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18 May 2021


100 cyclists to bike 2,100 km from Brussels to Barcelona to raise awareness of diabetes

GT start group photoAs many as 100 amateur and professional riders coming from all over the world will be pedaling for nearly two weeks from Brussels to Barcelona as part of the mHealth Grand Tour. The aim of bike ride is to raise awareness and educate about diabetes, and highlight the importance of sports and physical activity not only for diabetes prevention, but also as an essential tool in the self-management and therapy of diabetes.

The group of riders left Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels this morning for a 13-day bike ride passing through 5 countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Spain) to reach Barcelona on 18 September. The 2,100km-long ride includes more than 22,000 meters of climb and some of the most famous mountain passes in the Tour de France, such as the Semnoz climb.

GT eddyRight before the tour kicked off, riders had a nice suprise waiting for them: cycling legend Eddy Merckx was there to show support and give them a word of ecouragement.

For the mHealth Grand Tour, IDF Europe has partnered with Team Blood Glucose (TeamBG) to enter a team of 20 people living with diabetes, all amateur riders. “We’re excited to have a group of riders from all over the world who share a common goal: prove that anyone, including people living with diabetes, can achieve their sporting and exercise goals,” commented Paul Buchanan, Founder and CEO of TeamBG.

IDF Europe and TeamBG will be joining forces to raise awareness of the benefits of sports and physical activity for diabetes prevention and management. “The mHealth Grand Tour is an extraordinary sporting challenge. It is a unique opportunity to inspire and empower people living with diabetes, engage with local communities and get people to move more,” said João Manuel Valente Nabais, President of IDF Europe. “We want to raise awareness that diabetes can be controlled and in some cases prevented. For this, it is crucial that people have access to essential education that will empower them to make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Worldwide there are 371 million people with diabetes. In Europe alone, 55 million people live with diabetes – that is 8.5% of Europe’s adult population. If undiagnosed or not properly managed, diabetes can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation and stroke. Modern lifestyles, eating habits and lack of physical activity are important risk factors for developing diabetes.

The mHealth Grand Tour is organized by the GSMA, the organization that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. The event is also presented under the patronage of European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes.The tour will bring together the diabetes community and the mobile and healthcare industries to raise awareness of diabetes and to promote healthy and active living, and also to showcase how mobile health solutions can empower people with diabetes.

IDF Europe will be following riders throughout the mHealth Grand Tour and sharing photos and videos via IDF Europe’s Facebook page, Blog and Twitter. Follow us to share this unique experience!