Cooke and Gilmore to lead new Honda Women’s Team
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cooke and Gilmore to lead new Honda Women’s Team

by Ben Atkins at 12:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
MCipollini merges with Gauss; new BePink team set up

nicole cookeNicole Cooke and Rochelle Gilmore are to lead a new women’s team sponsored by Japanese car giant Honda. The Olympic and Commonwealth champions will join up with Cooke’s current teammate, five-time Giro d’Italia winner Fabiana Luperini in the new team, which will be led by current MCipollini-Giambenini sports director Walter Ricci Petitoni. The new team will see Cooke and Gilmore – who are currently racing together in Australia as part of the Dream Team – reunited in a UCI team for the first time since 2005, while Gilmore and Luperini both rode under Ricci Petitoni at Menikini-Selle Italia between 2007 and 2008.

Honda was a co-sponsor of the Belgian Lotto team, which Gilmore has been part of since 2009, but will follow the Australian to the new team.

As well as the three big stars, the team will be made up of Luisa Tamanini, Mexican Giuseppina Grassi, World junior points race champion Maria Giulia Confalonieri, Australian Miffy Galloway, Chiara Nadalutti, and multiple Swiss champion Jennifer Hohl and Russian Yulia Blindyuk, who also currently rides for MCipollini-Giambenini.

As Cooke and Luperini leave MCipollini-Giambenini, the team, which has links to the men’s Farnese-Vini team, will be merging with long-standing team Gauss. The newly merged team will hold on to two of its former World champions, in Tatiana Guderzo and Marta Bastianelli, as well as two-time Italian champion Monia Baccaille, and Elisa Frisoni and Marta Tagliaferro.

From the Gauss side of the team will come Alessandra Borchi and Susanna Zorzi, with Jasinska Malgorzta, Jessica Paganelli, Giulia Pironato, Alressandra Tomasini and Elena Valentini as new recruits.

Gauss team leader Julia Martisova meanwhile, will be joining new team BePink 2012, under the experinced Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo assistant director Walter Zini. Zini will be bringing current riders Simona Frapporti, Gloria Presti and Silvia Valsecchi, with Oxana Kozonchuk and Eleonora Patuzzo joining from Diadora-Pasta Zara.

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