GreenEDGE-AIS women's team list announced
After announcing, way back in January, plans for a women's team to be established alongside the historic formation of the men's World Tour team, the women's team list has finally been announced. The team is a joint venture between GreenEDGE, Cycling Australia and the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport).
To be known as GreenEDGE-AIS, the team will register 10 riders in 2012. Their debut will be made at the Jayco Bay Series, whilst the team launch will be during the Tour Down Under in Adelaide a couple of weeks later. It is expected that the team will be one of the major UCI registered teams in terms of performance in 2012.
There were no real surprises in the list of riders officially announced today. Prominent Australian National riders; Shara Gillow, Amanda Spratt and Jessie Maclean will be joined by current professionals, Tiffany Cromwell and Melissa Hoskins. Rowena Fry is the sixth Aussie in the team, she will ride road and mountainbike during her build up to hopeful qualification for the MTB race at the 2012 London Olympics.
The international riders joining the team are a talented and experienced group. They will play a role in mentoring the younger riders. As a bonus, their 2011 performances (as well as some of the Australians) will contribute crucial points to the team's UCI ranking. The ranking is important for gaining invitations to major UCI events throughout the 2012 season. Those international riders are : World time trial Champion, Judith Arndt, ex-Dutch road Champion, Loes Gunnewijk, ex-Danish Champion and silver World medallist, (now) Kiwi, Linda Villumsen, and ex-German Champion, Claudia Hausler. All of these riders have established 'palmares' and can contribute to the road and team time trial aspects of the GreenEDGE-AÏS team.
Various members of the development and management team commented via press release about the team:
Australian Minister for Sport, Mark Arbib says the Australian Government is pleased to see the partnership between the Australian Institute of Sport, Cycling Australia and GreenEDGE supporting Australia’s best female riders on the world stage.
"Having an Australian backed team competing against the world’s best riders will not only provide the best competition for our elite athletes but also a pathway for our talented young riders."
Cycling Australia CEO, Graham Fredericks, says he’s excited the project has come to fruition.
“Cycling Australia is proud to be involved in this joint venture that is part of our overall strategy to develop women’s cycling,” said Mr Fredericks.
“The team will have access to the very best resources and support within a professional structure thanks to the cooperation of the three key partners,” he said. “We want this team to set the standard for international women’s cycling while we continue to develop the National Road Series as the breeding ground for talented female cyclists.”
GreenEDGE Cycling General Manager, Shayne Bannan, will co-manage the women’s team alongside Cycling Australia’s National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta.
“We consider this team an authentic Australian venture,” said Bannan. “We have contracted some of the top international riders to ensure the team has sufficient points to guarantee starts in the world’s major events. They will also act as mentors for the younger, developing riders. We will look to our international riders to provide the leadership and experience necessarily to create a culture of success. It’s our hope this culture will flow down through the domestic women’s development programs.”
“While we will register only ten athletes with the UCI for the January 1 season start, there exists the potential to add neo-pros and other non-contracted Australians during the year,” added Bannan.
Cycling Australia National Women’s Road Coach, Martin Barras, has been heavily involved in the set up of the team and will maintain an oversight role as Technical Director. CA/AIS HPP graduate coach, David McPartland, will travel with the team as Team Director.
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