The U.S. national governing body for bike racing USA Cycling, today announced the launch of, and partnership with, a new American-licensed Continental professional women’s team called Cynisca Cycling.
The team aims to grow elite women’s racing in the U.S. by introducing a new American team to the European peloton in 2023. With a focus on developing the stars of tomorrow, the roster will mostly be made up of American riders under the age of 25. They'll be relying on USA Cycling to identify young riders with World level potential.
The Cynisca team was founded by businessman Jeff Jones —whose company, Solution Tree, is providing the initial funding for the team— and sports marketing professional Chris Gutowsky. Joining the team as the sports director is decorated American-French cyclist Marion Clignet.
Racing on the track and the road, Clignet's impressive palmarès includes six world championship titles, a world record in the individual pursuit that stood for four years, two Olympic silver medals, both U.S. and French national champion titles, and jerseys at both the Tour de France Féminin and Giro Féminin. She's been coaching professional and amateur riders and teams since 2003.
“In order to be the best in the world, you need to race with the best in the world,” Marion Clignet stated. "Cynisca will give young riders the opportunity to train and race on the world stage.”
The Cynisca Cycling team is based in France, with a service course located in the Château de Saint-Martory near Toulouse. USA Cycling believed that "racing in the European peloton will provide American athletes with the valuable competition experience they need to secure medals on the international stage".
This partnership is part of USA Cycling's strategy to meets its ambitious Olympic and World Championship goals in the coming years. Earlier this year, the governing body announced it has set the goal of winning 7-10 medals at the Paris Olympics in 2024 and another 12-15 medals at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, in addition to American athletes making it onto World Championship podiums.
“USA Cycling is committed to developing more women into elite cyclists, and this partnership is a critical step forward towards our long-term goals at the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. Thanks to Cynisca, we’ll welcome a new team of American women into the European peloton, and we’ll strengthen the next generation of up-and-coming riders," said USA Cycling CEO Brendan Quirk.
For 2023, Cynisca Cycling hopes to fill a roster of 10-12 riders who will compete a full road racing calendar of major European and American races as well as World Tour events when invitations can be secured. As the team progresses, they aim to maintain a roster that is at least 70 percent American.
“It is great news that another team will join the women’s peloton. As president for the UCI, I’m truly delighted by the progress we have made for women’s cycling. We have more teams than ever, and these teams are very competitive. We also have more high-level events that showcase the fantastic quality of women’s racing. Women have made a name for themselves in our sport, and every day amaze us with their performances. We look forward to following Cynisca Cycling as its riders embark on this new and exciting adventure," commented David Lappartient, Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) President.
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