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
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
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
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.
“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
“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
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,
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
"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."
"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
Larry Gies, Orlando, FL