October 20, 2005 – After three successful seasons sponsoring the Ford-Basis Women’s cycling team, Ford and Basis will be leaving women’s road cycling.
The team was founded in 2002 as a developmental team aimed at helping up-and-coming riders progress towards the 2008 Olympics. The team recruited primarily top collegiate cyclists. Each season, as the riders adjusted to the professional ranks, the team saw increasing success. 2005 saw the team’s achievements reach new heights, with the squad earning eight professional victories and over 20 podium placings.
Said founder Nicole Freedman, “The highlight of the past three years was watching these riders develop from top collegiate riders to some of the brightest prospects on the American cycling scene. It was an amazing group of racers and outstanding women.”
In 2005 alone, the team competed in over 100 UCI and National Racing Calendar races. Two members of the team placed within the top fifteen of the individual women’s NRC rankings, with Freedman in eighth and Chrissy Ruiter 11th. In the NRC team ranking, Ford-Basis ranked fourth out of more than 90 teams, a truly admirable result considering the youth of the squad.
“I am sad to see the team come to a close,” continued Freedman, “And yet I know the racers are all poised for exceptional racing careers.”
Next year, look for Katharine Carroll and Chrissy Ruiter riding in the colors of team Victory Brewing. Alisha Lion moved to Germany and is looking to race full-time in Europe, while Freedman and Kele Hulser are still seeking teams in the U.S. Meanwhile, Kristin Johnson will focus on mountain biking and finishing school, while Lauren Gaffney will be working to start a career in the law.
Ford-Basis riders logged roughly 14,000 miles of racing in their final year. Even more dramatically, they traveled nearly seven times that distance while criss-crossing the country between events. And they got to know many outstanding individuals on their journeys.
“The true gift was meeting and sharing the team with innumerable generous spirits,” Freedman concluded. “This team was made possible by a community of supporters; volunteers, host famililes, sponsors, promoters”¦ they are what this team was always about.”
Thank you to all of you that shared in the teams success.
Â· Our title sponsors, Ford and Basis (Source Marketing) for seeing the opportunities in and taking a chance on women’s cycling.
Â· The myriad host families who put up with our quirky habits.
Â· The countless volunteers who not infrequently found themselves using vacation time to scoop drink mix into bottles so we could have five minutes more rest.
Â· Every one of our 31 sponsors who provided us with the highest quality equipment and product and also constant encouragement and guidance.
Â· Each one of our donors who provided the extra financial support we needed so that we could attend one more race.
Â· The majority of race promoters, whose egalitarianism is unparalleled in most sports.
Â· All the racers who always raced with heart and who helped build this team: Heather Albert, Katharine Carroll, Kristin Danielson, Lauren Gaffney, Stephanie Hannos, Kele Hulser, Sarah Konrad, Alisha Lion, Kate Maher, Chrissy Ruiter, Nicki Wangsgaard.
Â· Our hundreds if not billions of loyal fans who diligently scoured our race reports for a morsel of real news. You all made racing fun and you always provided a great laugh.
Â· All the staff who “donated” their time to the team.
Â· And the many fans and spectators at the races.
Thank you to everyone who has made this team possible