Cherise Taylor, a Beijing Olympian and the 2010 South African women’s road cycling champion, has been thrown a lifeline by leading nutrition supplement brand, USN, following the premature disbandment of her team.
Taylor was the star rider on Team Nashua women’s professional team, but the team’s management ran into financial trouble in June and failed to secure additional sponsors to carry the team financially until the end of the year.
Taylor, 20, a full-time professional cyclist, found herself without a job at the end of July and USN, previously Team Nashua’s nutrition supplement sponsor, offered to give her a full sponsorship for the remainder of 2010.
“I would like to thank USN for being such a great supporter, not only now, but over the past few years,” said a relieved Taylor, who was recently selected to represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Games, which take place in India in October.
“I also want to thank Nashua and our other team sponsors for their support and want people to know that it was in no way the fault of Nashua, or any of our other sponsors, that the team folded. It was a team management issue – quite unfortunate really, because women’s road cycling has never been this strong and needs to have professional teams in place to ensure it continues to grow.”
“Cherise has achieved so much already in her short career and we feel that she has a long way to go in achieving her potential. It’s important to ensure she has no interruptions in her progress and we are pleased to be able to offer her the support she needs at this time,” said Albe´ Geldenhuys, USN founder and chairman.
“We’ve noticed that Cherise has always been a great ambassador for her sponsors in general and USN in particular. She is a true professional and we are proud to be associated with her.”
This was the second time Taylor has won the Elite women’s national road race title. She first won it in 2008 at the age of 18, just a few weeks after she became the youngest ever winner of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. In 2006 she won the silver medal at the Junior Women’s World Road Race Championships, held in Mexico.
Taylor departs for Europe with the South African team on Thursday to compete in three high profile international events.