Posted by Editoress on 04/27/20
Late last week, the management of the UCI women's team Bigla-Katusha announced that both title sponsors were withdrawing funding due to financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which puts the future of the team in doubt. The riders responded with a very classy statement, thanking its sponsor for their support:
To all our valued team partners,
Bigla has been a tireless supporter of the squad since 2005 and its financial support has allowed this team to grow and develop many of the top riders within the peloton today. It is our first year working with KATUSHA - a fantastic clothing company who designed the most beautiful, comfortable, and functional kit anyone can ask for. It has been a joy to represent and work with both partners. Therefore, we were saddened to recently learn that both Bigla and KATUSHA, our main title partners, have told the team that they are in a position where they are not able to commit their usual financial support to the team during the current crisis.
Our squad is a strong group of women, both in terms of physical ability and character. We are committed to one another - united in our passion for the sport and our desire to be one of the top women's teams in the peloton. We haven't yet won that big race, but every time we toe the start line, we get a little closer. We attack. We light up races. We are relentless. And we are learning and growing in ability and confidence. We know that success comes through the work of the team, and it is our united front and willingness to sacrifice that makes us stronger.
We have integrity and compassion. We honor our commitments and do everything we can to meet expectations. When the pandemic hit, riders who were in medicine put their lives on hold to return to the hospitals. Riders deliver food to the poor and elderly in their communities. We are more than just bike racers. We are kind, caring individuals.
It is clear we are in unprecedented times. More than ever, right now is the time for each and every one of us, both companies and individuals, to show their commitment to one another. It is in hardship that we see what we are truly made of. We are fully committed to this team, partners, and one another. We hope our title partners will look back after this pandemic has passed with pride and be able to say they did everything they could to honor their commitments.
To the partners who continue to support us - from the bottom of our hearts - thank you. This team would not be what it is without your assistance. To the fans who have reached out to us offering encouraging words- thank you. We hope you have enjoyed watching our squad grow and race and hope that we inspire you both on and off the bike.
We don't give up. It has become our defining characteristic. And we will continue to fight, just like our scrappy racing style, to find a way forward. If there is a way you can help keep this dream alive, we will be forever grateful.
The riders of the Bigla-KATUSHA team,
Lizzy Banks (Great Britain)
Elise Chabbey (Switzerland)
Niamh Fisher-Black (New Zealand)
Mikayla Harvey (New Zealand)
Clara Koppenburg (Germany)
Emma Norsgaard Jørgensen (Denmark)
Nikola Nosková (Czech Republic)
Marlen Reusser (Swizterland)
Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Italy)
Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland)
Leah Thomas (United States of America)
Sophie Wright (Great Britain)
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