12 storylines that defined Rally Cycling’s 2020

From 300-mile bike rides to team doctors on the front lines, revisit the team's most compelling moments

4 weeks ago by Rebecca Bland

In 2020 the cycling world was turned upside down and many races were canceled or postponed, leaving riders in a strange limbo, training without knowing when they needed to be on form. However, in the face of adversity, Rally Cycling’s riders and staff used this time to bring people together and hopefully inspired their community and fans to make the most of the time spent at home.

  1. The Breadman Cometh

Back in May 2020, all-rounder Robin Carpenter shared his love of sourdough bread with fellow residents of San Diego. He created a Strava segment challenge each week and the riders who were fastest and tenth fastest (to promote inclusivity and participation) would win a hand-delivered loaf of sourdough. A fantastic initiative to get the locals out on their bikes!

  1. ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’

With the off-season well underway, the team created a ‘Choose your own adventure’ mini-game on Twitter. Fans could choose their path through the various scenarios and eventually end up on an adventure with the riders of Rally Cycling on their various off-season exploits. Give it a try before the story ends.

  1. Our secret weapon for the virtual Tour de France

With real-world racing postponed, event organizers developed all sorts of online alternatives, including the first-ever Virtual Tour de France. Having secured a wildcard invite to the event, Rally Cycling decided to give the team the best chance of making their mark against the WorldTour by bringing in the big guns. Enter Holden Comeau, America’s top eRacer. Read how he helped bring the team up to scratch here.

  1. Rob Britton riding 300 miles for mental health

Canadian time trial champ Rob Britton is known for his love of long rides and adventurous bike trips. In June, Rob set out on a 300-mile ride from Victoria, British Columbia, to Port Hardy, covering the whole of Vancouver Island in 24 hours. His ride helped raise funds for the WIRTH Foundation, which helps people gain access to therapies and counseling. An important reminder during the pandemic that help is out there if you need it, well done Rob!

  1. Zane Freebairn’s diversity fundraiser

Back in the summer, Rally Cycling mechanic Zane Freebairn partnered with the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association (PMBA) to raise funds for a new BIPOC scholarship fund within the bike mechanical industry, a fantastic initiative that seeks to widen the diversity of industry mechanics. Zane, a handy blacksmith, forged fifty knives for fifty donations to the program. They sold out quickly and donations sky-rocketed – nice one Zane! You can still donate here.

  1. Athletes in Isolation

Isolation is a strange and uncomfortable concept, the idea of being stuck inside for extended periods of time is alien to a lot of us. With the world in the grip of a pandemic, Rally Cycling’s athletes recorded some inspirational videos of themselves, what they learned, and how they’ve been keeping busy under truly unique circumstances.

  1. Healthy Habits Challenge: “Dance away stress”

By now we’re sure you all know about the Healthy Habits Challenge started by Sara Poidevin (#HealthyHabitswithPoido), but did you make it to week seven? Dancing was the name of the game that week, a great way to relieve stress and get the blood pumping. Team riders Stephen Bassett and Emma White took on the challenge with a spectacular dance-off.

  1. Inside the design: Custom Felt FR

Back in July, Chief Creative Officer Sam Wiebe led the design team for a custom Felt FR frame which would be auctioned off to raise funds for UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF). Taking inspiration from previous medical grant winners, what they like and what they want to do when they grow up, the final paint job was a gorgeous two-tone blue with illustrations that told a beautiful story. Proceeds from this one-of-a-kind bicycle will help to fund the next generation of UHCCF grants.

  1. Revisiting the highs and lows of a dynamic 2020 season

In October, Rally Cycling reflected on the somewhat chaotic 2020. It started strong with sprinter Chloe Hosking winning a stage at the Tour Down Under and ended in Europe with Kyle Murphy winning the battle for second place in the Spanish Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziaka Klasika. It was a dramatic year, with plenty of virtual racing and a whole lot of quarantine. Read the full round-up here.

  1. Revolting Daughters, Bicycles, and the Road to Female Equality

The story of The Revolting Daughters was revisited in August, 100 years on from the adoption of the 19th Amendment. In a time when women were expected to stay home and only leave if accompanied by a chaperone, the bicycle allowed them to proclaim independence and bring the women’s rights movement to the forefront. Read this article and look at how the humble bicycle became a powerful tool in the fight for women’s rights.

  1. A new way forward

By mid-March racing across the world had been canceled and quarantine restrictions were underway. The team went back to their homes and either took an impromptu off-season break or continued to train, albeit largely indoors. Sara Poidevin’s Healthy Habits Challenge was one of the team’s early efforts, focusing their attention on inspiring others to stay healthy and bring people together during the pandemic.

  1. Team doctors adapt and serve during the pandemic

In the grip of the pandemic, and with no races or riders to treat, Rally Cycling’s doctors found themselves on the front line of a disease that nobody had seen before. Working in a completely different way to their day-to-day roles with the team, they managed to refocus and put themselves at risk to help others during a time of need.