Hernando caught up with Linda Jackson, the Manager/Director of the TIBCO team, on the day all the teams bikes were purloined, and subsequently returned in Boise, ID at the start of the Exergy Tour. Despite being a Canadian by birth Jackson has been residing in Northern California most of her adult career. Much like Evelyn Stevens Jackson worked in finance for many years before taking up cycling. Once she turned her focus to the bike she became one of the worlds best and represented Canada at the Olympics and was part of the legendary Saturn cycling team. Jackson started the TIBCO squad in 2006 and has been refining the program ever since to help grow women’s cycling. Hernando and Linda discussed Exergy Tour and the state of women’s cycling.
How does it feel to have international racing returning to Idaho?
The era of the old Ore-Ida stage race,( then PowerBar and Hewlett-Packard) marked some terrific stage racing in the U.S. I am hopeful that this new Exergy stage race will turn into the same kind of race, and fill the void left when this race ended.
As a woman who has seen so much change in women’s cycling over the years, how would you rate the health of women’s cycling in the US and beyond?
I have mixed feelings on this. Having Exergy start is fantastic, and certainly a sign of the health of women’s cycling. We need these races, but we also need attention from the media and the race organizers. I was trying to watch a women’s race on the internet recently, and was really disappointed when, after the coverage of the woman’s race, they left the camera on the podium waiting forever for the men’s podium while they could have been filming the women’s race. Women are such great ambassadors for the sport, sponsors should be taking advantage of this.
Will Megan Guarnier’s selection to the 2012 US Olympic team be a tick off of the bucket list of the TIBCO mission?
We have been over to Europe twice already this year in an attempt to help both the U.S, and our riders specifically, score precious UCI points. Our European campaign was a huge success, and it is really fulfilling to have been able to acomplish our mission of helping our promising riders become top intenrational competitiors. Hopefully Megan does get selected, and that will be a huge reward for all of the effort we have put into women’s cycling over the past 7 years, and this year especially. I don’t see it as a tick-off though, I see it as the start of many success stories to come.
What’s the next 5 years of TIBCO’s future?
TIBCO and SVB have been fantastic partners, and they are really excited how we have progressed, both on the competive level and on the marketing front. They are in this for the long haul and we are already talking about the 2016 Olympics. North America will be important to us, and we will likely have a core group of races that we do in Europe. What those races look like will change year-to-year.
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