Voxwomen are pleased to announce that we will be working with the newly formed Team Africa Rising Women’s team, bringing you exclusive Vox Diaries from the riders throughout their first season.
Upon learning of the women’s Africa Rising team and hearing the stories of the journey these women have undertaken to ride their bikes, Voxwomen were extremely keen to become involved.
Kimberly Coats, the teams Sporting Director said: “Team Africa Rising is very excited about documenting this new chapter in women’s cycling for Voxwomen. We all have stories and these women, who have overcome incredible odds to even make it to the professional levels of cycling have some of the most dramatic of stories. It will be exciting to have Voxwomen follow our progress from inception to racing in 2017”.
Team Africa Rising has been working across the African continent for close to 10 years with their main project being developing the highly successful Team Rwanda men’s national cycling team which has become a world-renowned brand in cycling and has now delivered several riders into the pro peloton.
Through their work in Africa, for several years they have been aware of the rising tide of female cycling talent on the continent.
Kimberly Coats said: “When I watched the Olympic women’s road race a few weeks ago and saw so few women from Africa, I knew it was time. Our goal at Team Africa Rising has always been to raise the level of cycling in Africa for men and women and when I saw how great the women were at our recent training camp, I knew we should now put a marker down and start getting African female talent into the same world. We firmly believe these women can begin to race against the best talent in the US, Europe and Asia to demonstrate the potential of African cycling. We have seen with Team Rwanda how a dedicated, well-run program can flourish on this continent to allow riders to then go to the international scene and compete with pride.”
Team Africa Rising will consist of women from Rwanda, Eritrea and Ethiopia with several cyclists from other countries in consideration. The total squad will employ 10-12 cyclists and be coached by ex-US pro rider Sterling Magnell, who has been working with these riders, and Team Rwanda, in recent years. The team will be based in the US for the first half of 2017, giving them access to additional coaches, bike technology and cutting edge sports medicine groups through our partnership with Mission Sports Group.
Their focus, outside of winning, is to inspire women all over the world, women of colour, women from various cultural backgrounds, that they can be involved in sport and achieve great things.
Kimberly continues, “The women from these countries in Africa will bring a whole new dynamic to the sport. We must help these women improve their opportunities and thereby their lives. There were only three women from Africa and not one woman of colour in Rio and we are dedicated to getting nearer ten on the start-line in Tokyo! It’s time to literally change the face of world cycling.”
Voxwomen are looking forward to providing regular diaries, and watching the team progress through the 2017 season and beyond.