Though the upheaval in men’s cycling over the Armstrong case may slow that growth in the short run, Scrymgeour does not expect it to have lasting consequences for women’s cycling. “The history of men’s cycling has been flawed to some extent, but I think it has also come along way in the past five years,” said Scrymgeour. “I believe it’s one of the cleanest sports in the world. That message doesn’t get told very well, but I do believe it’s the case.” In the short-run, Scrymgeour expects some sponsors may step back, but overall, she is optimistic about the ability of the women’s side of the sport to weather Hurricane Armstrong.
While the mens’ teams wrestle with the past’s difficult legacies, women’s cycling has different challenges to meet. “Our biggest hurdle is growing our sport,” said Scrymgeour. Certainly, there are lessons for every athlete in the ghosts of scandals past, but Scrymgeour is adamant that women’s cycling has to stay focused on its own projects. “I don’t think we can focus on the negative side. I don’t think we need to place any blame, we don’t need to get involved in that conversation at all,” she said. “We just need to focus on growing our sport.”
For now, Scrymgeour is focused on preparing her team for the coming season. The 2013 Specialized-lululemon team will have eleven riders and includes newcomers Carmen Small, Tayler Wiles, and Gillian Carleton. Scrymgeour expects an exciting season, because the top women’s teams are well-matched. “Next year is going to be really amazing, because the talent is really spread widely across the board,” she said. “It’s going to be a really good season.”
“I’ve found so much excitement and enthusiasm for women’s cycling in the last year since I started focusing on women’s cycling.” Scrymgeour concluded, “I think we just have to take that enthusiasm and the good feeling that there is around the growth of women’s cycling and run with it.”