Team Africa Rising

NewsWomen's Cycling

Team Africa Rising forms with ambition to change the face of women’s cycling for Tokyo 2020

AfricaRisingWomen3_1600_800_80_s_c1_c_t__1 (2)
views
2401

In exciting women’s cycling news, we’re pleased to report that the formation of the first all-African women’s UCI team has been announced. Team Africa Rising will race professionally for the 2017 season and will also sustain a rider development program across the continent.

Team Rwanda Cycling has been working across the African continent for almost 10 years and its main project has been the development of the highly successful Team Rwanda men’s national cycling team. In a relatively short space of time, Team Rwanda has become a respected name in road cycling and delivered several riders into the pro peloton.

There were only three women from Africa and not one woman of color in Rio and we are dedicated to getting nearer ten on the start-line in Tokyo! It’s time to literally change the face of world cycling.

Through their work in Africa, Team Rwanda Cycling have been aware of the rising tide of female cycling talent on the continent.

Sporting Director, Team Africa Rising Kimberly Coats said: “When I watched the Olympic women’s road race a few weeks ago and saw so few women from Africa, I knew it was time. Our goal at Team Africa Rising has always been to raise the level of cycling in Africa for men and women and when I saw how great the women were at our recent training camp, I knew we should now put a marker down and start getting African female talent into the same world.”

The focus isn’t only on winning: it is also to inspire women all over the world, women of colour, women from wide ranging cultural backgrounds, that they can be involved in sport and can achieve great things.

“We firmly believe these women can begin to race against the best talent in the US, Europe and Asia to demonstrate the potential of African cycling. We have seen with Team Rwanda how a dedicated, well-run program can flourish on this continent to allow riders to then go to the international scene and compete with pride.”

Team Africa Rising will consist of women from Rwanda, Eritrea and Ethiopia with several cyclists from other countries in consideration. The total squad will employ 10-12 cyclists and be coached by ex-US pro rider Sterling Magnell, who has been working with these riders and the Team Rwanda peloton in recent years.

The team will be based in the US for the first half of 2017, giving them access to additional coaches, bike technology and sports medicine through a partnership with Mission Sports Group.

The focus isn’t only on winning: it is also to inspire women all over the world, women of colour, women from wide ranging cultural backgrounds, that they can be involved in sport and can achieve great things.

Kimberly finished by saying: “The sport of cycling for women is growing rapidly and hopefully sponsors will see the long term potential for supporting women’s cycling. The women from these countries in Africa will bring a whole new dynamic to the sport. We must help these women improve their opportunities and thereby their lives. There were only three women from Africa and not one woman of color in Rio and we are dedicated to getting nearer ten on the start-line in Tokyo! It’s time to literally change the face of world cycling.”

Team Rwanda Cycling are actively looking for a lead sponsor for the team and several other opportunities exist to work with Team Africa Rising in terms of equipment and support of the team. Please contact Kimberly on africarisingwomen@gmail.com for more details.