• Cherie Pridham in the role of DS for Vitus Pro Cycling (Israel Cycling Academy)Source: Israel Cycling Academy
Cherie Pridham will lead the Israel Start-Up Nation (ISN) squad next season as sports director in the WorldTour and other races, becoming the first woman to assume the role at the highest level of professional cycling.
SBS Cycling Central

5 Dec 2020 - 3:05 PM 

In a male-dominated profession, Cherie Pridham has worked her way up from directing and owning British Continental team Raleigh (currently known as Vitus Pro Cycling Team) to working on the World Tour. 

“I feel truly proud and privileged to be the first woman to serve as a sports director at the WorldTour level, joining one of the best teams in the world and being entrusted with great and legendary riders,” said Pridham. “So, for me, I want to get it right because when I do, I know that it will inspire others to take the same journey and that really does mean something to me.”

ISN Team Manager Kjell Carlstrom underlined Pridham’s credentials: “She has what is needed to be successful: experience and skills. I believe that Cherie will have a positive impact on our team and get the job done.”

Emphasising her experience in the role, Pridham said: “My role is Directeur Sportif, not Female Directeur Sportif, and I know that I’ll be expected to concentrate on that aspect. I’ll be tackling the very same issues as my colleagues – I’ll make the same mistakes and have the same successes too.”

Pridham comes to ISN with an established and significant record of directing male riders in the sport, albeit not at WorldTour level. After a successful 15-year career as a pro rider (cut short by a hit-and-run accident in 2006), Cherie pivoted her career towards managing and directing.

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In 2011, she became one of the first female sports directors in Britain, with local team Raleigh, where she served as manager and director. A few years later, she became the owner, leading the team to victories in races all over the globe. Pridham also gained experience on the track, managing three track world champions.

“I have dealt with male cyclists all my life, so I do not see the move as any different in that regard,” said Pridham confidently.

The team also announced that it will have an Israeli sports director at some of its 2021 races after reaching an agreement with Dror Pekatch, former director and current TV personality, which adds home country representation to their staff.