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Krys Blakemore, an avid cyclocross racer from Philadelphia, first became acquainted with No. 22 Bicycles in 2015 while on the hunt for a cross bike that would work for her small frame and still run 700c wheels. She was thrilled to discover the No. 22 Broken Arrow, purchased one, and began a relationship with the company that has flourished. Blakemore and a friend soon after started a women's cyclocross team. She now serves as the team director.
Originally named “This Team Saves Lives,” (due to a partnership with the This Bar Saves Lives snack company) the team is based on the East Coast and primarily race in off-road events in the region. With a mission to support women in cycling, a predominantly male-dominated sport, the team has always partnered with brands who share their values. No. 22 is the perfect fit, and so a partnership between them was almost inevitable.
“I crashed my bike at an event in 2015,” says Blakemore. “Scott of No. 22 offered to fix it so I could race the second day. Through our talks, Scott mentioned that No. 22 could potentially be interested in sponsoring a women's team and put me in touch with co-founder Mike. Following that interaction, No. 22 came on as a sponsor in 2016. This year, we were searching for a new title sponsor and are thrilled to have formed that partnership with No. 22 — we have a personal connection with them and it was the natural choice for all of us on the team,” she explains.
Co-founder Mike Smith says No. 22 Bicycles is excited to play a larger role in supporting the team this year:
“We have been a proud partner with this team for the previous two seasons, and we are very excited to be stepping up to the title sponsor level this year,” he says. “The No. 22 Racing team has an awesome breadth of experience levels, but every single person on the team brings a level of enthusiasm and honest love for riding that is absolutely contagious."
A fearless mindset and aptitude for pushing their limits is exactly what No. 22 Racing embodies, and what the members feel women’s racing needs more of. The team of nine want to bring a unique voice to both competitive and adventurous cycling, doing so by taking risks and having fun.
“I think we also ‘break the mold’ of the person one might envision riding a hand-built titanium bike,” Blakemore adds. “We want to show that women can ride these bikes too and get rad while doing it. I think we have a strong connection with No. 22 because they very much support women's cycling and are backed by great people. We like to give back to our communities and support smaller companies and are excited to have the opportunity to share our love for the company.”
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