CATHY FRAMPTON, Co-Founder and President
Cathy’s racing career began in 2009 because of the influence and support of other Chicago Women racers, most notably Kristen Meshberg with her Pedaling with a Purpose Winter Training Program and the inaugural Half Acre/Gapers Block Crit Series. Prior to 2009, she was mostly unaware of bike racing as a sport. Cathy has experienced racing success locally, struggled on the national level, and is now focused on Master Nationals. Her most memorable racing moments are tied to successful team strategies and tactics – a passion that draws on years of competing in volleyball and Gaelic Football. When racing at the national level, Cathy often commented that the few Chicago racers competing should band together. Cathy will realize this vision via CWEC. By day, Cathy works with teams of experts to develop and implement solutions that improve performance – different industry but same skillset and expectation of high quality results.
LEAH SANDA, Team Manager
Leah started in running and triathlon in 2001. After several years of setting the bar higher and higher, she reached her top goal in triathlon and then wondered, now what? It didn't take much soul searching to realize that bike held her passion. Both mechanically and as a racer. She started working at a bike ship and racing cyclocross in 2007 then stuck her toe in criteriums in 2008. After winning her first race at the inaugural Super Spring Criterium, she was HOOKED. Criteriums remain her first love but she also enjoys racing cyclocross and track.
Leah has a background in engineering, which led her to be attracted to the mechanical aspects of the bike. After working at the bike shop for over 5 years, she followed her intense curiosity for wheel building and started working with Rob Curtis at PSIMET. There she is currently a wheel builder as well as the PSIMET women's team manager. In 2014 she put her management skills to use, organizing a composite squad of 6 women to race the women's P1/2 category at the Joe Martin Stage Race. The goal was to provide a very professional level of experience with full support. It was through this experience, as well as LPV's composite team effort at North Star stage race, that gave birth to the concept for Chicago Women's Elite Racing.
FRANCINE HAAS, Head of Development
Francine Haas is an accomplished athlete in both triathlon and cycling disciplines. She began her cycling career in 1983 as a triathlete and turned her focus to cycling in 1999. Francine has earned numerous accolades, including state champoinships on the road, track and in cyclo-cross. She is also a medalist at the Masters level on the track in both national and world competitions. In 2002, Francine began a campaign to empower women in cycling by hosting clinics, group rides and promoting bike racing. She has encouraged many women to go far beyond their expectations.
You can find her at francinehaas.wordpress.com