14 Mar 2024

New HBCU Cycling Initiative, Cyclone Racing League Launches

March 6, 2024 – Raleigh, NC & Washington, DC: Technology firms eHome America (Washington, DC) and RevoRace.com (Raleigh, NC) have announced that they have partnered to sponsor a new historically black college or university (HBCU) cycling league. The Cyclone Racing League (CRL) will launch in the Spring of 2024 and will initially focus on virtual racing on the Zwift platform. The Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) cycling team will be among the first HBCUs to compete in the CRL.

The league name “Cyclone” is meant to pay homage to cycling’s first Black superstar, Major Taylor. The CRL will constitute the first significant HBCU cycling effort since SAU became the first HBCU in the United States to field a team in the Spring of 2020. 

“We believe that indoor virtual cycling and the latest technology platforms offer a great way to bring new HBCU racers to the sport. Cycling experience and fitness can be gained without the inhibitions or anxiety associated with what can often be perceived as a very exclusive sport,” states Dr. Mark Janas, SAU cycling team advisor.

Janas adds that starting an indoor team can be much less expensive and safer. A single indoor smart bike or smart trainer can support several riders with far less maintenance required. Issues associated with bad weather, traffic, or lack of daylight are eliminated. Races and group rides occur for nearly twenty-four hours daily on indoor platforms such as Zwift.com. 

“The creation of the CRL establishes a powerful engine of opportunity for greater HBCU involvement in cycling. In time, this will grow to the point where we will be not only racing indoors but fielding teams across multiple HBCUs outdoors. Our efforts will help move the needle on diversity and inclusion in cycling,” says Milt Sharp, President and CEO of eHome America and an accomplished master’s-level mountain bike and e-racer in Northern Virginia.  

Sharp has watched what SAU has been doing with its cycling program for several years, even participating in some of the team’s virtual events and fundraisers. Sharp knew that the SAU team and advisors had been trying to seed new teams at other HBCUs and offered to help by lending his cycling expertise, business experience, and network to the cause. Sharp will serve as the CRL’s Director.

Senior business major and SAU cycling team captain Jalen Little adds, “It’s an honor to be a part of the first HBCU cycling team and the first HBCU cycling league. We hope to continue to push forward and support other teams like ours throughout the country. I believe we’ll see significant progress in HBCU collegiate cycling in the next few years.”   

Riders from multiple HBCUs are expected to participate this Spring, and additional sponsors such as Canyon Bicycles have offered support. The preliminary CRL Zwift race schedule is as follows: 

Race 1 – Saturday, March 23: The Bell Lap Crit City, 11 a.m. Eastern Registration link: https://revorace.com/event/607/

Race 2 – Saturday, March 30: NYC Park Perimeter, 11 a.m. Eastern Registration link: https://revorace.com/event/608/

Race 3 – Saturday, April 6: Richmond UCI Worlds, 11 a.m. Eastern Registration link: https://revorace.com/event/609/

Race 4 – Saturday, April 13: Scotland Rolling Highlands, 11 a.m. Eastern Registration link: https://revorace.com/event/610/

Race 5 – Saturday, April 20: Makuri – Chain Chomper, 11 a.m. Eastern Registration link: https://revorace.com/event/611/

In addition to HBCU collegiate divisions, CRL events will include alumni and open divisions that are open to all riders. However, only riders who have registered and paid for each event on RevoRace.com will be eligible for CRL podiums and prize drawings at the end of the 2024 Fall season. Paid registrants will also earn the satisfaction of supporting HBCU cycling! Note: HBCU collegiate division riders must register via RevoRace.com to be eligible for podiums. However, their fees will be waived upon request by emailing rd@revorace.com. 

Paid registrants who can’t make the live event can complete the prescribed course on their own anytime during the following week and then upload the result to RevoRace.com in the “TT” division. For more information, write Mark Janas (mjanas@st-aug.edu) or Milt Sharp (milt.sharp@outlook.com).

For more information, visit www.cycloneracingleague.org.