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Following the Alfredo Binda World Cup and the Women's Tour of Flanders on Sunday, the UCI has announced that The Sufferfest, producers of indoor cycling training videos, will become the first major sponsor of the UCI Women Road World Cup.
With the World Cup races to be broadcast on channels such as the BBC [United Kingdom], RAI Sports [Italy], NOS [Netherlands] and Canal + [France], the partnership is a sign of the UCI's commitment to grow women's racing and ensure wide exposure of the sport.
An aspect of the partnership is that Sufferfest messages are to be included in promotional clips for the UCI Women Road World Cup on TV and online. As well, Sufferfest and the UCI will work together to promote women in cycling including the development of concepts such as a UCI Women Road World Cup day which will then be advertised throughout the network of gyms the Sufferfest engage with.
Speaking of the new the partnership, Brian Cookson, UCI President, said: "The Sufferfest is well known for their effective training videos and the UCI Women Road World Cup is one of the most challenging series in any sport, so there is a natural synergy between our respective organisations. Bringing them together makes perfect sense.
"Following the recent announcement relating to enhanced broadcast coverage, this is another significant development for women’s cycling and we will continue to build on the momentum we have established"
For David McQuillen, founder of The Sufferfest, the partnership is a further sign of the company's commitment to women's cycling.
"Our short history shows the commitment we have to women’s cycling and this new partnership with the UCI is a natural progression for us. Three years ago we created a cycling training video featuring women's professional racing and since then we've continued to build on our content featuring the best female cyclists in the world," McQuillen said.
"We have also sponsored several women’s teams and we were the first corporate backer of Half the Road, a new documentary on Women's Pro Cycling. We are now looking forward to our investment supporting the UCI Women World Cup and continuing to assist with the growth of women’s cycling."
Since the election of Cookson as UCI president last September, he has appointed the first women UCI Vice-President in Tracey Gaudry, created a Women’s Cycling Commission and appointed at least one woman to every UCI Commission.