A US-based amateur cycling team that is expanding internationally has turned to a crowdfunding website in an attempt to raise backing for its elite riders during the 2012 season. Initially, Team Traveller is looking to raise £6,000 through the website PleaseFundUs.
Founded in Lexington, Virginia, next season Team Traveller will be racing not only in the US, but will also have a squad based in Europe that will compete in countries including Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and Spain, plus an Australian team riding in Victoria and New South Wales.
On its page on PleaseFundUs, the team says it has “taken on several ex professional cyclists who have been cut from cycling teams without notice due to “financial issues.’
“We believe this isn't right or fair.
“We want to form a team which overcomes the transience of the pro cycling scene and provides a nurturing home for talent from around the world.
“To this end we have riders from the UK, Spain, Columbia, Moldova and Belarus. These guys wouldn’t normally get the opportunities we want to give them, but they deserve them.”
One of those riders is British cyclist and diabetic James Stout, formerly with Team Type 1, who has helped set up the European side of the team, and who talks about some of his own plans for the coming year on his Insulin and Embrocation blog.
The team admits that the £6,000 it is looking for via PleaseFundUs is a drop in the ocean compared to what it actually needs (its published budget for 2012 is around $150,000), but will help get the elite team up and running.
£4,000 of that will go on bikes (net of what is described as “a great sponsor deal”), £500 on licences and £1,000 on kits – Team Traveller’s zebra print outfits being inspired by those worn by Mario Cipollini while with Domina Vacanze.
There are incentives to get involved, too – a donation of £20 or more will get you a pair of gloves or socks and a social media shout-out, while £100 gets you a jersey, all the way up to £5,000 which gets you sponsorship space on the jersey plus rides and other events with the team.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.