Rasmussen College to host women's cycling summit

Tuesday, June 19, cyclists from across the country will gather at the Rasmussen College Women's Cycling Summit, the first event of the 2007 Great River Energy Bicycle Festival, held in conjunction with the Nature Valley Grand Prix.

The women's summits, which began in 2003, provide a forum for the discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing women's cycling. This edition of the Summit will include the presentation of the Ryan Collegiate All Stars Team, an overview of Cycling Made Real by one of its national leaders, and a panel discussion on developing major sponsorships for teams and events. The conference will be chaired by Rebecca Anderson, an advocacy project manager at Trek Bicycles.

Given that collegiate cycling has proved a major entry point for women into the sport, the Nature Valley Grand Prix will showcase collegiate cycling by hosting the first-ever Ryan Collegiate Women's All Stars Teams. Six elite racers from colleges across the country were selected at the USA Cycling National Collegiate Cycling Championships in May.

Christina Dekraay, a national leader of Cycling Made Real, will be the keynote speaker. The Cycling Made Real started in 1995 and organizes women's clinics and entry-level racing series to remove barriers and make the sport more welcoming to women. Minnesota Cycling Made Real participants will be invited to join in a "town hall meeting" following Dekraay's address.

The final session features a panel discussion on how programs and events can recruit and retain corporate sponsors. Panelists Dan Stangler (Wheaties), Stephanie Scott (Jelly Belly Candy Company), and David Kutoff (Materials Processing Corporation) will offer unique insider views of the goals of corporate sponsors and how their decisions are made. Tom Schuler (Team Sports) and Michael Aisner (promoter of the fabled Coors Classic stage race), two of cycling's most successful sponsorship hunters, will share their expertise and offer invaluable tips. The panel will field questions from the audience in an open forum.

For more info, visit www.womencyclists.com.

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