EF Pro Cycling and Cannondale have announced two new college development programs aimed at improving racial diversity in the sport of cycling.
One program will be established at a historically Black college or university (HBCU), while the second will be established at a tribal college or university (TCU).
“We believe that cycling is for everyone. Yet, in reality, not everyone feels welcome or has access today,” said Mary Wittenberg, president of EF Pro Cycling, in the team’s press release. “We want to help increase diversity in our sport, starting with racial diversity in cycling in the USA.”
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The team cited St. Augustine University’s cycling team, recently established for a similar purpose, as an inspiration for its own initiative.
USA Cycling will also be contributing to the programs.
“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,” Rob DeMartini, chief executive officer of USA Cycling, said in the press release.
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The two programs will support co-ed cycling development teams and will initially run for three years, starting in 2021—though there’s hope of supporting them beyond that. The first year of each program will kick off with “equipment, funding, and mentorship” from EF Pro Cycling and Cannondale.
Along with the creation of collegiate cycling teams, the programs will also look to “foster inclusivity, community, and adventure.”
Funding to support the programs will be raised by raffling off two limited team edition road bikes that were ridden by EF Pro Cycling riders in this year’s Giro d’Italia. The two winners will be announced sometime in December; more details on how to enter the raffle will be disclosed soon.
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