A GoFundMe campaign for a new Australian domestic women’s cycling team has raised $120,350 (£70,800), over $20,000 (£11,766) more than its initial target.
Set up by Patrick Shaw, a former pro cyclist and directeur sportif of Australian women's team InForm TMX MAKE, the campaign seeks to fund a platform for young female cyclists to develop their talent.
“There is a lack of opportunity in sport for women as it is, let alone the considerable gap that remains in the sport of cycling domestically in Australia,” Shaw wrote on the crowdfunding page.
“We have an incredible opportunity to make a genuine difference for the current generation of young women cycling and the many generations to come after.”
In July, Shaw’s current team Inform TMX MAKE announced they would be folding at the end of the season citing a lack of commercial investment. Shaw set up the crowdfunding campaign the following month and immediately gained the support of the Australian cycling community.
The GoFundMe page received early contributions from a number of Australian pro cyclists, including Chloe Hosking, Grace Brown, Amanda Spratt and Luke Plapp.
Over the past weekend, two anonymous donations totalling $100,000 provided an almighty boost, pushing the campaign beyond its target.
With sufficient funds secured, Shaw can now embark on his mission to build a 14-rider squad, in the hope of becoming "one of the best teams in the world".
“We will give the athletes access to staff with a proven history of success at developing talent and sending them to the highest level in the sport.
“We genuinely believe that with the proper financial assistance, our supporters and we can be pioneers for the sport of cycling and young women cycling all over our great nation."
Shaw's current aim is to create a team in time to compete during the Australian spring and summer, with a particular focus on the Tour Down Under in January. He then hopes to travel to Europe to run a four-month racing schedule.
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