ABRA directors elected

Arizona’s cycling teams voted for a combination of newer and experienced candidates to serve on the board of directors for the Arizona Bicycle Racing Association.

Bill Barnes (Summit Velo), Andrea Gonzales Cinalli (Tolero Racing), Joey Iuliano (University of Arizona/Sabino Cycles), Don Melhado (Saguaro Velo) and Stefanie Sichler (Bicycle Haus Racing) will carry out a two-year term on the board to shape the future of cycling in the state.

The election was close with a candidate pool of 11; Barnes and Alan Fischer tied but Fischer conceded to Barnes, said Melanie Colavito, the current ABRA president.

“The new board is a great combination of experienced Arizona riders/promoters and those that are up and coming,” Colavito said. “It has a great diversity of interests represented. I’m excited to see how things shape up, and I think the 2016-2017 group will make lots of positive contributions.”

ABRA, USA Cycling’s local association, oversees Arizona’s USA Cycling-sanctioned road, cyclocross and track races and determines its race calendar. It makes critical decisions on budget, the yearly race calendar and the future of the sport in Arizona.

ABRA member teams/clubs from around the state voted for the candidates over the last two weeks to determine the board. Every club/team cast five votes, one for each board position.

Gonzales Cinalli said she found out she won Saturday morning before climbing Mt. Graham.

“The news carried me up the mountain to a new [personal record],” Gonzales Cinalli said. “I’m really excited to be working with the other board members. I think we’ll work really well together.”

Iuliano, who served the last two years as ABRA vice president said he’s looking forward to getting started.

“It’s a good mix of skills and experiences,” he said. “I think we’ll get a lot of work done over the next two years.”

Melhado said he’s pleased he was elected to a board he has been involved with since its inception.

“My main objective for my tenure will be entry level racing – how to nurture small races into Arizona staples,” Melhado said.

James Kramer, a candidate who did not make it through to the board, said he’ll still pursue one of his top priorities and be active in the future of Arizona cycling.

“I am going to continue to pursue getting a velodrome through the means that I’ve been pursuing, and hopefully between Tucson, myself and any others that are passionate about it we will eventually accomplish it,” Kramer said.

The newly-elected board members will be inducted and determine their roles on Oct. 10 at the ABRA planning meeting in Florence from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 240 W. Hwy 287, according to Colavito.

“The continued leadership and contributions of all of those who ran is invaluable to Arizona cycling, and I hope to see their involvement continue into the future,” Colavito said.

Sarah Muench