Ayesha McGowan will take a major step in her career as she has joined women’s WorldTour squad Liv Racing as a trainee.
The 33-year-old US rider previously set herself the goal of becoming the first African American woman to race bikes at elite level, and this signing is a major milestone as she joins the highest level.
Dutch team Liv Racing, formerly CCC-Liv, announced they will help support McGowan’s development by offering training and equipment before she is able to race with the squad from August.
Owner and team manager Eric van den Boom said: “We first met Ayesha at our 2019 training camp and now the Liv Racing team is thrilled to welcome her to our roster as a trainee.
“As Ayesha works with our team resources, including ongoing training and monitoring, we look forward to investing in her development.
“We will aim to guide Ayesha as well as possible including equipment, training programmes and our knowledge and expertise. In this way we hope to take her to the next level in her career, just as we have done with many other talents before. Together with Ayesha we are excited to get started.”
McGowan had been competing with Liv Racing in the US, but the new announcement means she will race with the WorldTour team around the world.
McGowan said: “Thank you to everyone who helped me get this far, it’s the beginning of another journey and as always I’m gonna give it my all.
“August is right around the corner! There’s work to do!”
National governing body USA Cycling also paid tribute to her achievement, saying: “Congratulations Ayesha for being named to the Liv Racing WorldTour team as a satellite rider starting in August.
“Ayesha will be the first African American woman to be part of the UCI pro peloton, making history and achieving the goal she set.”
McGowan has also been a huge advocate for improving the diversity and inclusivity of cycling, through her website and other social media platforms, The Quick Brown Fox.
Liv Racing will make their season debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad later this month, while McGowan will join the squad in the second half of the season.