years of going through the journeys up til now, to think that all that hard work’s paid off.  It’s surreal.”

“I think it’s a relief but it also adds a lot of pressure, when you have that kind of title [ProContinental rider] on your name it’s a big one.  I’m going to be doing the Tour of Southland for the National Hub Team and then have a break after that before pre-season training starts.  I think I’ll be missing out on road and track nationals but doing a lot of base training and gym work to be in for a good season.”

In the short-term Hamish is looking to continue developing as a rider and as he does so he’s hopeful that a natural overflow of that will be pinpointing what type of rider he wants to be.  As time goes on though the Kiwi has eyes on becoming a key member of the team and breaking through into World Tour races with the outfit that have included the Tour de Pologne, Amgen Tour of California, UAE Tour and Milan-San Remo.

We wish Hamish all the very best over the summer and can’t wait to see him launch into 2020.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here