The Cyclists’ Alliance announces a mentor program with industry partners
The Cyclists’ Alliance, the cycling union that has been instrumental in developing the women’s side of the sport, has announced a new mentor program that collaborates with ‘Podium Partners’ Cannondale, Liv Cycling, Specialized, SRAM, and Trek. The program has three different pillars to assist riders in every stage of their career, from junior riders looking to join the professional ranks, to retired cyclists hunting for a new career.
The goal of ‘TCAMP’, The Cyclists’ Alliance Mentor Program, is to create sustainable change within the sport. Riders will be able to connect with other professionals as well as members of the industry to learn about being a leader, how to contact teams, and what it’s like to work for a cycling company.
TCA broke down a cyclist’s career into pre, mid, and post. The pre-career members are those racing in the junior and U23 ranks, as well as riders out of contract, who will be able to learn from mid- and post-career riders about how to write a proper resume to send to teams, advice on talking to potential teams, and general pointers when it comes to levelling up in the sport.
The way women’s races are broken up there is a disconnect between the junior level and the elite. While the men’s side of the sport has U23 races on the road, the women do not. A lot of girls looking to race professionally don’t have a clear path for how to get there. The gap between WorldTour teams and the smaller teams is more of a chasm.
“I know we like to think we’re blazing our own trail, but quite often someone has walked the path in front of us,” said Lauretta Hanson, current professional for Trek-Segafredo. “When they turn around to guide us, it helps to make the path wider so more people can follow.”
For retired cyclists, or cyclists on the verge of retiring, TCA will connect those individuals with brands in the form of internships to gain experience working in the cycling industry. This part of the mentor program will help retiring riders transition out of the sport but will allow them to remain within the cycling community.
“To drive lasting change in the cycling industry and make it a more equitable place for women, we need more women in decision-making positions,” said Gracie Elvin, recently retired professional and co-founder of TCA. “Too many professional cyclists want to take that step, but leave the cycling family due to not being effectively equipped or enabled. We want to change that.”
Many women who retire from professional cycling leave the sport for good. Finding jobs within the industry can be daunting, and there aren’t as many opportunities for retired female riders as you’d think.
“Through our Podium Partners we are able to offer access to industry-leading knowledge and open the door to opportunities; to empower our high-performing professional athletes and to give those brands the benefit of their immense knowledge in a mutually-beneficial arrangement that delivers long-term impact,” Elvin said.
For more information on TCAMP, check out The Cyclists’ Alliance website.