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May 23, 2017

Raising Money to Raise the Bar

So last year, we decided it was time to create a business entity that surrounds and supports our women’s elite racing team, Velo Classic p/b Stan’s No Tubes.  This has enabled us to channel our energy and our vision into what we ultimately want.  And while the more business-oriented verbiage is on the team site and in our donor fundraiser packet, this here gives a bit of insight into how I personally arrived here.  In thinking about how to define Fast Chance Women’s Cycling, Inc.,  I want to share my thoughts on our mission and summarize things that define a clear vision. This may best commence by sharing my overall thoughts and my own vision of what I dream of creating.

I believe the sport of women’s cycling deserves to be viewed on an equal platform as men. I believe in equal payout, television coverage, and I firmly believe in establishing standards of professionalism for a team that pays salaries, provides a professional environment both mentally and physically and helps women develop their athletic talents on the bike while preparing for the challenges of the working world, whether it’s in the cycling industry or elsewhere. I believe in equality for women as a basic principle, and see this as an opportunity to do our part to engage like-minded individuals to contribute, participate and engage in our journey to help lead the way in establishing a new framework for how women’s professional cycling can be viewed and the opportunities it can provide.

While our team is developing into an elite squad whose immediate mission is to help develop the talented riders we already have, I also see it as an opportunity to be ambassadors for the sport and for young women and for young girls to empower and inspire them towards success in whatever they choose to do, whether it is athletics or academics. This is about creating a voice in an otherwise muted sport that is overlooked and considered a fringe part of the sport at a time when diversity, equality and rights are being challenged. Yes, women’s cycling is growing in popularity but the money from sponsors isn’t there yet and the expansion of the world calendar is happening to purely benefit the UCI and its bigger corporate sponsors. We cannot rely on this to help develop the image of women’s cycling or from USA Cycling for that matter- this is an agenda we need to take on and be leaders in. I believe that accentuating the diversity of women’s cycling- no we don’t want to be like the men- is a positive that can be leveraged towards people, businesses, media and other organizations.  And I believe there are numerous ways to achieve this that helps create a separate identity for women. I envision this becoming a UCI Continental Team and a UCI World Tour Team. This is a lofty goal, but it is the vision I have. I want to change the world of women’s professional cycling.

I do my best every day to honor and respect the riders on our team and their commitment to themselves and each other. They are relentless, driven, committed and focused; they are non-stop talkers with good senses of humor and take jokes well; they are caring and loving for themselves and their athleticism and towards each other as teammates and friends. And they are amazing role models for what can be accomplished when you continue to pursue your best regardless of what society and others tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing. I love each of them for who they are, not who they need to be or can become. I just simply want to contribute in some way to help them pursue the person they see when they close their eyes.

Please consider donating any amount to help out and read more about our mission here www.veloclassicstans.com/donate and here http://veloclassic.com/womens-elite-racing/

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