23 May 2012
The Exergy Tour proper begins tomorrow with the Prologue Time Trial. Today, the media kicked-off their Tour with the Pre-Race Press Conference. Local dignitaries and women’s cycling royalty were on hand to talk up Exergy as the big women’s event.
The big announcement at the beginning came from Boise’s Mayor David H. Bieter: police were able to recover all the bicycle’s stolen from Team TIBCO To the Top. The welcome news was a relief to those with a vested interest in this event leading forward women’s competitive cycling. It will also remove a distraction to the TIBCO racers. “We got back all the bikes which is a huge step in the right direction,” commented Megan Guarnier, TIBCO racer and member of the Olympic Long Team, “and it’ll be a big relief to the girls to get their bikes back.”
Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling, and Heather Hall, representing Exergy, made mention of the $100,000 purse in describing the importance of the Exergy Tour. Olympic gold medalist from 1984, Connie Carpenter was on hand to add her historical perspective in recalling the eight $1 bills she would receive for winning races. It was a excellent indication of the progress made and how far it will go with this event.
A more telling perspective, however, came from the initial origins for the event. “It goes back to last summer when the CEO of Exergy, James Carkulis, was at the Aspen Women’s Race.” described Hall, “The women raced for three days [but] the next day in the paper there was [no] mention of the Women’s Race. It lit a little bit of a fire because, as a father of three daughters, and someone who believes in the sport so strongly, he [Carkulis] saw an opportunity [for] change.” Carkulis created the vision of the Exergy Tour as a way to “elevate the level of the sport for women and create an opportunity for them to be on center stage because they deserve it.” continued Hall, “These ladies race just as hard as the men, they’re just as committed to their training and racing.”
Hall went on to say the Exergy Tour “is really to raise the bar for the sport. To allow the women to experience what the men do in professional cycling. I feel that, in our inaugural year, we’re excited to set the stage.”
One racer competing is Megan Guarnier, from Mountain View, CA. “This is a big step for North American Cycling. Bringing a 2.1 to the US is huge, it’s bringing the other European teams over here. I’d love to see in the future more of these UCI races over on US soil. The United States has a lot to offer.” Guarnier went on to say the team will review her role day-by-day. “We have such a strong team here that we can play a lot of cards. We need to have our team meetings about the courses for the rest of the week. I haven’t had a huge chance to recon them myself so, hopefully, our director has some good ideas about how we’re going to go about racing this.”
Powered by Facebook Comments