Team Ford-Basis stops as Ford MTB team continues

After three years sponsoring the Ford-Basis Women's cycling team, Ford and Basis will be leaving women's road cycling. The Ford-Basis women's team has stopped racing but the Ford Cycling Women's Mountain Bike Team will be back in 2006.

Team Ford-Basis was founded in 2002 as a developmental team aimed at helping up-and-coming riders progress towards the 2008 Olympics. "The highlight of the past three years was watching these riders develop from top collegiate riders to some of the brightest prospects on the American cycling scene," said founder Nicole Freedman. "It was an amazing group of racers and outstanding women."

Next year, Katharine Carroll and Chrissy Ruiter will be riding in the colours of team Victory Brewing. Alisha Lion has moved to Germany and is looking to race full-time in Europe, while Freedman and Kele Hulser are still seeking teams in the U.S. Meanwhile, Kristin Johnson will focus on mountain biking and finishing school, while Lauren Gaffney will be working to start a career in law.

"The true gift was meeting and sharing the team with innumerable generous spirits," Freedman added. "This team was made possible by a community of supporters; volunteers, host families, sponsors, promoters... they are what this team was always about."

David Myers, Director of Ford Cycling, nevertheless insisted that while it was necessary for Ford to consolidate its position in women's cycling this year, this unfortunately ended it's sponsorship of the Ford-Basis Team. "However, the Ford Cycling Women's Mountain Bike Team will be back racing in 2006," Myers said. "It is important that we make this distinction clear to our sponsors, the media, our fans and friends. We look forward to another great season of World Cup, NORBA, and regional racing with Ford 100 percent behind the athletes in their pursuit of athletic excellence."

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