TIBCO is excited to announce that our long-term partner, Team EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, is competing in the rebirth of the Tour de France Femmes this July 24-31, 2022. Read more about the legendary partnership and history of the team.
About the Team
EF Education-TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank is the longest-running women’s professional cycling team in North America and traces its roots back to the Palo Alto Bicycles Women’s (PABW) team. The team was founded in 2005 by Stanford MBA and Investment Banker, Linda Jackson.
Jackson left investment banking in the early 90s to pursue her dream of becoming an Olympian. After becoming Canada’s National Champion in 1995, Jackson was selected to represent Canada in the time trial and road race at the 1996 Atlanta Games. She won the bronze medal at the 1996 World Championship Road Race in Lugano, Switzerland and accumulated numerous Canadian national championship titles in the road race and time trial. Cycling gave Jackson so much personally that when she retired from the sport, she knew she wanted to help other women pursue their cycling aspirations. “The PABW team had some talented women on it, but there was not enough money in the budget for travel to national races that would help them develop as athletes. I figured that with my investment banking background, I should be able to help them fundraise.”
An Enduring Partnership
The team’s original mission to help women reach their goals in a healthy and supportive environment remains to this day. This mission, also shared by TIBCO, made supporting the team as their first partner an easy decision.
Jackson recalled how this partnership evolved. “One of my riders called me in 2005 and said she had just found a sponsor for our team. She had been for a ride with the founder of TIBCO, Vivek Ranadive, and 49ers legend Roger Craig and sponsorship of the team came up. One conversation led to another, and the rest is history! TIBCO has been a title partner of our team ever since and has been a strong supporter of women in sport. Through the years, we have collaborated with TIBCO extensively at tradeshows, races, and other customer events and grown our partnership to the level it is today. For 2022, TIBCO increased its support of our team, enabling us to apply for UCI WorldTour status, the highest level of racing in the world. TIBCO’s support has also allowed us to pay our riders the same minimum salaries as men riders. We are one of only a handful of teams to make that commitment to equality for women in sport.”
Jackson prides herself on finding and cultivating the next generation of talent. The current roster includes 14 riders of six nationalities who speak six different languages.
“Our unique capability to find and hire the future rising stars of the sport is one of our competitive advantages,” said Jackson. “I look for the ’diamonds in the rough’ and bring them onto our team for development. We’ve created a solid reputation for development over the years, so talented riders seek out our team as a great starting point for their careers.”
With the rise in popularity of women’s professional cycling, Jackson believes the team is well positioned for future success. “Hiring riders has become incredibly competitive, as there aren’t enough top women in the sport for all 15 World Tour teams. Being a legacy team with the same primary sponsors, TIBCO and SVB, for 18 years shows stability and commitment to women in sport, which gives us a leg up on recruiting.”
A Historic Moment in Women’s Professional Cycling
After a 30-year hiatus, the 2022 Women’s WorldTour calendar hosts the most talked about event of the year: the rebirth of the Tour de France Femmes, July 24-31, 2022.
Tour de France Femmes Fast Facts
- The women’s Tour de France ended in 1994. While Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) went on to organize women’s one-day races like La Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Course, and the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes (in 2021), the women’s peloton has not been included as part of the official Tour de France for the past 30 years.
- The eight-day race is set to begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in conjunction with the final stage of the men’s Tour de France.
- The event is set to become the biggest prize race in the women’s peloton this year, with €250,000 up for grabs throughout the eight-day race and €50,000 in prize money for the winner.
- The Tour de France Femmes will cover 1,029 kilometers and include back-to-back mountain stages, two stages for the sprinters, a stage packed with gravel sections, and four flat stages.
- 24 teams, including EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, will participate in the eight-day race.
An Epic Collaboration
EF Education-TIBCO-SVB team apparel partner Rapha has collaborated with Palace Skateboards for a limited edition Tour de France kit celebrating women returning to Le Tour. The designs are intentionally bold and bright and encompass the race jersey, Cannondale bikes, and the rider’s off-bike casual wear. But it doesn’t stop with the women’s team. In an impressive show of solidarity, the EF Education-EasyPost men’s team is also sporting the race kit during the men’s Tour de France. Their goal is to bring additional awareness to not only this historic moment in women’s cycling but also the connection between men’s and women’s cycling.
Ride Along with The Team
TIBCO has ridden with the team since its inception. And now, we look forward to riding with these women as they make history in the Tour de France Femmes. Ride along as well on all TIBCO social channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.