Barry Bonds, Gates Corporation, FirstBank, VF Corporation, Zwift join Colorado Classic’s effort to financially support women cyclists, even when racing is cancelled
July 23, 2020
Denver, CO (July 23, 2020)— Legendary baseball star Barry Bonds, Gates Corporation, FirstBank, VF Corporation, and Zwift are the latest to clip in or step up to support the Colorado Classic in their effort to support female professional cyclists during a time when most racing opportunities have been cancelled or postponed.
Despite extensive efforts to create a safe racing environment, the Colorado Classic last weekend announced the cancellation of their 2020 event due to COVID safety concerns. At the same time, the organization reinforced its commitment to women’s racing, and kicked off a two-week campaign intended to financially support the teams and riders who would have attended the August race.
Despite their professional status, many pro female cyclists rely on competition and prize money to support their livelihoods. During this global COVID-19 pandemic, those opportunities have all but dried up.
“Our Colorado Classic team has always felt a huge sense of responsibility to the athletes in the women’s peloton, and even though we canceled our August event, our commitment to the riders is unwavering. With the #WeRide for Women campaign, we are continuing our mission of elevating the sport of women’s cycling by still providing a (albeit different) platform for the athletes to receive exposure and opportunity for financial gain. This is not how we envisioned spending our energy at this time of the year, but we refuse to give up on this mission,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of RPM Events Group LLC.
Between now and August 1st, fans, industry, and sponsors will have the opportunity to donate to the #WeRide Team Development fund, which will be directly distributed back to the teams that would have competed in the Colorado Classic this August.
Colorado Classic’s sponsors remain committed to the event and its mission, and have kicked off the fundraising with generous $30,000 in contributions. FirstBank committed the initial funds of $10,000 to make the Team Development Fund a possibility, and RPM Events Group and the Gates Corporation committed another $10,000 each to help the organization towards its fundraising goal of $75,000 — which was the prize purse for last year’s race.
The fundraiser culminates in a virtual community ride on Zwift on July 29th, which is open to anyone on the Zwift virtual riding platform and will include world-class riders from all 16 teams previously committed to the 2020 Colorado Classic.
“I’m really pleased that Zwift is in a position to help support female racers who are suffering as a result of cancelled races,” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “We will be donating $5 for every rider that takes part in the #WeRide For Women virtual ride up to $5,000. There will be some fantastic riders joining us, so I encourage as many of you to take part and support those teams who should have been racing the 2020 Colorado Classic.”
In addition to the women’s pro peloton, some celebrity “Zwifters” have committed to clip in as well, including Olympic Silver Medalist and retired track World Champion Mari Holden, retired US road cycling champion Meredith Miller, and retired baseball star, Barry Bonds.
“I’m looking forward to supporting the Colorado Classic by riding in the #WeRide For Women fundraising ride on Zwift. I have been a team sponsor and fan of Women’s Cycling for years and applaud the management and sponsors of Colorado Classic for their continued efforts to showcase and financially support our athletes,” said Barry Bonds.
To join the Zwift ride with the professional and celebrity cyclists on July 29th or to donate to the #WeRide Development Fund, please visit https://www.coloradoclassic.com/zwift.
Committed teams include Twenty20, Rally Cycling, TIBCO/SVB, DNA Pro Cycling, Amy D. Foundation, Boulder Composite Team, Classic Cycling, Colavita/Cavailere d’Oro, Elevate, Femme Equipe, Illuminate, Fearless Femme, Lux, Point S Auto p/b Nokian Tyres, Squadra Elite and Wolfpack.
“While defending my title at the Colorado Classic was a huge focus for me this year, I am grateful the race organizers ultimately thought about the safety of the athletes in making this difficult decision, said last year’s race winner and 10 time world champion, Chloe Dygert of Team TWENTY20.
“With so much uncertainty right now, I am fully supportive and look forward to participating however I can in the #WeRide For Women fundraiser and will set my sights on the 2021 Colorado Classic.”
Contact:Anne-Marije Rook, [email protected]
About the Colorado Classic: The Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation is America’s premier all-women’s professional road cycling race taking place on August 27-30, 2020. Our goal is to be the best women’s race in the world while developing a year-round platform that celebrates and empowers female athletes. We are more than a race, we are a movement that is changing the world through the power of women’s sport.
About WeRide: We realize it’s not enough to just provide four days of competition, we have to develop a platform that celebrates the sport and athletes while creating meaningful connections in the community and business worlds. Building on our fundamental pillars of exposure, opportunity, and storytelling, we’re creating a platform that reaches beyond the roads we race on and stretches into the boardrooms of the world.
About the#WeRide Development Fund: A fund that supports the infrastructure around the women’s peloton. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, all cycling competitions around the world were suspended and athletes are missing out on critical opportunities to earn incomes while also finding themselves with less opportunity, and some teams are having to fold because of lost sponsorship, resources and support. For 2020, all money raised will be distributed among the teams that attend this year’s event.
About RPM Events Group: RPM Events Group LLC is a Colorado-based company committed to reimagining professional cycling events while providing meaningful social and economic impact. The company owns and organizes the Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation — a world-class women’s pro road race coming August 27-30, 2020. www.rpmeventsgroup.com