However, the invitation comes with a unique proviso. No gorging on Swiss chocolate bars or cakes or pastries for the team whose mission is diabetes awareness.
“This we cannot have. We cannot have any crazy sugar binges. It’s just too dangerous,” said race director Beat Zberg. “It is imperative that they stay away from the bakeries and pastry shops.”
The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other country in the world — over 22.3 pounds per year, a frightening statistic for anyone with diabetes.
Swiss time trial champion and Team Type 1 rider Rubens Bertogliati has already warned teammates of the chocolate peril. “They know this is a true test. Not only athletically, but mentally. They must at all costs avoid the addictive Swiss sweets.”
Medical opinion on the chocolate temptations is decidedly cautious. “Is Switzerland a danger zone for diabetics? Without question,” said Richard Insulineri of the American Diabetes Lab. “I would be extremely wary of that kind of athletic event given the risk factors.”
Team CEO and founder Phil Southerland was not overly concerned. “The participation in the Tour de Suisse is a further step for us in our global mission of showing people that they accomplish their dreams despite diabetes,” said Southerland. “I think we can say yes to the race and no to the chocolate.”