2011 Women’s team and transfer news
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2011 Women’s team and transfer news

by Ben Atkins at 11:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Amongst the multitude of rumours there is some confirmed news for next year

The women’s peloton is notoriously secretive when it comes to transfer and contract negotiations, but there are a few snippets of confirmed news.

Emma Johansson to join Hitec Products UCK
emma johanssonSwedish champion Emma Johansson will join the Norwegian Hitec Products UCK team from 2011 after two years at RedSun Cycling. The Olympic silver medallist was reportedly not offered a new contract with the Belgian team, fuelling speculation that it is to stop at the end of the season.

“I look forward to next year!” Johansson said on her personal website. “Working in a Scandinavian atmosphere, speaking my language and not always [being] seen as “the foreigner” will be [a relief].”

Johansson currently lives in Norway, when not based in Belgium for racing, with her partner and coach Norwegian former rider Martin Vestby, who also joins the team as a team director.

Leontien.nl to rejoin AA Drink and go international
While nothing has been officially confirmed, there are strong indications that Leontien.nl, currently sponsored by Dutch legend Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel’s women’s lifestyle website, is to join up with AA Drink once more. The two teams split at the end of the 2008 season, with AA Drink concentrating on men’s cyclocross and Leontien.nl on Dutch women riders.

The common factor for both teams was Zijlaard-Van Moorsel's husband Michael Zijlaard, who held management positions with both teams.

The new team is to be more international, with the German Cycling Federation (BDR) reporting that Trixi Worrack has signed a contract for 2011. The 28-year-old German has spent her entire career to date with Nürnberger Versicherung, which became Noris Cycling this year after its proposed new sponsor pulled out.

Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light to merge with ACS Chirio Forno d’Asolo
In a trans-Atlantic deal, the US Colavita-Baci p/b Cooking Light team is to merge with Italian ACS Chirio Forno d’Asolo. The relationship between the olive oil company and the croissant bakery is apparently a natural one.

“This is a great partnership between two Italian companies which both support cycling, first and foremost, for the love of the sport,” said Colavita USA Vice President of Marketing John A. Profaci. “When Franco Chirio wrote to me about his idea for merging programs, it also became clear that this was the opportunity I've been waiting for, namely, to get the Colavita team over to the European UCI circuit.”

The new team will be called Colavita/Forno d’Asolo and will have a roster in both the US and in Italy. British former rider Rachel Heal will continue to direct the team in the US, while Chirio will continue to run the Italian team. The full roster has yet to be announced, but the core of both teams is expected to be retained, including NRC champion Cath Cheatley of New Zealand.

Horizon Fitness’ sponsors re-commit
horizon fitnessBritish team Horizon Fitness has received the good news that Johnson Health Tech UK is to continue to support the team through 2011. The team, which is based in Oudenaarde, Belgium features a mostly British roster, including cyclocross specialists Gabby Day and British champion Helen Wyman, former British criterium champion champion Dani King and multiple para-cycling World champion Sarah Storey.

The team can trace its roots back to FBUK, which became Global Racing, then Swift Racing when it was sponsored by a British-based campervan company for a year. The team infrastructure was bought by then World champion Nicole Cooke in 2009, when it became Vision1, but sadly folded before the end of the season.

The team is managed by Stefan Wyman, husband of Helen Wyman, who is ambitious for the future of the team, which currently focuses on the development of its young riders.

“There is no secret about our desire to take this team to the top of the sport,” said Wyman. “UCI professional status will be gained at the right point for all concerned, and potentially a professional track team as well.

“We’ll have a much increased UCI road race programme next year too,” he added, “plus a bigger focus on the UK scene.”

One of the successes of the team’s partnership this year was the sponsorship of the Horizon Fitness GP, which coincided with the Tour Series criterium in Stoke-on-Trent.

Safi-Pasta Zara to become Team Geox
The number of ProTour teams with women’s teams will be three next year with the news that Team Geox (currently Footon-Servetto) is to take over Safi-Pasta Zara. Sadly this does not mean a new team is being created, but does hopefully offer extra resources and future security for the longstanding Lithuanian-registered team.

Geox is already involved in women’s cycling, albeit in a smaller capacity, as a jersey sponsor in the Giro d’Italia Femminile.


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