Stradalli Cycle was the official sponsor for the Colombian National Team at Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships and everyone was pleasantly surprised by how well the week went. The event took place in Richmond, Virginia and saw a crowd of over a half a million people and over 300 million television viewers worldwide.
What made this year special was that this was the first time since 1986 that the races were held in the United States. Interest in pro cycling has been on a steady incline over the past decade with leagues such as the USA Crits Championship Series gaining over 500,000 online viewers during their racing season. It seems that the sport is about ready to erupt in the United States and September was the perfect launch for it. First there was the conclusion of the USA Crits Series in St. Louis which saw a record crowd and the highest number of online viewers for any race in the season at the Gateway Cup. Then there was Interbike in Las Vegas, the largest bike show in North America. That same week saw CrossVegas which was the very first UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross Race in the U.S.
That led to Richmond 2015 which quickly gained the admiration of many foreign visitors who frequently travel to major races around the world. “Richmond did an awesome job. They had big crowds during the week, not just for the Elite races over the weekend. It’s not a big city but they were able to keep things very well organized, you never had major traffic problems or crowds too big for a particular venue. They did an awesome job and if this is the way cycling is received in the United States it is going to be here a lot more often.” Colombian National Team Official
The winners over the weekend for the Women’s Elite : Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) won and Anna Van Der Breggen (Netherlands) and Megan Guarnier (United States of America) rounded out the top 3. Men’s Elite: Peter Sagan (Slovakia) won, Michael Matthews (Australia) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania) rounded out the top 3. But Sagan and Armitstead were not the only big winners. Richmond 2015 along with the UCI enjoyed major success and Stradalli Cycle introduced itself as one of the top carbon bike manufacturers in the world.
“We have race teams all around the world. But we needed to make an impact, we needed to be able to prove to cycling fans everywhere that a Stradalli bike can go against any other carbon road bike in the world and that’s why I wanted to be a part of UCI World’s.” Stradalli Cycle CEO Tom Steinbacher
For Steinbacher this was an opportunity to make an impact on multiple levels. He agreed to sponsor the Colombian National Team to help put the name of his company out there, he agreed to supply the bikes used in the races to prove that his bikes can be in the Vuelta A Espana or the Giro d’Italia or even the Tour de France one day in the not so distant future. But he also saw the opportunity for his current pro racers to gain a first-class education so he flew them up to World’s and told them to learn.
“I have a young team and they have a lot of talent but I wanted them to see what the top cyclists in the world can do. What is going to teach them more, me saying something or them watching top tour pro Rigoberto Uran prepare for a race? That’s why I wanted them here, so they can learn from the best and
take that with them for the next step in their careers. When you see some of the top cyclists in the world using your bikes to go up Libby Hill you realize that you have something special and I want everyone on the team to know that.” Tom Steinbacher
Stradalli Cycle also grabbed some national attention at Richmond 2015, especially with their carbon road bikes and time trial bikes. Georgina Ruiz Sandoval featured the Stradalli bikes in numerous footage for ESPN Deportes at the races and former USA Olympic Medalist Dotsie Bausch road a pink Faenza during a shoot for
Universal and NBC Sports.
Success was enjoyed all around and the stage has been set for pro cycling in the US to have a major year in 2016.