Former NYC Marathon exec Wittenberg joins EF Education First pro cycling team

Mary Wittenberg, a former New York City Marathon exec, has joined the EF Education First pro cycling team. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Former New York Road Runners CEO and New York City Marathon race director Mary Wittenberg has joined the EF Education First pro cycling organization as president, the team announced Wednesday.

Wittenberg will work on the business and marketing side of the Colorado-based team, which was founded by ex-pro Jonathan Vaughters as a developmental squad and has competed on the sport's top level since 2008. She also will serve as a liaison between the team and the international education company that is its title sponsor. Long one of the most prominent women executives in international sport, Wittenberg most recently was founding CEO of Virgin Sport.

"I am excited to join EF and our pro cycling team at this formative stage and to be part of a purpose-driven company that brings people together through exploring the world," Wittenberg said in a release issued by the team. "I am inspired by the sport of cycling and this team, in particular; as riders from different countries and cultures come together to bring their dreams to life. EF and [Vaughters] have set a great foundation that marries the transformative power of travel, education and sport. We have a chance to bring a fresh approach to cycling and recruit similarly inspired partners to join us."

Vaughters added: "Mary brings a fresh perspective to the sport. Mary's vision, passion, and expertise make her uniquely qualified to lead our efforts as we seek to expand our reach. We're working toward creating a more sustainable financial model for the team, and we'll be leaning heavily on her business and brand background, and also her experience in growing one of the world's great sporting events."

EF Pro Cycling is branching out next season with plans to enter riders in gravel-road and ultra events. Rapha is taking over as the team's apparel supplier in 2019.