5 Biggest Obstacles to Racing at the “Pro” Level

We’ve got a very interesting guest post for you today….coming at you from my friend Heather Nielson. Heather is the coolest Pro Rider I know and I love her outlook on life and cycling.  Have a look at what she has to say about the biggest obstacles in racing.

The 5 Biggest Obstacles to Racing at the “Pro” Level

by Heather Nielson

I suppose the first thing I need to do is define what ‘Pro’ means in bicycle racing because quite honestly, the lines are a bit….fuzzier….in women’s racing than in men’s racing. The smaller number of women racing, and therefore the fewer teams compared to men’s teams as well as the obviously smaller sponsorship dollars to support those teams results in a constant shuffling of women into and out of the ‘Pro’ ranks as teams are formed, top riders are picked, they compete nationally and internationally for a year or two only to find that the team has been dissolved for the next season and they are ‘forced’ to get re-absorbed back into the local amateur racing scene. In Northern California, this situation is amplified; which is why I came here. At every bike race I go to here, there are many women who are currently, or who have been ‘pro’ at some point in their bike racing ‘careers’. I knew that the pro teams race here a lot and there is a deep, rich history of bike racing here that holds within its’ pages a list of ‘who’s who’ in American Women’s bike racing. I feel honored to race against these women every time I roll up to the start line. There are many obstacles to achieving ‘success’ within the sport of bike racing and since one of my ‘dreams’ is to race at the ‘professional’ level, I’ll focus on the top five obstacles to racing at the Pro level, as Darryl suggested I do for this article.

In my humble opinion then, I feel that the biggest obstacles are:

  1. Money
  2. Time
  3. The glass ceiling
  4. Team dynamics
  5. Traveling


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