Sugar Labs to back Garmin-Cervelo’s development team in unique arrangement
  December 09, 2022 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sugar Labs to back Garmin-Cervelo’s development team in unique arrangement

by Shane Stokes at 6:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Not for profit organisation coming on board, budget and race programme to expand considerably

Sugar LabsEvolving from this year’s Team Holowesko Partners, the Continental squad attached to the Garmin-Cervélo team looks set to have a larger budget, a bigger race programme and a more solid funding and structure in 2011. The feeder team for the Elite squad will include backing from the not-for-profit Sugar Labs organisation, which is coming on board in order to raise awareness of the open source project.

Originally created for the One Laptop per Child computer program with a goal of providing every child with equal opportunity for education, the educational software is now used by 2 million children in more than 40 countries.

The unique structure of the arrangement means that Sugar Labs will be a sponsor, but will receive rather than pay out money. The budget has chiefly been raised through donations and other such initiatives; team supporters will be able to contribute by purchasing items from the team website, and the excess over the budget required for the team will go directly to Sugar Labs.

The organisation will also benefit from a considerable return in publicity and increased awareness.

“It is going to be a great Continental team and it is going to be raising awareness for Sugar Labs in international races and national calibre races,” explained Garmin-Cervélo CEO Jonathan Vaughters to VeloNation. He set up what was the Under 23 feeder team several years ago, and is looking forward to it moving to the next step.

Eric Min Walter Bender Jonathan Vaughters“Holowesko Partners will continue to be involved, and overall it is going to be an expanded set-up….a more robust, stronger development team, somewhat like the Rabobank programme.”

It is understood that there will be a significant jump in budget for 2011. As a result of that, the programme should be a more varied one. “We will do more international races…for example, we are hoping to do the Tour de Langkawi to start off our season,” Vaughters continued. “I think it will be one of the strongest Continental teams in the world next year.”

The initiative came about after Sakonnet Technology CEO Eric Min had the idea to have a fan-sponsored pro team. "I've always looked for opportunities to give back to the sport, which has been kind to me," he said. "For several years, my company sponsored a U23/25 team out of NYC, and we produced a number of successful domestic riders. The most notable one is Caleb Fairly who graduated to Slipstream's (Garmin-Transition’s) program.

"While cycling is a passion, education is a long term mission so when I met Walter Bender in Paris, I was surprised I had not heard of his foundation - the open source operating system which powers the One Laptop Per Child project. It's a wonderful initiative and his speech really moved me, especially the part about how we must provide tools for our children so that they can solve the world problems we are leaving behind.

One Laptop Per Child“After that speech, I wanted to help create greater awareness of his work, so I reached out to him about using youth cycling as a way to promote his foundation on a global scale. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that Walter is also a cycling enthusiast. He was excited about the fit between his foundation, which focuses on education for children and youth cycling, which helps to promote healthy active lifestyle."

Min contacted’s Andy Shen and Dan Schmalz and, after considering the various options, they approached Jonathan Vaughters and worked out a plan to become involved with what was Team Holowesko Partners. Fundraising initiatives were held and things are now moving forward prior to the start of the new season.

Shen emphasises how different the structure is from most cycling teams. “No backing will come from Sugar Labs,” he told VeloNation. “Funds come from outside sources as charitable donations for Sugar Labs. The more money is raised, the more goes to Sugar Labs. The different thing about this is that it's a whole new paradigm. The title 'sponsor' is a beneficiary and provides no cash to the team.”

The 2010 squad was a successful one for Vaughters and title backer Holowesko Partners. Results included Lachlan Morton’s two stage wins and overall victory in the Tour de l’Abitibi plus Caleb Fairley’s first in the Tour of the Battenkill and second in the Giro della Toscana. Next season looks to be even bigger and better, thanks in part to the new set-up, an expanded budget and better race programme.

“It's quite amazing how quickly things came together,” said Min. “But this is a reflection of how much excitement is behind this project. It's about youth development for both Walter and Jonathan. It's their passion.”


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC