Last weekend saw the launch of the 2014 Shutt-Squadra Donne Ladies Cycle Racing Team. With members of the team ranging from 15 to 50 years of age, the team is renowned for being one of the most exclusive teams in existence.
Founded in 1998, Squadra Donne has been through several incarnations. Team manager and founder of the team, Jon Miles explains how different things were back then: “At that time there were no women’s teams in this country apart from the usual rag tag of club cyclists so I formed a team purely to get publicity for women’s racing and so sponsorship. We focused mainly on time trialling because at that time that was where Cycling Weekly gave most coverage as there was so little women’s road racing. Whilst we had major success winning the National 10 – 25 – 50 – 100 miles team time trial championship plus individual 1998 National 25 mile time trial championship, there was still little within the sport for women to become competitively involved in.”
The focus of the Shutt-Squadra Donne team has always been on nurturing talent and supporting women’s cycling. In 2009, cycling brand Shutt came on board as a title sponsor. Speaking at the launch last week, Pete Bragg, managing director of Shutt explained the reason for their involvement in the team: “As a growing British-brand we want to be continue to give back to the sport we love and this sponsorship is one of the many ways for us to do this.”
The team have had a great start to the season with two wins and another podium under their belts and with Jon Miles leading the way we are sure there is more success to come.
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