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American rider Ayesha McGowan is stepping into the big leagues.
McGowan has joined the UCI women’s WorldTeam Liv Racing as a “satellite rider” for 2021, and she could make her UCI Women’s WorldTour debut after August 1.
“Working with this world-class organization is a dream come true,” McGowan said in a release. ‘I’m excited to spend more time with my teammates during team camp next month and training hard before setting race goals for August and beyond.”
McGowan announced the news on her social media account with an image of her clad in the Liv Racing kit.
“Smiling with my whole face over here,” she wrote.
The news was released Tuesday by Liv Racing.
“We first met Ayesha at our 2019 training camp and now the Liv Racing WorldTeam is thrilled to welcome her to our roster as a trainee,” said team manager Eric van den Boom.
McGowan generated headlines in recent years with her push to become the first African American woman to join the professional ranks. She was featured on the cover of Outside magazine, and was the subject of mainstream stories in ESPN, the BBC, and other international publications.
In 2019 McGowan made her professional debut at the Colorado Classic stage race, where she attacked into breakaways and learned the ebb and flow of top-level road racing.
“The lesson I learned was to trust myself more, and trust all of the hard work I’ve put in to be prepared,” McGowan told VeloNews at that race.
The 33-year-old has also become a strong advocate for inclusivity in cycling, and she maintains a website and podcast dedicated to making outdoor spaces more welcoming to BIPOC people. In 2020 she won the League of American Bicyclists’ inaugural Kitty Knox award, which recognizes a champion of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
“As Ayesha works with our team resources, including ongoing training and monitoring, we look forward to investing in her development,” van den Boom said. “We will aim to guide Ayesha as well as possible including equipment, training programs, and our knowledge and expertise. In this way, we hope to take her to the next level in her career, just as we have done with many other talents before. Together with Ayesha we are excited to get started.”
McGowan joins Liv Racing’s other riders for 2021: Sofia Bertizzolo, Valerie Demey, Alison Jackson, Marta Jaskulska, Lotte Kopecky, Jeanne Korevaar, Evy Kuijpers, Soraya Paladin, Pauliena Rooijakkers, and Sabrina Stultiens.