GreenEDGE announces women’s team as joint venture with AIS
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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

GreenEDGE announces women’s team as joint venture with AIS

by Ben Atkins at 5:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
International stars add power to “authentic Australian venture”

judith arndtThe Australian GreenEDGE team, whose men’s outfit was recently granted a WorldTour license by the International Cycling Union (UCI), has announced the long awaited line up of its women’s roster. The team of nine riders, made up of five Australians and four international riders, has been created in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport and will be called GreenEDGE-AIS.

“We consider this team an authentic Australian venture,” said Shayne Bannan, GreenEDGE Cycling General Manager. “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.”

The five Australian riders are Tiffany Cromwell, Shara Gillow, Melissa Hoskins, Jessie Maclean and Amanda Spratt, all of whom have experience in some of the biggest races in Europe, with Spratt Hoskins and Gillow having established themselves this year. Spratt won the Krásná Lipa Tour in the Czech Republic in July, ahead of Hoskins, while Gillow won the second stage of the Giro d’Italia, taking the pink jersey for a day.

The team’s biggest star will be newly crowned World time trial champion Judith Arndt, who will be reunited with former HTC-Columbia teammate Linda Villumsen, the winner of the silver medal behind Arndt in Copenhagen. 2009 Giro winner Claudia Häusler will be the team’s second German rider, along with former Dutch road and time trial champion Loes Gunnewijk.

At nine riders, the team is by no means the largest in the women’s elite peloton, but Bannan expects the line up to change over time.

“While we will register only nine 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,” he added.

Bannan’s statement could be a hint that there may be room in the squad for the two Australian Garmin-Cervélo riders – Alex Rhodes and Carla Ryan – who will both be searching for a new team after the American team’s collapse due to budget problems.

GreenEDGE-AIS 2012 line up
Judith Arndt (Ger), Tiffany Cromwell (Aus), Shara Gillow (Aus), Loes Gunnewijk (Ned), Claudia Häusler (Ger), Melissa Hoskins (Aus), Jessie Maclean (Aus), Amanda Spratt (Aus) and Linda Villumsen (NZl)

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