In just a few days the Tour de Suisse returns makes a welcome return to the road. The one-year hiatus has only served to heighten the euphoria. And this year the anticipation is not only based on the men’s edition of the race, but also on the women’s.
For the first time, the international women’s elite will tackle the Swiss roads. For Trek the excitement is twofold. On the one hand, the US company is represented by a strong squad, and on the other hand, the neutral service commitment has been extended beyond the men’s race. Together with DT Swiss, Trek will also provide the neutral race service at the TdS Women.
“When we heard about the development of TdS Women, we knew immediately that we wanted to be a part of it. Our Company Motto is: Ride Bikes. Have Fun. Feel Good. We want to inspire everyone to ride their bikes more, regardless of race or gender. In sport, the gap between men and women is unfortunately still significant. There is a lot of work to be done in this regard. Staging the TdS Women is an important step in the right direction,” says Guido Anderwert, Marketing Manager for the German-speaking region at Trek Bikes.
Commitment to female athletes
Team Trek-Segafredo is the factory team from the USA. As a family-run company, it is important for Trek to work closely with their athletes. And to value them accordingly. At the beginning of this year, Trek announced that all female athletes would receive the same base salary as their male WorldTour colleagues. Until then, no other women’s team had taken this step. And it is a precedent for other teams to follow.
Looking at Trek’s sponsorship portfolio, this step is no surprise. Numerous well-known female athletes can be found here. From a Swiss point of view, Jolanda Neff is the most prominent. She too will be at the start of the TdS Women next week. In recent years, Neff has switched between road cycling, cyclocross and cross country. With a view to the Games in Tokyo, however, she is now focusing on MTB and will therefore be at the start in the Jersey of the Swiss National Team. Another Trek athlete, Andrea Waldis, who, like Neff, normally rides MTB, will be at the start. “It is a great honour to be part of the premiere of the TdS Women. I am already very excited about the two stages and will definitely give my best,” says Waldis.
The starting field of TdS Women reads like a Who’s Who of the international elite. Alongside Neff and Waldis, Team Trek-Segafredo will be represented by former World Champion Elizabeth Deignan from Great Britain, Ellen Van Dijk and Lucinda Brand from Holland, as well as reigning Cyclocross World Champion and French National Champion Audrey Cordon Ragot. The promise of a strong competition is great.
When Trek introduced its race bike for demanding terrain last year, the Émonda, Lizzie Deignan found herself on the product images alongside Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali. With good reason. Because while other manufacturers make gender-related distinctions in racing bikes, Trek follows a different path. For the Americans, every bike that a woman rides is a “women’s bike”. Trek is convinced that each rider has different demands and requirements, but still deserves to ride a bike that fits perfectly and offers a great riding experience, regardless of gender, physical characteristics, riding style or riding ability. For this reason, Trek offers its racing bikes in many different sizes.
Team Trek-Segafredo riders, including Neff and Waldis, will tackle the race on 5 June in Frauenfeld on the Émonda. It’s an important affair for Trek. And as the race takes place not far from the Swiss company headquarters in Dübendorf, it’s an emotional one at that.