Newly-formed development team Canyon-SRAM Generation have confirmed they are finalising their roster and registration for 2022, after receiving over 200 applications from riders.
A development branch of Women’s WorldTeam Canyon-SRAM Racing, the team confirmed that 239 riders from 62 different nations applied for spots on the eight-rider squad.
“We expected quite some applications as the possibility to join Canyon-SRAM Generation was a unique opportunity, but we were overwhelmed by the number of applications,” said the team’s Diversity and Inclusion expert Christine Kalkschmid.
“Not only by the sheer number but also the fact that we had applications from so many different nations, from all continents, through a wide variety of ages, and from all different backgrounds.”
Announced in July, the development squad is part of Canyon-SRAM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and aims to support riders from nations currently underrepresented in the women’s peloton.
Canyon-SRAM Generation will be a Continental-level team, registered in Germany. It will be the first time a Women’s WorldTour team has had a dedicated development squad. Along with training, coaching and a structured race schedule, the riders will have stagiaire opportunities at Canyon-SRAM Racing, the team had announced when the application process began.
Among applicants from North America, Australia, and Europe, the team also received interest from riders from nations such as India, Brazil, and Ethiopia.
“The number indicates there is a high demand, and it shows there are many athletes all over the world that don’t get the opportunity to show their willpower and talent,” said team manager Ronny Lauke.
The selection process aimed to not only identify talented riders but also find riders who share the team’s ambitions for diversity and inclusion, Kalkschmid explained.
“Hence, we did not only request information about performance data and previous successes of the applicants but also about their values and goals and how they think they can contribute to the team’s success.”
Despite having over 200 applications to review, Kalkschmid was keen to ensure every rider was given fair consideration and reasoning for their rejection: “We all have unconscious biases that drive our decisions without us being aware of them. Therefore, it is very important to involve someone in the process who comes from a different background and asks different questions.
“That forces everyone to really think about why they want to take a decision in favour of one or against another person and whether this decision is really based on compelling evidence or rather on personal opinion or preference.”
The team expects to announce the final roster in January, before hosting a joint training camp with the WorldTour team.
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Matilda Price is a freelance cycling journalist and digital producer based in the UK. She is a graduate of modern languages, and recently completed an MA in sports journalism, during which she wrote her dissertation on the lives of young cyclists. Matilda began covering cycling in 2016 whilst still at university, working mainly in the British domestic scene at first. Since then, she has covered everything from the Tour Series to the Tour de France. These days, Matilda focuses most of her attention on the women’s sport, writing for Cyclingnews and working on women’s cycling show The Bunnyhop. As well as the Women’s WorldTour, Matilda loves following cyclo-cross and is a recent convert to downhill mountain biking.
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