While the Primal-MapMyRIDE p/b BH Bikes women’s cycling team officially disbanded at the end of the 2012 season, the riders are continuing on as a self-supported team this season.
"When we realized that the team would not continue because of no funding, I stepped in with the idea," said Nicky Wangsgard who’s acting as team director. "We had so many riders without a home. With no funding, we had to get more creative."
Is it doable?
"I don't know [yet]," admitted Wangsgard.
While many expenses will be paid through raising funds and out of the riders’ pockets, Wangsgard said some of the team’s previous sponsors have stayed on.
"Luckily, we have some wonderful prior sponsors who want to help us fulfill our mission," said Wangsgard, explaining that Primal will provide them with the cycling clothing they need and BH will support them with bikes. Other sponsor support is coming from ProGold, Enzos Button, Sidi, Smiths Optics and Enve wheels.
The team’s goal for 2013 is to do more than race bikes. They’re giving back to the sport by making it their mission to develop future cyclists by promoting cycling at all levels.
"Our goal is to promote cycling at all levels by educating future cyclists at 10 intensive clinics and model positive race tactics," said Wangsgard. "The riders on this team have committed to racing with this new mission because they truly love the sport and want to do more than just race their bikes. Most female cyclists do not travel to the big national races because they cannot afford it. Promoters are always wondering how to attract more women to their national race. We are in the same situation as most female cyclists. We believe that as a team we can raise money and give back to the community each step of the way."
The team is using gofundme.com to raise funding to kick start these race clinics held in conjunction with the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar and USA Crits series.
"Women's racing needs a team like ours around. We could develop the next Tina Pic or Kristen Armstrong," said Wangsgard .
In addition to Wangsgard, the small 2013 roster includes Americans Kori Seehafer and Tiffany Pezzulo, Canadians Joanie Caron and Steph Roorda and German Melina Bernecker.
"We will be small," said Wangsgard. "But as a team we believe that we can win big races against the big teams."