RBC Board of Directors present Legend award to Linda Jackson.
From Left to Right: Scott Welsh, Craig Kundig, Linda Jackson, Marc Shaw, Eric Reiser
Photo: Kris Stewart


REDLANDS, CA. – Linda Jackson’s professional cycling career lasted only nine years during which she became one of the top female riders in North America and in Europe.

After retiring in 2000 she returned to her business career as a Bay Area investment banker but so missed being a part of cycling, she started a pro racing team that would become one of the best in cycling over a 19-year period ending in 2023.

For her success as a rider and as a team owner, the all-volunteer organizing committee of the Redlands Bicycle Classic honored her as the 2024 recipient of the Legend Award during the 38th renewal of the event that concluded Sunday, April 14.

Jackson certainly meets the criteria for the Legend Award, joining other cycling luminaries as Thurlow Rogers (2007), Scott Moninger (2008), Davis Phinney (2012), Kristin Armstrong (2012) and Chris Horner (2018), among previous Legend recipients.

The award was established in 2007 to honor an athlete who as embodied enduring class, sportsmanship, and character throughout their career – someone who represents all the best attributes of a professional cyclist, on and off the bike and contributes to the sport in a positive way.

“In the last almost 20 years she has mentored hundreds of professional female cyclists that have gone on to win at every level of the sport,” said Scott Welsh, a Classic organizing committee member.

“If you have passion, you don’t just disappear after your (racing) career. You find a way to contribute and stay involved,” she said in an interview after being inducted into the Canada Cycling Hall of Fame in 2018.

Jackson, now 65, was born in Canada’s Ontario province and went on to win six Canadian national championships in cycling.

She quit her job as an investment banker after finishing second in her first professional road race in Morgan Hill, CA., in 1991, at age 33, a late start for most active cyclists.

In 1994, she competed in the Redlands Bicycle Classic, finishing third overall on the podium and won the 48-mile stage one event. She returned in 1997 and won the time trial stage on a 13-mile course.

She fulfilled her dream of competing in the Olympics in 1996, the Centennial Olympiad in Atlanta, GA., after qualifying ninth in the time trials. On the first lap of the Olympic road race, she was unable to avoid a downed cyclist in front of her and crashed.

Even so, she said, “…becoming an Olympian was a life-changing event for me. I was lucky I had financial resources to rely on so I did not have to work while I pursued my passion.”

Four years later, at age 42, she qualified again for the Olympics but decided to retire before the event, returning to her career as an investment banker.

Her cycling career highlights include a bronze medal at the 1996 UCI Road World Championships, a victory at the 1997 Tour de “Aude Cyclistic Feminini”, a second place-finish at the Women’s Challenge and the Giro d’Italia Feminile.

She was named the top female cyclist in North America by Velo News in 1997 and 1998.

“My time in cycling was short, but I gave it everything I had,” she told the Ottawa Sun newspaper at her 2018 induction into the Canada Cycling Hall of Fame.

Five years after her retirement from racing, she wanted to give back to the sport and formed what became a formidable racing team called EF Education-TIBCO-SBV that would rank among the best in North America and the world tour until the end of 2023.

Her favorite racing career moment came at the 1994 Commonwealth Games road race in Victoria, British Columbia. My parents were there – my mom grew up on Vancouver Island – and we have a lot of family there. I came down the home stretch to a silver medal and thunderous applause because it (the race) was in Canada. I still get goosebumps when I think about it,” she told Bicycling Magazine in 2018.

Asked why she formed a team of her own after her racing career, she responded:

“When I finished racing, I went back to banking for a few years but I felt so disconnected from the sport. So I was really happy to get back into it. I get really, really excited when my riders do well. It’s such a fulfilling thing to see them achieve their dreams, to make progress,” she told Bicycling Magazine.

One of her former team members is Skylar Schneider who won the Stage 4 women’s Arrowhead Orthopaedics Criterium at this year’s Redlands Bicycle Classic, repeating her win in the same event in 2023.