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VN news ticker: Rapha founder to step down as CEO, Rahsaan Bahati to consult on Major Taylor biopic Black Cyclone

Here's the news making the headlines on Tuesday, November 23.

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Rapha founder Simon Mottram to step down as CEO

Simon Mottram, the founder and CEO of Rapha, plans to step down from his CEO position at the end of the current year.

Mottram has been in this role for 17 years since he founded the company in 2004.

“I am convinced that it is the right time for me to step down and for Rapha to have a new CEO with the skills and experience to take advantage of the huge opportunity Rapha faces,” Mottram wrote in an email circulated earlier this week.

Korean-American William Kim, an industry veteran who is also familiar with technology influence in the apparel sector, will step in as CEO in 2022. Kim was a CEO at the British fashion brand AllSaints, and gained relevant experience while at Gucci, Burberry, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Kim left a position at Samsung Mobile where he was executive vice president of global retail and digital commerce.

Rapha was sold to RZC Investments, owned by Steuart and Tom Walton, in 2017.

Read this full article on CyclingTips.

Rahsaan Bahati to consult on Major Taylor biopic, Black Cyclone

Marshall “Major” Taylor in 1898 at 19 years old. That year, he won the 1-mile track championship and set seven more world records across distances from .25 miles to 2 miles. His 1-mile record was 1:41, which stood for 28 years. (Image: George H. Van Norman)

Ten-time U.S. national champion Rahsaan Bahati will consult on a feature-length biopic of Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor currently titled Black Cyclone.

The feature-length film project is to be directed by Canadian Clement Virgo, known for his work on the television production Billions. The film tells the story of the fastest man on two wheels, and America’s first African American world cycling champion, according to Variety.

The project is based on the book, The World’s Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America’s First Black Sports Hero.

Taylor raced to fame at Madison Square Garden in the six-day track cycling event, at the turn of the 20th century. He confronted Jim Crow laws, then new separate-but-equal U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and life-threatening racism. In 1899 at the world championships in Montreal, Canada, Taylor won the one-mile sprint and became the first African American to win a world championship in cycling.

Three-time Olympic cyclist John Howard will also act as a consultant and executive producer. Howard has also authored Pushing the Limits, Dirt!, The Cyclist’s Companion, and Mastering Cycling.

Production on Black Cyclone is set to begin in 2022.

Human Powered Health completes women’s roster with Eri Yonamine

Eri Yonamine is the Japanese time trial and road race champion
Eri Yonamine is the Japanese time trial and road race champion (Photo: Mark Van Hecke/Getty Images)

Human Powered Health (formerly known as Rally Cycling) has filled out its 12-rider women’s roster with Japanese road race and TT champion Eri Yonamine. The 30-year-old joins after a year spent at fellow U.S. squad Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank.

Yonamine is an 11-time national champion in the road and time trial disciplines and was the only female Japanese rider to race the road events at the Tokyo Olympics. She has had a challenging 2021 season and recently had surgery to treat iliac artery endofibrosis.

“I’m excited to be part of a US-based team,” Yonamine said. “It will be great to be in the WorldTour next year and be part of an international roster as Human Powered Health takes this big step. I felt that the men’s team was doing well and was developing in Europe year by year, so I feel that the women’s team also has the same potential.

“The surgery made it difficult to get a contract with a new team, but Human Powered Health opened the door for me and gave me an opportunity. I’m looking forward to riding symptom-free and I’m excited to race with young riders who have lots of potential.”

BikeExchange extends with Kaden Groves

Team BikeExchange has added another year onto its contract with young Australian rider Kaden Groves. The 22-year-old national criterium champion joined the team in 2020 but has struggled with injuries during that time.

Despite his injury woes, Groves did notch up some promising performances this year with a win in the Tour of Slovakia prologue and a fifth place on the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine. General manager Brent Copeland believes that the Groves has more to give the team as he develops.

“We had no doubts in signing Kaden for another season. He has demonstrated throughout the year that he can compete in every sprint finish that he is in,” Copeland said.

“He has been missing that last centimeter to achieve what he deserved during this season, but he is young, and we are sure there is a lot of room for improvement, and we will help him on his route to becoming one of the best sprinters in the peloton. We really count on him and his continuous development.”