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Ford/Basis Pro Womens Cycling Team Launch Sponsor Quest
By Vaughn Trevi
Date: 8/2/2005
Ford/Basis Pro Womens Cycling Team Launch Sponsor Quest

Nicole Freedman and Ford/Basis take a turn at the front.

So you always wanted to be a sponsor of a pro cycling team or support cyclists whose goal is the Olympics? Here's your chance for 2006!

Ford Basis Team

“If there is anything you need, just let me know,” said Gino Tenace a year ago, as he dropped me off at the airport. Gino, his wife Robin, and their two children hosted 6 Ford-Basis riders for a week as the team competed in Minnesota’s Nature Valley Grand Prix. This was the family’s first introduction to hosting professional cyclists.
How may times have host families uttered those generous offers, only to be seen seconds later skidding away from the airport curb, finally free of the last of the racers?
More than I care to admit.

The Tenace’s, however, are tenacious. 
Just weeks after the curbside offer, Gino and his wife Robin joined Larry Gies and Ross Pearlman, as donors to the Ford-Basis team.  Joining our main sponsors for our team like Ford-Basis in the race.

While millions of fans watch Lance Armstrong go for his 7th straight Tour de France victory, few are thinking about professional women’s cycling.
That is because most professional female cycling teams and individual racers don’t have a fraction of the financial resources as men’s pro teams do.  Private donors are so crucial to women’s programs, stepping in to fill the sponsorship gap.

While the deep sponsorship pockets of The Discovery Channel makes Lance’s quest possible, corporate sponsorship for women’s cycling is fairly lean.  In fact, most professional women cyclists struggle to make ends meet so they can compete in their sport at all. 
Folks like the Tenace’s, Larry and Ross help fill the financial void thus allowing women’s teams to pursue their goals. 
“My daughter is important to me, and it is important that she have good role models…I can’t think of anyone better than your team to fill that role” said Gino Tenace regarding his decision to make a cash donation to the team.  “Your team is made up of good people.  You were good to us, good to our family, and genuinely nice people.”

The Tenace’s recent donation is essential to accomplishing Ford-Basis’ team mission: developing up and coming talent for the 2008 Olympics.  Their exceptionally generous donation is earmarked for the Ford-Basis’ first international cycling tour, in 2006. 

Nicole Freedman

“While running the Ford-Basis team I often feel like I have an army supporting me emotionally, physically and financially,” says Ford-Basis team director, Nicole Freedman
The riders on the Ford-Basis Cycling Team noticed immediately the improvements that were made with help from families like the Tenace’s. 
Perhaps the biggest benefit from the Tenace donation was that the team could afford to hire their manager/ mechanic, Eric Jellum.

When the team stayed with the Tenace family in 2005 for the second year in a row, the family noticed a difference too. “The team was much more successful this year. We have been following you this season and seeing all of your successes.  Having Eric [Ford-Basis mechanic] on your team made everybody more relaxed and gave everybody a chance to focus on their racing.”  Said Gino Tenace.
Sometimes, support for the team comes from the most unexpected places. 

One donor, Ross Pearlman of Arizona, came to cycling after he nearly died of an asthma attack. (Technically, his heart stopped and he was momentarily “dead”)
“I owe my life to cycling.  Without it I don’t think I would be around due to my asthma. Even with all the medication I was on, nothing was helping until I got on a bike.” Said Pearlman.
 “I hope to be an inspiration to others like all of you are an inspiration to me… I honestly admire and respect everything you girls do.”
With Ross’s help, the women of Ford-Basis can afford to attend many of the races on the National Racing Calendar, a necessary step to gain experience for the 2008 season.   

The women of Ford-Basis are closer than ever to achieving their goal of earning a berth on the 2008 Olympic Team.  Corporate sponsors are crucial, of course, and coupled with the generosity of private donors the team can take the final step.

Ford-Basis is launching its 2006 fundraising drive this month with the goal of raising $60,000 for international racing trips in 2006.  Private donations will fund 100% of Ford-Basis’ first international racing tours next season.  If you would like to learn more about donating to team Ford-Basis, please email or go to:

Kristen Danielson at Tour de Toona

About Ford Basis Team:
Ford Basis was founded in 2003 with the mission of providing a supportive, nurturing environment from which to develop our nations next Olympians.
 Donations fund 100% of international racing tours with a portion being siphoned out into Nicole's tropical island (very) early retirement fund.
International experience is crucial to Team Basis' Beijing 2008 Olympic quest.

Starting as a team of three collegiate riders and two mentors, the team has expanded to include seven full-time professional racers. The youthful squad includes 24-year olds Lauren Gaffney, Katharine Carroll, Alisha Lion and Kristin Danielson, 27 year old Chrissy Ruiter as well as Kele Hulser and Nicole Freedman, age not to be disclosed anymore...

In its third season, Basis is currently the top ranked team in the country with an all-American roster. The team is ranked 4th overall, behind T-Mobile, Webcor and Quark. Leading the team this season, Chrissy Ruiter has climbed as high as 4th in individual standings.
Collectively the squad has earned:
15 US Professional and International Wins
30 US Pofessional Podium Spots
5 Collegiate National Championships
For complete results and rankings, check out

Sponsor statements,

"My daughter is important to me and its important to me that she have a good role model. I cant think of anybody better than your team to fill that role. Your team is a group of really good people. You were good to us, good to our family, and genuinely nice people."
Gino Tenace, Minneapolis

"Anything to get her to move out of the house already."
  Nicole's mom

"I've died from asthma...I literally died. I'm alive today because of cycling and I like to help people who dedicated their lives to cycling. I know you use every bit of money I give you. You are not going to buy plasma TV's. You are probably buying ramen noodles and plane tickets. I just want to help people who really need it..."
Ross Pearlman, Chandler, AZ

"I support things I admire. I expect the people I push along to be stellar people. You are very appreciative of everything. If I give a woman a waterbottle feed during a race, she will come back, return the bottle and thank me."
Larry Gies, Orlando, FL

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