In 2022, Strava partnered with The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) to support TCA’s mentoring program (TCAMP). This unique program is designed to provide support and guidance to young riders of the peloton as well as a mentoring program provided by experienced riders.
This year, Strava has committed a further $100,000 to The Cyclists’ Alliance to create a Grant Awards scheme “TCAMP Pre-Career x Strava Grant”.
The aim of the “TCAMP Pre-Career x Strava Grant” is to provide financial assistance to young riders with potential. The grant scheme will enable TCA to support riders who would otherwise be unable to access certain opportunities in the early stages of their cycling career because of financial limitations. While the existing mentoring program provides knowledge, mentoring and intellectual resources to support the development of female cyclists, the recent 2023 TCA survey revealed that financial reasons continue to be the biggest hurdle for women in the professional peloton.
Athletes can apply for the “TCAMP Pre-Career x Strava Grant” to support the costs they incur as a top-level cyclist; including but not limited too: strength and conditioning, physiotherapy & rehabilitation, nutrition, medical support, mental health and sports psychology support, lifestyle support to balance racing goals with other commitments, equipment, travel and expenses.
Making your way into the pro-peloton is not easy. There are many hurdles to overcome and for some these are bigger than others. The “TCAMP Pre-Career x Strava Grant” and TCA Pre-career program aims to take as many hurdles as possible away and create a more accessible way into the women’s professional peloton. Ultimately we would like to see a more diverse peloton that truly represents the global society we live in through fair and transparent opportunities.
Applications will launch in September 2023, with successful recipients notified by the end November 2023.
Iris Slappendel, TCA President “We are very grateful that Strava has committed even more to this new TCA initiative. It’s an amazing opportunity for the riders who can often not assume certain financial costs at the start of their career. We are sure that the “TCAMP Pre-Career x Strava Grant” will offer them new opportunities and help they to build their career with our support”
Dani Christmas, TCAMP Manager “ Adding a financial aspect to TCAMP is quite unique. Each rider will have the opportunity to apply for the grant. The amount of money received will be based on specific criteria to meet the highest standards of governance, transparency and accountability possible. This is really important for all of us”.
Zipporah Allen, Chief Business Officer at Strava. "At Strava, we are a platform that motivates the world to be more active through our diverse, global community. Our 'Strive for More' initiative focuses specifically on getting more women to the starting line in all professional sports. As a proud sponsor of the Tour de France and Tour de Femmes avec Zwift and partner of The Cyclists’ Alliance, we are thrilled to work together for a second year to create lasting change in access to women’s cycling."
The TCA Mentor Programme (TCAMP) connects elite riders directly with some of the most advanced businesses in the sport and fellow professional cyclists, through a structured mentoring programme designed to help them effectively enter, flourish and progress as industry employees and leaders upon retirement from professional cycling.
The program has three key pillars:
- Pre-career - junior, U23 will benefit from practical knowledge such as cycling CV tools, advice on how to approach teams and relocation factsheets - all developed in partnership with the partners - with the aim of democratizing entry into and diversifying the professional peloton.
- Mid-career - inexperienced riders (mentees) will be partnered with established riders (mentors) for a structured 12-month, mentoring program, crafted in collaboration with the 'podium partner' companies and external experts in order to learn how to better navigate challenges, develop leadership skills and share & retain knowledge.
- Post-career - retired cyclists (within two years of leaving the sport) will benefit from access to formal internships and in-house experience at each of the Podium Partners. The pioneering program will provide retired cyclists with incredible opportunities and practical skills to ready them for life beyond the bike - whilst providing the brands with access to a pool of expert, high-performing talent.
TCAMP is since its launch in 2021 supported by its ‘Podium Partners’: Cannondale, Liv Cycling, Specialized, SRAM and Trek.