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Meet the 1986 Fuji/SunTour Women's Team


This story was originally published in 1986 by Susan Eastman. 

The team posing and winning

 

Meet Team Amazon. It’s difficult to miss Fuji/SunTour when half of its team stands over 5 feet 10 inches tall. And not only is it the tallest women’s bike racing team - at six years old it is also the longest, consistently running, national level women’s team. The Fuji/SunTour team seems to best exemplify the development of women cyclists today. All its members were active in other sports until they discovered bike racing in recent years. Although it is not supported by a megabucks sponsorship, the cyclists said that Fuji and SunTour are interested in nurturing the developmental level; and they are grateful for that help.

The team is rarely seen as a threatening entity, but it fields solid competitors who are still learning the ropes and holding their own in the increasingly talented women’s field. “The sponsor emphasizes teamwork and a sense of competitiveness that we carry into other parts of our lives,” said track specialist Patty Cashman. “We have discussed this with them — that image is important and it’s more important to have teamwork than prima donnas.”

The photogenic, 5-foot 11-inch, 26-year-old Carol Addy is becoming the pin-up girl of bike racing. She has promoted the sport by appearing in ads, posters and on magazine covers, and 1986 marks her third season with Fuji/Suntour.

 

Addy posing with a Fuji

Addy posing with the 1986 Team Fuji

Addy discovered bike racing when she took a college physical education class on cycling. Her sprinting ability netted her third overall in the Nabisco Wheat Thins series and a silver medal in the 1984 criterium nationals. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Addy lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Quakertown, Pennsylvania’s Karen Bliss started racing bikes as a member of the Penn State cycling team in 1983. This is her first season with Fuji/SunTour and the 22-year-old said that she is eager to improve her already strong road riding skills and “maybe someday learn to like time trials.”

Patti Cashman, who is “only” 5-food-10 tall, coached swimming at Harvard and rowed competitively for four years before getting into cycling in 1983. The 28-year-old Boston resident now specializes in pursuiting and criteriums. Cashman earned silver medals in the 1985 national time trial, points, and pursuit championships and a gold medal in the 1984 time trial nationals. She holds a masters degree in exercise physiology and works as a private fitness consultant in the off-season.

The tallest of the Amazons, six-footer Jeanne Golay, is developing into a consistent stage racer. She finished the 1986 Beatrice Bicycle Classic in eight overall, just 56 seconds out of first place. Like teammates Addy and Bliss, this Miami, Florida native started cycling in college in 1981. She established herself in Florida racing circles by winning the state time trials in 1981 and 1983 through 1985.

After being signed by Fuji for the 1985 season, Golay proved her worth by winning the silver in the US Sports Festival pursuit, placed third in the San Francisco Road Race and fourth overall in the Nabisco Wheat Thins series. She is currently finishing a business marketing degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville and works off-season as a bike shop mechanic.

As an employee of and runner for Nike shoes in the early 1980s, Liz Larsen didn’t pay much attention to riding bikes. But after fellow employees enticed her out for lunch-hour rides around Beaverton, Oregon, she was hooked. Four years later, Larsen can boast of a silver medal at the 1984 time trial championship, a gold in the 1985 time trials, and a win in the 1985 Carolina Cup.

Twenty-two-year-old Annie Sirotniak of Arlington, Virginia, is excited about the state of women’s cycling. “Something bis is going to happen. More and more women are getting stronger and trying cycling. This is great,” she grinned. This year marks Sirotniak’s fourth season of racing her second with Fuji/Suntour.