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Heavy Stories

We All Have Our Reasons


Cycling is many things to many people. For some of us, it is everything, an endless obsession.

The one thing we all have in common is an ever-evolving relationship with riding. For all of us, cycling comes and goes, ebbs and flows, sliding somewhere on the scale from constant compulsion to infrequent friend.

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We’re all at different stages on a journey, and we all ride for different reasons. We ride to get out of the house and into the world. To meet old acquaintances and find new friends. To the middle of the city or the middle of nowhere. It’s a time to be put to the test, to be your best or to enjoy hard-earned recovery and much needed rest. We ride to get away, to find space. To go nowhere in particular or to a single, special place. Lost in our thoughts, we find solace from the world. We reflect on what’s done and what is still to come.

One would think that this responsibility — that of spreading the word that yes, women are racing bikes and yes, they are finally lining up at some of the most well-known races in cycling —wouldn’t necessarily fall on the riders themselves. Alas, with COVID precautions limiting spectators from the sidelines and masks in tow off-the-bike and on the podium, securing a virtual audience is of the utmost importance — as teams generate their own publicity and hype, TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank included.

Dutch rider Eva Buurman, one of the strongest up-and-coming climbers who joined the team in 2020 after spending two seasons with Boels-Dolmans, is certainly hyped. She’s also prepared for the challenges that come with riding next-level courses. “Paris-Roubaix is a difficult ride, but we’re ready for difficult things,” she says, adding that it feels great to be back with the team on the road. “I spend more time with them lately than I do my family. It’s a fun bond and a great chance to get to know each other.”

Tour of Solitude

Linda Jackson, former Canadian pro and founder of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank says that watching the California-based team prepare for whatever may happen this season has been really rewarding. Linda, like Faulkner, left her full-time job as an investment banker back in 1993 to chase after her sporting dreams, ultimately winning the bronze medal at the 1996 World Road Racing Championships and going on to race at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.

“Cycling is finally giving women a platform to say, ‘we can do this too,’” adds Linda. “But I think it’s going to take some time before people realize how huge this is. The media exposure attached to these races is something we’ve been fighting for decades. When people realize that they can watch women’s cycling more often — including the Paris-Roubaix — on TV, that will be special.”

“We believe that cycling is for everyone. Yet, in reality, not everyone feels welcome or has access today,” said Mary Wittenberg, EF Pro Cycling President. “We want to help increase diversity in our sport, starting with racial diversity in cycling in the USA. Success will require a comprehensive approach across the industry, so we turned to USA Cycling to talk about how we could best target our energies in concert with others looking to help from grade school to masters-age athletes.”

“USA Cycling, as the Governing Body for our sport, believes we have a unique opportunity to grow participation in cycling. As part of our investment in rebuilding Collegiate Cycling, we are thrilled to be starting this program with EF and Cannondale. Cycling has many of the challenges seen across our society today and we believe working directly with the HBCU and TCU communities we can begin to open doors with the help of partners in our industry,” said Rob DeMartini, Chief Executive Officer of USA Cycling.

Linda Jackson, former Canadian pro and founder of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank says that watching the California-based team prepare for whatever may happen this season has been really rewarding. Linda, like Faulkner, left her full-time job as an investment banker back in 1993 to chase after her sporting dreams, ultimately winning the bronze medal at the 1996 World Road Racing Championships and going on to race at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.

“Cycling is finally giving women a platform to say, ‘we can do this too,’” adds Linda. “But I think it’s going to take some time before people realize how huge this is. The media exposure attached to these races is something we’ve been fighting for decades. When people realize that they can watch women’s cycling more often — including the Paris-Roubaix — on TV, that will be special.”

“We believe that cycling is for everyone. Yet, in reality, not everyone feels welcome or has access today,”

Mary Wittenberg, EF Pro Cycling President

“We want to help increase diversity in our sport, starting with racial diversity in cycling in the USA. Success will require a comprehensive approach across the industry, so we turned to USA Cycling to talk about how we could best target our energies in concert with others looking to help from grade school to masters-age athletes.”

“USA Cycling, as the Governing Body for our sport, believes we have a unique opportunity to grow participation in cycling. As part of our investment in rebuilding Collegiate Cycling, we are thrilled to be starting this program with EF and Cannondale. Cycling has many of the challenges seen across our society today and we believe working directly with the HBCU and TCU communities we can begin to open doors with the help of partners in our industry,” said Rob DeMartini, Chief Executive Officer of USA Cycling.

Progress in the Making

Big viewership of events means more advertising revenue, but that’s a hard thing to generate when networks are hesitant to host female events, concerned about attracting eyeballs. Minimal media coverage of women’s events makes it difficult to attract event sponsors for funding. It’s a painfully frustrating cycle for riders and teams. The good news? The tables are turning. Year over year, the amount of airtime women’s races are getting on TV is increasing, and the viewers are tuning in with record numbers.

“We’re having to rely less on Twitter for results and updates,” said Emily Newsom, a classically trained concert pianist and rider on Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. “I’ve been in the states and still able to see my teammates racing, and that to me is a huge sign of forward progress.”

“It’s not important that we have races like Paris-Roubaix because the men have them, it’s important because the public recognizes it,” she said, adding that next to the Tour de France, this is likely to be one of the bike races that the American public has heard of. “We’ve been racing. We’re still racing. But now specifically more and more fans are starting to realize that women are racing bikes.

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Cycling is many things to many people. For some of us, it is everything, an endless obsession. Meet HP Staff



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