Always In Motion

OC Women’s Month Profile – Milton Revolution Cycling Club Women’s Development Project

The Milton Revolution Cycling Club (MRCC) Women’s Development Project has been something that we have been watching with interest these past two seasons.  Head Coach Martin Honsberger has created a wonderful program for young female athletes which is seeing some impressive results from the riders. 

We asked Martin to share how the idea came to be but to also share the impact of the creation of a dedicated women’s development project. 

The MRCC is focused on providing opportunities that don’t exist for young women today, our mission is to help our riders achieve success at the very top levels of cycling. This includes international racing opportunities, support, mentoring, and education. Our desire is to develop high performance athletes and high-performance people.

Tell us about Milton Revolution – how did the club come to be?

Martin: Milton Revolution was founded in 2017 and was originally part of NCIM.  The original mission of the youth club (and still the mission today) is to provide an inclusive and fun place for youth riders at the velodrome to make friends and learn about cycling in a safe environment.

What made you decide to create the MRCC Women’s Team? 

Martin: The MRCC Women’s Team was created to address the issue of young women leaving the sport after U19 because they had nowhere to go.  It’s a critical time in their cycling careers, transitioning from youth clubs to elite racing, as well as moving from home and starting University.  It’s a challenging time for both male and female racers, but we feel that the pathway to elite cycling is better defined and better supported for the boys.  The Women’s Project provides a bit more ‘runway’ to help our strongest female racers transition from youth to elite.

What has been the most rewarding part of creating this community?

Martin: The Ontario cycling community itself!  The support we’ve received from the cycling community in Ontario has been incredible.  Particularly for women in our sport, I think there is great appreciation for what is happening, and we feel their support.  If we can help to inspire female riders of all ages, get more ladies racing bikes, and grow the community (it’s happening!), that’s a positive result! 

What is your hope for cycling in Ontario?

Martin:  Cycling has traditionally been male focused.  It still is.  It is clear that participation in road racing is struggling a bit at home – for a lot of good reasons.  To make the ‘sport’ of road cycling viable in this province the other 50% of the population need to be heard and need to be a priority.  This is how participation grows.  It’s smart business, everyone wins. The industry, organizers, and participants.  Increasing women’s participation in the sport benefits us all.

We asked Martin if some of the young women on his team would be willing to share some of their thoughts on the program and what it means to them to have this community.

“I am seen and heard as a young woman in cycling.  I also feel incredibly supported both on and off the bike, which is something I am very grateful for.” – Nikka

Milton Revolution Cycling Club Women's Ride peloton
Nikka Kaufman Ascending a cyclocross hill on foot

“Being a part of the MRCC Women’s Development Project has been life-changing, providing fantastic opportunities for both training and racing.  The atmosphere is always positive and encouraging.  The team has become like a second family for me.  I am also grateful for the time, money, and effort that have been invested in athletes with potential, rather than only those who have had past success, providing a chance to develop and reach ambitious goals.” – Kristen

“Two words of what this team means to me is opportunity and family.  Without this team, I would have never gotten these amazing racing experiences, and I am forever grateful for that.  Being away from home so much with these girls has also brought us so close together that they feel like family to me.”  – Mackenzie

“The Milton Revolution women’s project means so much to me, it is a unique opportunity to be surrounded by strong, like-minded women who share similar goals and a fierce passion for cycling! We all aim to become the best cyclists we can and to pursue cycling to the highest levels possible. My teammates inspire me every day and push me to be a better cyclist. It is a truly amazing thing to experience and I’m proud to be a part of this community. How awesome that I get to do the thing I love and do it with great company, amazing coaching, and support. I thoroughly enjoy each and every day.” – Lili

The U23 women’s project is a really great opportunity for me as I can connect with other athletes with similar goals, while being supported to go and achieve them. It allows us to not only grow as individuals but also as teammates. Knowing I have a team and the resources to ask questions too is really helpful for my development in sport. I also am very proud to be part of a team that encourages bringing up women’s cycling and including others. It’s a really welcoming group!” – Zoe

Milton Revolution Cycling Club Women's Ride peloton