Cherie Pridham didn’t have to wait long before celebrating her first victory as a WorldTour sports director.
Former pro Pridham made history earlier this year when she became the first woman to take on a sports director role in a men’s WorldTour squad with Israel Start-Up Nation.
After taking up her seat behind the wheel of the team car earlier this month, Pridham has been guiding the Israeli WorldTour squad through an unforgettable edition of Tirreno-Adriatico, a prestigious Italian stage race that is both a preparation race for bigger goals and a significant target for teams in its own right.
After the opening five stages were dominated by just four star riders, stage six came down to a five-rider breakaway sprint, with Mads Würtz Schmidt taking the biggest win of his career for ISN.
The team have since shared a video of the emotional celebration from inside the team car, as Pridham took her first victory as a DS since joining the men’s WorldTour.
Pridham, a former pro who has a long history of running men’s teams, recently announced the closure of her British Continental squad Vitus Pro Cycling, after 11 years of running Conti outfits, as she joined the WorldTour.
Announcing her new role last December, Pridham said: “I feel truly proud and privileged to be the first woman to serve as a sports director at the WorldTour level, joining one of the best teams in the world and being entrusted with great and legendary riders.
“So, for me, I want to get it right because when I do, I know that it will inspire others to take the same journey and that really does mean something to me.”
On stage one of Tirreno-Adriatico Pridham guided Israeli rider Guy Niv through the day’s breakaway, and while ISN were not able to compete for the win, the squad acknowledged the efforts of both Niv and Pridham.
Speaking after the opening stage, Pridham said: “Guy did a fantastic job in the breakaway all day, and it also allowed me to get back into the heart of things. I had a little bit of apprehension, of course, but I had to put it away pretty quickly.”