Pump for Peace, a global initiative founded by Velosolutions with the aim of making cycling accessible to everyone, is proud to announce a new race team as an extension of Pump for Peace’s global activities. The runners have been selected from countries vulnerable to marginalization and discrimination (due to social, cultural, economic and political conditions) and will participate in upcoming international events.
In 2022, the team will consist of Faranak Partoazar from Iran and Tumelo Makae from Lesotho, both multiple national champions and pioneers of the sport in their respective countries. They have shown great resilience in overcoming many obstacles in order to do what they love. The team will be led by Velosolutions and Pump for Peace founder Claudio Caluori and Swiss professional marathon runner, national champion and 5x Cape Epic winner Ariane Lüthi.
The goal is to remove as many barriers as possible for the future generation of mountain bikers in their countries around the world.
“The idea of a Pump for Peace race team has been around for a while, but we hadn’t planned to make it happen yet for 2022. When Ariane found out that Faranak was struggling to enter the World Cups, she called me just two weeks before Christmas, when I was laying asphalt on a pump track on the Syrian border in Turkey: – Why don’t we register a UCI team to bring Faranak to the World Cups? As you can see I accepted, and as you can imagine it was a little late looking for sponsors, so we announce them as soon as we find them. Claudio Caluori
Faranak’s battle began long before she could even compete on a race track, she had to fight passionately for the right to ride a bicycle freely as a woman in Iran. Her determination and perseverance challenged and changed the negative attitude towards female cyclists in her country. Finally starting her professional career in 2014, she won all the national titles and races in Iran, many international races as well as the first medals at the Asian championships representing Iran, the first in the country’s history for women and has relentlessly pushed to change the outlook for women’s cycling in Iran and beyond.
Tumelo is 26 years old and is from Lesotho, ardent for racing bikes mainly MTB (XCO), he is 5 x elite national champion of Lesotho, silver medalist at the 2017 African Championships (U23 category) and has already joined the team of winning pairs for Pump for Peace with South African Cherie Redecker at the Swiss Epic in 2020.
Ariane is not done with her career and apart from co-managing the team, she will continue to race at the highest level with Pump for Peace on her chest. She has repeatedly won the toughest mountain bike stage races in the world, including the Absa Cape Epic, Cape Pioneer Trek and Swiss Epic. She finished 6th, 5th and 4th at the UCI XCM World Championships, and on the podium as third in 2020. However, Ariane is not only a valuable asset for her performances on the bike but in her inspiring role as an ambassador for equality and fairness in sport wherever its international racing calendar takes it. Promoting women’s cycling is another of Ariane’s passions which she relentlessly pursues, recently joining the women’s cyclists’ union’s cyclists’ council, The Cyclists’ Alliance. Ariane also regularly donates her time and fundraising efforts to a number of charities in her adopted country of South Africa.
Other Pump for Peace World Athletes
Velosolutions has partnered with Peschl Sports and the GO! Durban Cycle Academy to empower an all-female team of young cyclists called “Velosolutions Izimbali” in 2019 in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Previously, there was little to no support for African women in cycling, and there has never been a team solely dedicated to the advancement of black female riders. Not only is this beneficial for the empowerment of individual athletes and for the growth of cycling on the African continent, but it also has a ripple effect in their local communities where they become role models for other girls to believe that they can achieve their goal. dreams. Cycling isn’t considered a ‘girls’ sport in typical township communities, but these ladies challenge stereotypes and change perceptions of what’s possible with hard work, determination and the right support team. around you.
Many stories and personal triumphs have been born since building the Velosolutions Pump Track in Roma, Lesotho as part of the Pump for Peace initiative in 2017, but Khothalang Leuta broke through traditional boundaries and stereotypes when she became The first local rider from Lesotho will qualify for the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships in 2019. She has since competed in the World Final in Lisbon in 2021 and there is much more to come from this special person.
The vision of Pump for Peace and Velosolutions remains the same, connecting the world one cyclist at a time to facilitate the building of a brave new world through sport. A world where there is more joy, more health, more equality, more acceptance, more tolerance, and even if it is only one step a day towards this brave new world. It is a step to be taken daily. This is our next step.
For more information http://pumpforpeace.com