November 28/12 14:59 pm - Global Relay Launches $400,000 Cycling Development Program
Posted by Editoress on 11/28/12
Talented Canadian cyclists looking to one day compete in the world’s biggest races will have access to new funding and mentorship, thanks to a new $400,000 program called the Global Relay Bridge the Gap Fund, which will be funded by Global Relay and managed by Canadian professional cyclists Svein Tuft, Andrew Pinfold, Will Routley, Ryan Anderson and Erinne Willock.
Vancouver-based Global Relay provides the worldwide financial industry with cloud-based message archiving and compliance services. This $400,000 investment in cycling follows a five-year $1-million commitment the company made earlier in 2012 to bring back the Gastown Grand Prix - a legendary criterium held each July.
“Becoming the title sponsor and operator of the Gastown Grand Prix provided us with an in-depth look at the tremendous work and dedication it takes to be a professional cyclist and the sacrifices these young athletes have to make to get to that level,” said Warren Roy, CEO of Global Relay. “As Canadian cyclists work toward representing Canada internationally and racing professionally, we’re pleased to support their efforts and partner with five exceptional Canadian cyclists in Svein, Andrew, Will, Ryan and Erinne.”
According to Will Routley, who rode with Team SpiderTech powered by C10 in 2012, the Global Relay Bridge the Gap Fund will help bridge the gap between the amateur and professional ranks and national to international racing.
“The bottom line is that the cycling is extremely difficult, and assistance is not always easy to come by. When we saw the opportunity to improve the situation with the help of Global Relay, we were really excited. This will give us a chance to mentor younger athletes in the sport, give back, and share some of the experience we've gained, and truly make an impact on cycling in Canada.”
The Global Relay Bridge the Gap Fund will support cyclists between the ages of 19 to 25, which is a critical time in their career, as it is when many have left home and must earn a living. With many days spent racing away from home, and training consuming 30 or more hours per week, dedicated athletes typically have little time for employment and often resort to financing living expenses on a credit card, shirking critical off-season training hours to work, or quitting the sport entirely. Those who do stay in the sport often can’t access optimal coaching, physiological assessments, and equipment due to lack of financial resources. The Bridge the Gap Fund will help address those issues.
Riders in the fund will be selected the same way trade teams select riders. The Fund’s Board (Svein Tuft, Andrew Pinfold, Will Routley, Ryan Anderson and Erinne Willock) will look for athletes with the right mix of ability, determination and attitude that is required to be a successful professional athlete. They’ll then assess the rider’s need and allocate what they feel would best serve the rider in moving them to the pro ranks, be it supporting them financially with travel or stipends, supplying equipment, or coaching. Importantly, each rider will be assigned a mentor, which will keep tabs on the rider, support them and maximize their chance for success.
“We’ll also have our Board and contacts working to help them gain spots on professional squads should they be ready,” says Andrew Pinfold. “Victory for us will be when a rider signs a pro-contract for a living wage and graduates from the program.”
The Global Relay Bridge the Gap Fund is currently supporting 14 riders that were chosen based on recommendations of Provincial and National Team Coaches, along with team owners and directors, and some of Canada’s top professionals. Factors considered in the selection process were: potential to turn professional within two years, attitude, work ethic, results, and their need for support.
For more information, please visit www.GRBridgeTheGap.com