Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 5th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
(All photos: speithman on Flickr)
The Portland-based Veloforma/ZYM Professional Cycling Team is on a mission to become the best women's squad in America -- and then they plan to take on Europe.
one of many wins last year.
The team announced Friday that they're expanding their 2009 schedule to include the top races on USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar. That move is being done in hopes of becoming an official, UCI (the governing body of cycling in Europe) registered trade team in 2010.
Team Veloforma/ZYM made its mark last season with an impressive 63 wins.
Team owner (and owner of Veloforma Cycles) Mark Duff told me this morning that he'll send a full squad to nine major races this year including the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the Oregon Pro Cycling Classic (formerly the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic), the Liberty Classic in Philadelphia, the Manhattan Beach Gran Prix, and others.
(Courtesy Mark Duff/Veloforma)
Duff says he's negotiating with business owners in Europe now about possible sponsorship deals that will help him raise the estimated $250,000 it will take to field a team (which includes $17,500 just to apply to the UCI).
home for racers on the road.
"As long as the economy doesn't get too much worse, hopefully I'll have something sealed up by August of this year."
Once they've completed their tough 2009 schedule and they've gotten a green light from the UCI, Duff's plans for 2010 will be to have a two-pronged attack, with 5-7 women racing regularly on the domestic scene and 5-7 doing a full European schedule.
Five members of the Veloforma/ZYM Pro Cycling Team are from Portland but Duff has added racers from Arizona, Washington and Texas to the roster.
Duff says the emergence of this team is just the latest sign that Oregon is becoming a racing hotbed.
"With Oregon emerging as a cycling mecca, the region is the ideal environment to produce a high-caliber program ours. Oregon has become a hot spot not only to race, but we've seen a huge influx of bike industry coming here and a lot of talent moving here from other countries. It's a snowball effect.
I think people will look back in 10 years and say, 'Wow, I wish I was in Oregon'."
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