Team Plans to Bring More American Riders to Europe and World Tour Racing
As popularity of women’s cycling continues to climb, advocates of increasing the number of women at elite levels of the sport announced today a new American-licensed Continental professional women’s team, Cynisca Cycling. The team also cut the ribbon on its European service course at Château de Saint-Martory in France.
Cynisca Cycling is working with partners at USA Cycling and other independent North American teams to identify young riders with the talent, dedication and drive to compete at the World level. The team will inspire and elevate American women participating in developmental programs to reach the highest levels of the sport through a full system of support, guidance, coaching and science.
“In order to be the best in the world, you need to race with the best in the world,” said Marion Clignet, Cynisca’s Sports Director and six-time world champion, former world-record holder and Olympic medalist. “Cynisca will give young riders the opportunity to train and race on the world stage.”
Cynisca Cycling plans for the future
Initial funding for the team is being provided by Solution Tree, who deliver comprehensive professional development to preK-12 educators around the world. Cynisca is currently seeking and in negotiations for more sponsorship dollars as the team builds momentum.
For the 2022 season, Cynisca Cycling is sponsoring the USA Cycling women’s junior through elite national teams. Cynisca and USA Cycling are committed to working together, supporting the athlete development programs for women and creating more opportunities for them to progress to the elite ranks of pro cycling. As the separate Cynisca Cycling professional team progresses, it will continue to work cooperatively with USA Cycling on all fronts and strive to retain an athlete roster that is 70% American.
Negotiations are currently in progress with top, race-proven, American developmental athletes with talent identification efforts supported by USA Cycling. “We are finding very talented cyclists who are capable of competing internationally but simply haven’t had the opportunity and support,” said Chris Gutowsky, Cynisca founder and general manager.
In 2023, 10-12 female cyclists will compete in a full road racing program with Cynisca Cycling as a UCI-registered, American-licensed Continental professional women’s team. The specific race calendar is being developed with a European racing focus, including World Tour events. The schedule will take into consideration riders’ goals, capabilities and interests and also include major US races. Based on additional funding, the team will follow a similar program in 2024, but focus on World Tour events.
Supporters turn out for Cynisca Cycling launch
Supporters turned out for the launch event at Château de Saint-Matory welcoming more women into the sport as management, staff and athletes. Leaders in local tourism also attended with enthusiasm for attracting more cyclists and cycling tourism to the area.
Brendan Quirk, USA Cycling CEO, said:
“We couldn’t be more excited for Cynisca’s support of our Women’s National Team and Junior Development programs. 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.”
David Lappartient, Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) President, said from a pre-recorded message:
“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.”
“The UCI works very hard to develop women’s cycling and is glad of the support it receives for this mission. So, my thanks go to Jeff Jones and Chris Gutowsky, who had the vision to launch another pro cycling team in Europe. The Cynisca riders have a great name to live up to. I’m sure this will motivate them to reach for the stars. We look forward to following Cynisca Cycling as its riders embark on this new and exciting adventure. I wish you the very best of luck on the roads of Europe.”
Documentary filmmakers capture the event
Documentary filmmaker Jill Yesko and her crew were on site capturing footage for a new film on the history of the women’s Tour de France called Uphill Climb: The Women Who Conquered the Impossible Race. When she heard about the team’s launch plans this spring, she was eager to take part in what she sees as another historic time in women’s cycling.
“It’s exciting to see women’s cycling grow and flourish after a lull in recent years,” said Yesko. “Cynisca and USA Cycling will help make sure more US women are part of this history in the making.”
More on Uphill Climb at www.uphillclimbfilm.com
About Château de Saint-Martory, Cynisca’s European base and service course:
Cynisca Cycling’s European operational base will be at Château de Saint-Martory, a fully restored 16th century Renaissance property with the new Cynisca Cycling state-of-the art service course. When not in use by the team, the privatized property with its 12 bedrooms is rented on an exclusive basis for weddings, group cycling trips, vacations and seminars. The owner, Jean-François Delort invested in the Cynisca service course for the team and for corporate and private cycling groups. Guests will be able to use select shared space and enjoy the benefits of the professional infrastructure. Select groups may even have the opportunity to ride with athletes at the château. Saint-Martory provides the perfect location to ride the Central Pyrénées with Aspet, Aspin, Peyresourde, Tourmalet plus many more famous cols and the Garonne River valley only pedal strokes away.
About USA Cycling:
USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX. With a mission to develop the sport of cycling in the United States at all levels and to achieve sustained international racing success, USA Cycling supports cyclists from enthusiasts just beginning in the sport to seasoned professionals. USA Cycling has a membership of 100,000, annually sanctions over 2,500 events, and is a proud member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and United States Olympic & Paraolympic Committee (USOPC). More information is available at usacycling.org
- July 20, 2022