Rare Disease Cycling (formerly Team CF) powers into its 6th season with a more focused squad of elite racers and an even stronger resolve to continue the fight against rare genetic diseases. RDC is aimed at raising awareness and ultimately research funds to combat the spectrum of rare genetic diseases including cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and more.
The East Coast based American team relies heavily on the results of its racers to further its mission and has been a dominant force in nearly every discipline of off-road cycling. Throughout its five-year history, RDC has taken hundreds of elite podium spots, most notably winning the National Ultra Endurance Series eight times, the Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race on three occasions and the Brasil Ride Stage Race in 2013.
For 2015, the squad has been pared down to eight elite riders who will tackle one of the busiest and most diverse race schedules in North America. “Our aim is to put riders on the podium every single weekend throughout the season” says Cole Oberman, Team Manager and XC rider. Oberman will be joined by returning team members Cheryl Sornson, Nikki Thiemann and Kathleen Harding to take on the USA Cycling US Cup and ProXCT calendars, Mountain Bike National Championships, and the North American UCI Cyclocross calendar amongst a slew of one day events.
On the endurance side, former NUE series champion Christian Tanguy will be captaining the veteran RDC squad. Tanguy, who will target an overall series victory again in 2015 is joined by masters NUE champion Roger Masse, Ultra CX specialist Stephanie Swan and endurance racing expert Selene Yeager. Beyond the NUE series, the endurance team will tackle everything from mountain bike stage races to gravel road races and fat bike marathons.
“A crucial component of Rare Disease Cycling’s success is the team’s ability to not just raise awareness but significant money for research”, says team director and founder Dr. James Wilson. “The primary way in which we do this is through the Million Dollar Bike Ride (MDBR), in which RDC partners with existing advocacy/research groups and helps each group to raise money. These funds are in turn distributed directly into research grants aimed at finding a cure or treatment options for a variety of rare genetic diseases.” The MDBR, held in Philadelphia, PA was an overwhelming success in 2014 raising over $1.4m. The ride will be returning in 2015 with plans to expand to additional cities in 2016.
For 2015, Rare Disease Cycling continues on with long-time bicycle and component sponsor, Specialized. The team will ride the brands top-shelf S-Works bicycles as well as Specialized components and accessories. Also continuing with team is custom clothing supplier DNA Cycling and Philadelphia area bike shop and logistical sponsor Bicycle Therapy.
New to the program for this season are ESI Grips and GU Energy Labs. “GU Energy Labs is a company of athletes who apply heart and science to create a complete system of nutritional products to help athletes hydrate, energize, and recover,” says GU Marketing Manager Yuri Hauswald. “We are proud to be the Official Nutrition Supplier for Rare Disease Cycling, helping their athletes to not only succeed on race day but to further a vital charitable mission.”