UAE Team ADQ has appointed Cherie Pridham as the Head of Sports for their women’s WorldTour team, set to take effect from the 2024 season. Pridham isn’t merely new to the role; she brings with her a history of shattering glass ceilings in the sport. She first made headlines by becoming the inaugural female Sports Director for a men’s WorldTour outfit and further cemented her status in 2021 by leading a men’s team to victory in a WorldTour race.
It’s not just a career change for Pridham but rather an inspiring opportunity to shape the future of women’s cycling. She pointed out that her decision to join UAE Team ADQ was influenced by the team’s admirable commitment to advancing women’s cycling. Pridham felt that she wasn’t just taking on a job but embracing a remarkable occasion to significantly contribute to the sport she loves.
Melissa Moncada, President of UAE Team ADQ, emphasised how Pridham’s appointment resonated with the team’s objectives. She highlighted that Pridham’s vast experience would bring disruptive and positive changes not just to their women’s team but also to the cycling industry as a whole. Pridham’s seasoned perspective, honed during her time in men’s professional cycling, was cited as being particularly valuable for injecting innovative strategies and elevating the women’s team to an elite level.
Pridham’s professional journey is worth noting. She spent 15 years as a professional cyclist, including competing in eight Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale races before a training mishap in 2006 prompted her to pivot towards a directorial role. She honed her skills with Israel Start-Up Nation and Lotto-Dstny before taking on her latest challenge at UAE Team ADQ.
Beyond the trophies and titles, Pridham expressed an appreciation for the intangible aspects of team dynamics. She highlighted the importance of a closely-knit team environment, facilitated by a sense of belonging and mutual support, as key factors for success. With these elements already present in the team’s culture, she says that she is keen to incorporate them into her approach.