Team reactions to Hentalla’s national title

Phil Southerland – CEO and co-founder, Team Novo Nordisk

I woke up on Sunday morning to the news of Joonas’ victory at the National Championships in Finland. This was the most amazing news I could have hoped to wake up to.

First, and foremost I am so happy and proud of Joonas for this victory. Joonas has been an invaluable member of TNN from day one and we have watched how he has matured immensely over the years.  

This victory is more than just a victory, it is a national championship and it is an affirming inspiration to all of us with a dream.  

Each year, Joonas has had the goal of getting that Finnish champions jersey on his back and when it didn’t happen he always reset the mark for next year. The same objective with renewed determination.

To see him succeed at his ninth attempt is confirmation that hard work, dedication, and never giving up on your dream, can in fact make that dream come true.

At TNN, we set ourselves the goal of winning this year. We desperately wanted to honor the life saving pioneers, Sir Frederick G Banting, Charles H Best and JJR Macleod at the University of Toronto, who 100 years ago invented insulin. Giving life and hope to all of us affected by diabetes.

We need to honor all those who have lost their lives and who have suffered from diabetes.  And we needed to make a statement on what the new age of diabetes is and what the future can be. Joonas Henttala winning the Finnish National Championship could not have been a more fitting way of doing that. 

In the last 100 years, we have been fighting to live, to thrive, and now finally to win. I believe this victory will be symbolic of the next 100 years of life for people with diabetes, a life of leadership.

This will be a great morale boost to the entire team and will give us all the confidence we need to tackle the second half of the season carrying our message to inspire, educate, and empower with our heads held high and our shoulders back. 


Logan Phippen: “I was thinking about Joonas today on my ride and remembering he had come really close to his title last year or the year before. To have my phone blown up with messages about his win after the ride was really amazing! I was so stoked! I am so happy for him, over the moon and stoked that his result and new title came through this year.”

Sam Munday: “I actually completely forgot that Joonas was racing Nationals today, so when I heard the news that he had won, I was absolutely stoked! I’m so happy for him as I know the disappointment he had last year coming so close to the win. So today was redemption and It feels like a big win for all of us and the entire diabetes community! It’s a day to remember and one that I’m sure has fired everyone up with even more determination to keep the victories coming”

Hamish Beadle: When the message came through on the group chat about Joonas, it was unreal to hear. It’s been a difficult year so far, and for Joonas to get the win is bloody great. Having a national jersey in the team will be a moral boost for sure heading into the next races. Stoked for him!

Oliver Behringer: Nationals are always hard races. I started my nationals and gave my everything but I couldn’t fight at the front. I was disappointed but when I got back to the car and saw the message that Jono won his jersey I was happy again. It is such a strong message to get national champion and I know Jono tried so many years and got so close to winning. Now he has done it and showed that if you pursue your dreams, they become true!

Gerd de Keijzer: Sitting at home with a knee injury and building up to get back to the races again can’t get any better motivation then seeing your team mate Joonas winning the national road championship of Finland. Well earned Jonno, well deserved. We are proud of you!

Sam Brand: When I first met the team, whilst I was on the elite/Tri team, Joonas was the first rider I was introduced to. Ever since that day I’ve seen the hard work he puts in day in and day out – his commitment, his resilience and his dedication. The times he’s come close, the effort he always has, has finally been rewarded. This is a culmination of all that hard work and I cannot wait to ride along side the new Finnish National Champion. What a guy.

— tnn to www.teamnovonordisk.com