Women who inspire us

Our riders recall the women that have inspired them on International Women’s Day

March 7, 2024

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked our riders to reflect on their childhood dreams and the women who inspired and motivated them along the way.

From family members to famous athletes and teammates, our riders draw strength from the women they know and the women they see in society. Whether they’ve achieved their childhood dreams or have taken a different path, our riders value the journey and what they’ve learned along the way.

Letizia Borghesi
What did you want to be when you were little?
Since I was a kid, I wanted to be a pro athlete. I’ve always liked sports and pushing my limits always gave me a special feeling and made me feel a deep sense of peace within myself. I was a runner at first, but when I started to ride my bike my goal was then to become a pro rider. I didn’t want to think of a plan B, even if I was very good at school!

Who is a woman who has inspired you?
The woman that has inspired me the most is my mom. She has always sacrificed her time to support me as I’ve followed my dreams. She has always been tireless. She works with my dad because they own a small company that sells doors and windows. They don’t have employees, so my mom works in the office, but she also helps my dad to carry the heavy doors up the stairs of the buildings, and she coordinates with the customers. As soon as she is at home, she does housework and she cooks the meals (and, yes, sometimes while she answers the work phone) but she also finds time to go for a run or a ride. And on weekends or holidays to rest a bit, she travels with my dad to watch my races or my sister’s races. In the winter she also takes part in some cyclocross races as an amateur.

I think what she does is simply incredible and I would like to have her energy from morning to night! Thank you mom for what you do every day! And thank you to every tireless woman.

Magdeleine Vallieres
What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was growing up, I wanted to run my own business. Even when I was really young, I ran a garage sale and I organized everything. I had a lemonade stand going and at dinner I would try to sell dinner or water! That’s what I wanted to do when I grew up, I wanted to run my own business.

Who is a woman who inspired you?
All of my teammates since I started cycling have inspired me. Everyone comes with so many stories and so many experiences they’ve lived and fought for. When I was at the World Cycling Center, just having girls that came from countries that made it harder to get to Europe and they still had this passion for cycling. Even if things were not going well in their country, they just fought through it to get here. Also on this team, having more experienced riders and just hearing their stories and how they’ve gotten here is inspiring and motivates me to make stories of my own and to push myself harder.

Lotta Henttala
What did you want to be when you were little?
I always wanted to be part of sports and being a sport teacher was one of my dream jobs. Also being a ski jumper was my dream but that never happened.

Who is a woman who has inspired you?
At the time, my idol was a swimmer, Hanna-Maria Seppälä. She was a super athlete and a nice person. Once at a swimming race I had forgotten a hair tie and she was next to me and gave me hers. I think I still have it somewhere as a souvenir.

Natalie Quinn
What did you want to be when you were little?
I had a lot of aspirations when I was little, but my most prominent memory of what I wanted to be when I grew up was either a veterinarian or an astronaut.

Who is a woman who has inspired you?
I know a lot of inspiring women, and I know of a lot of inspiring women. Growing up, Picabo Street was a huge inspiration for me after I read her autobiography. A woman I personally know that is a huge inspiration to me is Elke Brutsaert, who works with Fort Lewis College as the head women's coach, as well as the strength coach, for the cycling program. She's been a big support to me as I've developed as an athlete.

Megan Armitage
What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was little I wanted to be an explorer. I loved spending time outside and getting up to “devilment” as my mom says! I really loved spending time on the farm with my dad and helping to look after the animals. I think this freedom is what really made me love cycling my bike so much as I got to explore new countries but also little roads near my home that I’d never been down before.

Who is a woman who has inspired you?
A lot of women inspire me but there are definitely two people that stand out to me. My mom inspires me a lot as she is always there for me, she’s always stood by me and helped me through some difficult periods in my life. Another person that inspires me a lot is Jenn Davies, my boyfriend’s mom. She’s inspired me because she’s one of the strongest and most resilient people I know. I look up to her a lot. (She also taught me how to make the best sauerkraut and kimchi on the planet which is pretty inspirational in my eyes!)

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