|Harrisburg, PA - Sportsbook.com, one of the worldís largest retail-focused Internet sports bookmakers, formally announced today that it will become the new title sponsor for the erstwhile worlddiff.com Womenís Cycling team, one of Americaís best developmental programs. |
Founded in 1997, Sportsbook.com had amassed a database of nearly 350,000 customers from about 150 countries when it was purchased in 2001 by Sportingbet.com, a British company traded on the London Stock Exchange that processed more than $900 million in bets last year. Today, Sportsbook.com is Sportingbet.comís largest and most successful brand, and provides odds principally on North American-based sports such as the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.
This is neither Sportsbook.comís first foray into cycling, nor its first into womenís sports. In 2003, Sportsbook.com had a U.S. Division 3 Trade Team that enjoyed some success, including a stage win in Irelandís famed FBD Milk Ras. And, for several years, Sportsbook.com sponsored LPGA golfer Laura Davies. However, itís the first time that Sportsbook.com has combined sponsorship of bicycle racing and female athletes, and company executives couldnít be more enthusiastic about the teamís potential, says Bill Laudien of MHC Sports, the non-profit organization which oversees Sportsbook.comís cycling promotions, including Sportsbook.com Womenís Cycling and secondary sponsorships of two Pro/Elite-level Menís teams. 'The folks at Sportsbook.com are really into cycling, and are closely following the progress of the team,' notes Laudien. 'They feel like itís a really good thing for Sportsbook.com to have such an enthusiastic, hard-working group of young women getting the name out to the general public.'
Sportsbook.com Womenís Cycling is unique in U.S. womenís racing, as its six-woman roster consists entirely of riders age 26 and under. While 14-time National Champion Magen Long, who also races for OBRU/The Bicycle Store, is the best-known name of the group, the other five team members have proven themselves capable of competing against the nationís best. Andrea Dvorak, Jessie Peil and Aimee Vasse are all former medalists in the Collegiate National Championships, while Sarah Faulkner is one of the Midwestís fastest-rising talents both on- and off-road, and Tracy Cundiff shows a race savvy that belies her 1-1/2 seasons of experience. 'All of them have shown the physical ability to be competitive at the national level,' says team manager John Alsedek. 'What they need now is the opportunity to race against the best on a regular basis, as well as the guidance & support to be successful. Sportsbook.com, along with our other sponsors, is making that possible.'
After contesting regional events during April and the beginning part of May, Sportsbook.com Womenís Cycling will kick off its 2004 National Racing Calendar campaign on May 8th at Richmond, Virginiaís CapTech Classic. Major events on the schedule will include the Wachovia Liberty Classic, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, the Tour de ĎToona, and the T-Mobile International. For more information about Sportsbook.com Womenís Cycling, please visit the teamís website at http://www.sportsbookracing.com'www.sportsbookracing.com.