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Sport director Cherie Pridham lends helping hand to Rwandan women’s cycling club

Israel Start-Up Nation pledges to promote cycling in Rwanda in longterm project.

Cherie Pridham knows how hard it can be sometimes to climb to the top of the sport.

Now the WorldTour’s first female sport director is giving something back.

Pridham, who is at the Tour du Rwanda this week with Israel Start-Up Nation, visited the Rwandan Girls Club, the only women’s cycling club in the African nation.

“I feel very proud and honored to have been able to help support these remarkable young girls in their pursuit of becoming top class cyclists,” Pridham said after a visit this weekend.

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She and other staffers donated clothing and equipment to the club, called the Bugesera Women’s Cycling Club. The outreach is part of the team’s “Racing for Change” project to help promote cycling.

Team co-owner Sylvan Adams was also on hand when the team visited Kibungo, a village in the Bugesera district that is putting locals on bikes.

Team mechanics and riders shared equipment that they brought with them, and helped work on bikes.

The team presented full kits to the girls’ club, gave bikes to the community center, and promised to send top male and females riders and coaches to support and develop cycling in the village. Scholarships will be available to the top students.

“The visit was a day that I will never forget,” she said. “[We] hope that we can inspire them and many others to take up the sport.”

The Rwanda tour opened Sunday with the 115km first stage, with Colombian Brayan Sánchez (Team Medellín) out-kicking American rider Alex Hoehn (Wildlife Generation).

Cherie Pridham, shown here with team co-owner Sylvan Adams, is leading the team at the Tour du Rwanda this week. Photo: Sjors Beukeboom/ISN