The GreenEdge team has announced that it will run a women's team in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport. The news comes on the heels of the news that the newly formed GreenEdge men's team had received a World Tour license. Nine women, including five Australians, will comprise the team, and the management may invite additional riders to guest-race throughout the season.
The roster includes: Judith Arndt, Tiffany Cromwell, Shara Gillow, Loes Gunnewijk, Claudia Häusler, Melissa Hoskins, Jessie Maclean, Amanda Spratt, and Linda Villumsen.
That's a very stacked looking line-up and according to the press release, the riders' points place the team third in the UCI team rankings. Arndt is the current time trial World Champion, and Häusler is a past winner of the Giro Donne. Villumsen placed second in the world championship time trial. Gillow is the 2011 Australian time trial champion and won stage 2 of the 2011 Giro Donne. Spratt, meanwhile, won the Tour de Féminin - Krásná Lipa in the Czech Republic in July. Hoskins finished second overall in that same race.
Team manager Shane Bannan said in the press release: “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.”
Bannan and Cycling Australia’s National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta will jointly manage the women's team. Bannan also noted that he expects to bring in more top level Australian riders over the next three seasons, which suggests that this is a long-term commitment from the team's management and sponsor. GreenEdge will present both the men's and women's teams during the Santos Tour Down Under in January 2012.
Want to read the full press release? Hit the GreenEdge team website.