Robin Farina, 2011 US National Road Champion and WCA President, began the presentation by thanking USA Cycling for the invitation and opportunity to introduce the WCA to the group, and the city of Winston-Salem for their hospitality and support of the cycling community. Next, Laura Van Gilder, who has had over 400 career victories in her 22 years of professional racing, gave an emotional and at times, humorous speech about her passion for cycling and her desire to see women’s cycling advance.Van Gilder said she is happy to be able to finally give back to a sport she loves, “by standing with the WCA.” Lauren Rauck Komanski, who is relatively new to women’s cycling, then spoke to the group about the rising interest of cycling among women, and the opportunities to expand the sport through these fans. Janel Holcomb, 2011 overall NRC Champion, then shared her story on how she broke into the sport of women’s pro cycling in 2008. Holcomb also spoke about the vision, mission and platform of the WCA, which intends to make pro cycling a viable career for women through increased media exposure, improved earnings, more quality races, support and development for youth, and acting as a unified voice for the women’s peloton. Farina wrapped up the presentation with the WCA’s 2014 plan to work with USAC, race promoters and team directors, media, and other organizations to continue to move the sport forward. After the presentation, WCA board members took part in a short Q&A with the group.
According to Farina, “feedback from the presentation was phenomenal and momentum is high as we go into the weekend to kick off our corporate and individual membership campaign.”
The idea of the WCA was born this past June, when a small group of professional women cyclists met to discuss how to create equality in women’s cycling through increased media exposure, equal prize purses, and a minimum salary structure which would allow women to focus on the sport of cycling as a viable career. As a result of this meeting, these women from the professional peloton put their team allegiances aside and joined forces to form a network and advance policy with governing bodies to propel the sport of women’s cycling forward with the creation of the WCA.Since the launch in August, the WCA is gaining momentum and support. The WCA recently secured a commitment from the Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic to provide an EQUAL prize purse for the women and men, and increased media exposure for the women through live streaming for the February, 2014 race, to be held in Merced, CA. The WCA has also supported the Le Tour Entier movement, and attended the Women’s Sports Foundation Annual Salute as a special guest of the Foundation. The WCA will also be involved in the US Bicycling Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony weekend, with an Open Forum event and bike ride, prior to the induction ceremonies on Saturday, Nov 16th in Davis, CA. With the official launch behind them, the Women’s Cycling Association is now on a roll toward the finish line, with equality in women’s pro cycling, as the ultimate prize.
Anyone who supports women’s cycling, and wants to see its advancement, can join or be a supporter of the WCA movement. For more information, please log onto www.womenscyclingassociation.com, follow the WCA on twitter @wca_tweet, or “like” the organization on Facebook at Women’s Cycling Association.
Donna Feazell: Grunduski Group—404-290-1929, email@example.com
Terri Grunduski: Grunduski Group—404-226-7497, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Farina, WCA President—828-719-1494, email@example.com
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