It’s a fact that the Bikefood bottle you’re hopefully familiar with was dreamed up while lying on the pebbles of Nice. Scribbled down then forgotten about for a number of years.
It’s also a fact that the first Bikefood sponsored cycling team was a ladies team managed by Jon Miles. Jon being a founder of the UK Team Series and Squadra Donne being a composite team allowing for rider development and often used as a stepping stone for some famous names.
At the time we had a fair amount of pressure from managers of teams, solely focussed on the other gender group. They thought we were wasting our time. We were just fine with this, in fact it suited us just fine to be going against the grain and supporting what we saw was a worthy activity – something where our support would be gratefully received and put to good use.
Sqaudra Donne had a major triumph with Iona Sewell winning the Tour ta Malta in 2010 – this race is a staple of the teams’ calender along with other international races. It’s also an opportunity for the team to race against International teams, ones that are fully funded and race and train as a singular unit. It’s impressive stuff.
Not so long after we were contacted by the Wymans, Stefan and Helen – Stefan being the former director of Nicole Cooke’s Vision 1 racing and currently Directeur Sportif of Horizon Fitness, a dominant force in Women’s Cycling.
We sponsored Helen’s campaign for a full season where there were a number of top results and an extensive period spent in the states as part of the Kona Factory team. Helen was National Champion while we sponsored her, and the following season she moved sponsors to work with the partners to British Cycling.
And then there seemed like a sudden explosion of activity within women’s racing. New teams with well known or interesting new sponsors, the arrival of new leagues to race in and ultimately the inclusion of women’s racing to the TV schedule as part of the Tour Series. This was a development of a stand alone race the previous year organised and conceived by the Wymans.
All of a sudden there seemed to be a change in attitudes – the nay sayers were all of a sudden interested in the side of the sport that was previously dismissed. Now it was THE big opportunity, and teams that were possibly losing momentum could see some rapid growth, new races and new riders who had been inspired by the arrival of aspirational teams.
There was a sense of achievement in seeing the Johnson’s Tour Series featured on the TV, with much focus on Helen Wyman up at the front – there was a feeling of missed opportunity watching an ex-sponsor gaining the exposure craved so much by marketing types. For us the sense of achievement was that whilst ignored by the TV crews, we did in fact have not just one Bikefood sponsored team racing, but two, getting lapped by the elite – but giving it 100% and enjoying every minute of it.
Besides the racing side of things we’ve also been working closely with Emma and Claire of Cycle Cote d’Azur, Emma being Emma Davies (Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games Competitor and cycling commentator) and Claire being Claire Scrutton (International Triathelete) – both are advocates of our range of products, and we are delighted to say that Bikefood will be supporting the Filles a Velo training camp hosted by Cycle Cote d’Azur
here’s what Leigh from Filles a Velo has to say about the camp:
“this experience will be a full and whole package. It won’t just be going out and riding your bike all day every day. There will be a mechanic’s course, yoga, massage (optional extra), a goody bag, a meal every night where everyone gets together, all set in a modern, cyclist-friendly hotel. We’re aiming for a feeling of total inclusion; it’s about every single woman enjoying the camp and hopefully gaining something from it, no matter their individual goals.”
and a little bit about our involvement…
“Bikefood will be supporting all our nutritional needs. Emma, Claire and Cycle Cote d’Azur use Bikefood products for their rides and camps and I’m also a fan, so it seemed the obvious choice when we were looking for a nutritional sponsor.”
And it makes sense to us too. We are often looking for something different, and we feel our customers are the same. We found it in Women’s cycling, and we hope the women that use our Bikefood products have found it in us.
Squadra Donne / Shutt women’s racing team are racing with Bikefood nutrition through 2012.
Cycle Côte d’Azur have numerous rides through the year and use Bikefood products.
The Filles A Velo training camp with Cycle Cote D’Azur will have Bikefood on tap and in musettes.