Six-time cycling world champion, former world-record holder, two-time Olympic silver medalist and first woman to coach a Tour de France men’s team brings experience and true grit to team
Cynisca Cycling, a new pro women’s cycling team committed to advancing women in the sport both on and off the bike, is pleased to announce the appointment of Marion Clignet as the team’s first sports director.
“Marion is a great addition to our staff and has been thoroughly engaged from the start. It’s been a huge bonus to have her involved in the early planning stages, particularly with the athlete selection process,” said team founder and general manager Chris Gutowsky.
Six-time cycling world champion, former world-record holder, two-time Olympic silver medalist, both US and French national champion are a few of Marion’s victories. With more than 350 victories including stage wins and jerseys in the Tour de France Féminin and Giro Féminin, Marion is intimate with cycling from a rider’s perspective. Upon retirement in 2004 from her illustrious racing career, she began sharing her knowledge by coaching regional men and women and later became the first woman to coach a Tour de France men’s team as well as amateur and elite women. She is currently the deputy director of Cyclistes Professionnelles Associés (CPA), an international non-profit association of active pro riders.
“Marion has been inspiring young women cyclists for most of her life, showing what true grit and passion can do,” Gutowsky added.
Her appointment adds another female to coach and lead professional women cyclists. “Cycling is starting to change, but the sport needs more women in higher positions. The team and all the riders will benefit immensely from her long-term involvement in advancing women’s cycling.”
Marion’s cycling journey began at the age of 22 when she overcame a diagnosis of epilepsy to turn the challenge into motivation for a world champion’s cycling career. At the time, doctors told her not to drive or do any sports and to keep her diagnosis secret because it was taboo. The headstrong young Marion decided to use her bike to get around and ride 30km each way to work and back. She eventually found the right neurologists to suggest treatments with the least side effects, and she fought hard to push herself and not get caught up in self-pity. In fact, she fought so hard that she rode her way to world titles and records.
Marion knows what it takes to compete and win at the world tour level. “In order to be the best in the world, you need to race with the best in the world,” saidMarion about bringing more US cyclists to race in Europe. “Cynisca will give young riders the opportunity to train and race on the world stage.”
About Cynisca Cycling:
Cynisca Cycling, officially launching on July 20, 2022, is the only majority USA rider team that is US-licensed and UCI registered. Cynisca Cycling is working with partners at USA Cycling (USAC) 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 USA women cyclists participating in developmental programs to reach the highest levels of the sport through a full system of support, guidance, coaching and science.