TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank announced Thursday that they have signed back their core virtual racing team including overall winner of the Virtual Tour de France Lauren Stephens and overall winner of the V-SERIES Women's Tour Leah Dixon, along with Sarah Gigante and Kristen Faulkner for the 2021 season.
The American outfit confirmed that they are searching for a third partner to join the two long-time sponsors TIBCO Software and Silicon Valley Bank.
"We're pleased to announce contract extensions for our core virtual Tour de France squad," said Linda Jackson, founder of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank.
"It took a lot of commitment, perseverance, and teamwork to learn the Zwift platform and excel at it. Each of these women gave it every they had for their teammates, and that's exactly the type of rider that we want on this team."
Stephens is returning for her eighth season with TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. She won the second and sixth stage of the Virtual Tour de France and captured two third-place finishes.
"I'm looking forward to next season," Stephens said. "This has been an interesting year, to say the least, but it has been fun learning a new discipline together as a team. Our joint goal of winning the virtual Tour de France fostered a strong team bond even though we have spent months apart at home. I'm looking forward to continuing to race and train on Zwift as road racing begins again. I think we can expect that virtual racing will continue to be important to us as a team."
Dixon and Faulkner are both second-year signings at TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. Dixon had a strong start to the season, winning the virtual Women's Tour, and Faulkner burst onto the Zwift Virtual Tour de France scene the opening day, securing second place, and later taking two fifth places.
Gigante, 19, is one of the most promising young talents on the road circuit and secured second on stage 5 of the Virtual Tour de France. Gigante first made a name for herself in last January when she won the road race at the Australian Championships. She went on to secure the national time trial title in early 2020.
"I'm super excited to be re-signing with Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank," Gigante said. "I can't wait to learn more from my amazing team and to gain further experience racing overseas. 2020 has been great for us, despite some unusual circumstances, and it will be fun to transfer our cohesion from Zwift to the roads. My first goal of 2021 will be January's Australian Road Nationals, where I will be hoping to dust off the racing cobwebs and get the year off to a strong start in the road race and time trial."
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank has also extended contracts for Dutch track champion Nina Kessler and American Emily Newsom, and both played a key role in the team's virtual Tour de France performance.
Jackson said she is in search of a third partner to join the TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank programme in 2021.
"With this core group of women in place, we are now seeking a third partner to join TIBCO Software and Silicon Valley Bank (NASDAQ SIVB) to enable our team to acquire world tour status," Jackson said. "We have had very successful partnerships with TIBCO and Silicon Valley Bank since 2005 and 2006, respectively."
TIBCO Software CEO Dan Streetman added, "TIBCO is proud to co-sponsor a world-class team that exemplifies championship-level performance and resilience in cycling. As a company, we pride ourselves on our own dedication to high performance through continuous innovation, and this same intense commitment to excellence is a hallmark of Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. We're proud to support the team with our technology and resources – and we look forward to cheering them on to even more victories."
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank's press release noted that the Increased media exposure from the Women's World Tour and events like the virtual Tour de France make women's cycling an incredibly cost-effective tool to achieve a range of corporate goals, including business development, sales, marketing, HR, and CSR goals.
"Our partnership with Team TIBCO Silicon Valley Bank provides us with an opportunity to engage our employees and clients in community and wellness events while sharing the inspiring stories of these athletes who are achieving the highest levels in cycling," said Greg Becker, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. "This team is inspirational, and we're proud to support their efforts."
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