Hey Rogue Valley-ers, did you know that we have a stellar pro bike racer in our midst? Sure the Tour de France (the ‘Super Bowl’ of cycling) just ended, with a Brit taking the overall win for the first time in history, but more importantly, local racer, Jade Wilcoxson just finished 4th overall at the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon. Why is this important? Well, because she’s a freakin’ local and because women’s pro cycling doesn’t the the coverage or support that it deserves. While some well-read bloggers have written about this, the fact remains that women’s pro cycling is severely under-funded and under-noticed.
Jade has her PhD and is a physical therapist and bicycle-fit specialist from Talent, Oregon. Last year, after getting noticed by U.S. professional cycling team, Optum Pro Cycling, she quit her “day job” to focus on training and racing. If you’re a local racer then this is exciting, because you now doubt have watched as Jade has ridden away from you at the local race series to win; if you’re not a local racer (or bike rider, even), you should still be excited because it’s awesome to see a local athlete make it up into the big leagues. And not only make it, but make it towards the top!
Best of all, whenever she’s in town in between races all over the continental U.S., she still goes out to the local races to put the boys deep, deep in the hurt locker. Although she often races only for training, there still aren’t many who can keep up with her!
Although women’s pro cycling has a long ways to go with funding and visibility—which will (hopefully!) come with time—for now we can do our part by increasing our collective awareness of the inspiring individuals who are still out there every day training and racing. So pass this little post on to your friends and follow Jade as she tears it up in the pro ranks!
Go Jade! You’ve got the whole valley cheering for you.