Cherie Pridham becomes first female directeur sportif in men's WorldTour with Israel Start-Up Nation

Cherie Pridham
(Image credit: Israel Start-Up Nation)

Cherie Pridham will become the first female sport director in the men's WorldTour when she joins Israel Start-Up Nation next season. 

A former pro herself with a 15-year career, Pridham established herself as a leading director and manager at the UK team Raleigh. She went on to become the owner of the team but her new role will see her direct some of the most successful male riders in the world, including Chris Froome, Michael Woods, and Dan Martin.

"I feel truly proud and privileged to be the first woman to serve as a sports director at the WorldTour level, joining one of the best teams in the world and being entrusted with great and legendary riders," said Pridham.

"So, for me, I want to get it right because when I do, I know that it will inspire others to take the same journey and that really does mean something to me.

"My role is Directeur Sportif, not Female Directeur Sportif, and I know that I'll be expected to concentrate on that aspect. I'll be tackling the very same issues as my colleagues – I’ll make the same mistakes and have the same successes too."

Team manager Kjell Carlstrom underlined Pridham's credentials and welcomed her to the team. 

"She has what is needed to be successful: experience and skills. I believe that Cherie will have a positive impact on our team and get the job done."

Pridham joins an already extensive list of sport directors at Israel Start-Up Nation that includes Rene Andrle, Claudio Cozzi, Dirk Demol, Zak Dempster, Oscar Guerrero, Lionel Marie, Dror Pekatch, Nicki Sorensen, and Eric van Lancker. Rik Verbrugge has already been announced as the team’s Sportive Manager for 2021.

"Cherie has the distinction of being the first female sports director on a men's WorldTour squad. She has earned this position through her experience and success in various roles on both women's and men's teams," said team owner Sylvan Adams.

"Cherie is a true professional and will have an opportunity to work with the very best riders in the pro peloton. I welcome her to Israel Start-Up Nation. I’m very excited for the coming season."

The Israel Start-Up Nation team have strengthened heavily over the last few months, with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome joining alongside Michael Woods, Patrick Bevin, Sep Vanmarcke, and Daryl Impey. 

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