In the fall of 2015, a group of friends started to throw around the idea of creating a professional cycling team that went against the standard model. The common consensus was that we loved cycling, we loved bicycle racing, but having teams named after corporate sponsors with the riders covered in logos didn't resonate with us. Why couldn't we start a team with its own identity? Why couldn't we create a team that both professionals and amateurs could actively be a part of?
In the months to follow, we put in a lot of hard work, recruited a really talented group of athletes and in 2016 launched Team Illuminate with a UCI men's team. During its inaugural season, the men's team competed throughout the US and in Taiwan, Azerbaijan, Iran and China! Competing in all black kits, void of sponsor logos, the team's concept confused a lot of people, but it also created a lot of interest.
In 2017, we expanded by launching a UCI women's team and in the first season our women's team competed in the Amgen Tour of California, the Colorado Classic and a number of other prestigious races in the US.
We also started to open up our membership so that other people could join the team. We always wanted to create a global cycling team that riders of all levels could actively be a part of and in 2017 this model really started to take shape. With the pro teams excelling in UCI events, the club team began to grow with members taking part in a wide variety of events.
2018 is off to a strong start for Team Illuminate. With our expanding club model, we now have members in 7 countries and riders competing in a broad range of events around the world.