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Dominique Garde

Does anyone know of this rider from the 80's? I always remember him as being a diabetic who rode a number of Grand Tours. Not to downplay what Team Type 1 is doing (I lost my father to diabetes...) but I think Garde might have been the first rider to do what they're trying to do. Anyone else know about this?
Aug 3, 2010
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Garde was (is) indeed a Type 1 diabetic, and rode (and finished) the Tour several times in the mid-late 1980s. He was a teammate of Sean Kelly and Laurent Fignon, among others, and was known for being an all-rounder and strong team worker. I'm unsure if he ever rode the Giro or Vuelta, and about the details of his palmares.

As a fellow type 1 diabetic who started racing about the time Garde was racing as a pro, I was very interested to learn that he also had diabetes. I remember reading it in a short blurb in Bicycling magazine, but it seemed that Garde kept mention of his diabetes to a minimum, probably due to prejudices still floating around the pro peloton about limitations that diabetics were perceived to face.

Given the relative paucity of information about endurance sports and diabetes that I faced (at least here in the US) during the 1980s, it makes Garde's achievements that much more remarkable, and he truly should be seen as a trailblazer.

I'd be interested to learn what he's up to these days, if any French readers know.
Thanks for giving me a little more info....pretty sure I read the same issue of Bicycling.

Yeah, in hindsight, without the technology that the Type 1 guys enjoy now, it's pretty incredible what he was able to accomplish. I heard he rode around with a syringe of insulin in his jersey pocket and would occasionally have to give himself an injection on the go (how I have no idea).

I told my little nephew (who has type 1) about Garde...he was pretty pumped.


Just posting so that all of the homepage threads will have posts by me.
As a Type 1 diabetic myself I can see how difficult it would be for a diabetic on a big stage race such as the Tour.
You have to get things right in advance and what happens on one day will affect how you'll be the next. There is a delicate balance between food, insulin and physical activity that has to be achieved and maintained.
I have had a few moments while riding – including falling off a couple of times – because I have got it wrong.
Obviously a Tour is very hard anyway when it comes to food intake but diabetes would add that extra dimension.:D