The MAAP | MINI USA Cyclocross Program Partners With The Steve Tilford Foundation, Expands Team Roster
Contact: Raylyn Nuss – Owner/Athlete | Public Relations & Marketing Phone: 636-352-9682
LAWRENCE, Kansas — The MAAP | MINI USA Cyclocross Program is proud to announce a new title sponsorship with the Steve Tilford Foundation, marking the birth of the Steve Tilford Foundation Racing team, a multi-surface professional and elite development program.
“We are fortunate to be able to build something so bright during what seems to be such a dark year and without any racing on the U.S. calendar,” says team owner, Raylyn Nuss. “We have this rare opportunity to be a part of a new foundation where the athletes not only get to compete at the highest level, but we’ll also strive to foster and grow the cycling community by focusing our passion through mentorship.”
The professional multi-surface cycling team is one of the cornerstones of the foundation, creating opportunities for new and upcoming racers; passing on Tilford’s legacy with the team’s mission to help young people find and chase their passion through the sport of cycling. Furthermore, the team will work with local and national organizations to promote education and mentorship as well as access to quality cycling opportunities throughout the United States.
The team builds on its 2019 team partnerships by adding Specialized to the lineup, as MAAP cycling apparel, MINI USA and Muc-Off all return from ‘19.
“It is extremely important for this team to partner with brands and people who we align with and Specialized could not be more of a perfect fit,” says Nuss. “Not only is their entire mantra built on the fact that cycling changes lives, which mirrors the objectives of the Steve Tilford Foundation, but Specialized also actively cares about equity in our sport.”
Along with its new title partner and equipment sponsor, Steve Tilford Foundation Racing is proud to announce the expansion of its professional roster with the additions of three-time U.S. Cyclocross National Champion, Stephen Hyde, and former professional road cyclist, Joseph Schmalz. Schmalz grew up racing under the guidance of Tilford and is an example of his mentorship that the Foundation will continue to offer to young cyclists.
“As effective as Steve was as a cyclist and a teammate, he was a friend and mentor, first,” offers Schmalz. “I met Steve at a local cyclocross race here in Kansas when I was 12 or 13. It was the first cyclocross event I had ever attended and after watching him that afternoon, I was hooked. His skills and his obvious unrivaled passion for competition, were infectious traits, even for a 12-year-old. I can’t think of a better way to be introduced to cycling nor could I have had a better mentor.”
In addition to the professional and junior teams, the Steve Tilford Foundation Racing program will include a competitive Master’s team comprised of Steve Tilford’s former teammates and friends; these athletes will be great ambassadors for the team’s partners and initiatives. This group made up of seven riders will be representing the team and its partners on the national master’s level and will also assist in cultivating the next generation of riders on the development team.
Foundation CEO Eric Struckhoff says, “Steve was, above all, a bike racer. Though his influence reached far beyond racing, it all started there: on the start line, at the front, racing at the highest level. We are excited about the future, grateful for the ambassadorship of these outstanding riders, and looking forward to 2022 Worlds in Fayetteville.”
Nuss has also been collaborating with former renewable energy executive Matt Gilhousen and 4-time Dirty Kanza champ Dan Hughes, owner of Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop in Lawrence, KS, for nearly a year to develop this new team in honor of Hughes’ and Gilhousen’s longtime friend.
ABOUT STEVE TILFORD FOUNDATION RACING
Steve Tilford Foundation Racing (STF Racing) is a professional multi-surface cycling team with an emphasis on cyclocross and gravel racing throughout the United States and Europe: Racing for a purpose. Rider owned and operated, and based out of Lawrence, Kansas. For more information about STF Racing please visit Instagram – @stevetilfordfoundationracing.
ABOUT STEVE TILFORD FOUNDATION
The Steve Tilford Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit private foundation established to honor the life and legacy of Steve Tilford by paying forward his passion for cycling. The Steve Tilford Foundation is determined to help young people find and chase their passion in the sport of cycling by promoting education, mentorship, and access to quality cycling opportunities. Always guided by Steve Tilford’s true spirit of dedication, teamwork and respect, the foundation works every day to improve lives and nurture healthy communities. For more information, visit www.stevetilfordfoundation.org