Earlier this week, the UCI released the names of the 27 registered UCI Women’s Team for 2010 which includes Team TIBCO/To the Top – the only US-registered team. Italy has the most registered teams with six, followed by Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands with three each, then comes France and Germany with two and Austria, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Norway, Russia and Sweden with one team each.
As expected, Team TIBCO/To the Top has the most Americans, 10, on its roster. Nine North Americans – four from the United States, three from Canada and two from Mexico are peppered across European-registered UCI teams. Let’s take a closer look at them
USA. Known as an ultimate team player, Kim Anderson has been a professional cyclist and is embarking on her fourth year with Germany-registered Team HTC-Columbia after four years with T-Mobile Professional Cycling team. Taking up mountain biking after college, the 42-year old has been a professional cyclist since 2000.
The veteran has won stages in Redlands Bicycle Classic, Estes Park and Tour of the Gila and has represented the United States at numerous Road World Championships. In 2008 she placed second in the Swedish World Cup and in August of 2009 she won Route de France. And she’s still having fun.
Anderson’s teammate Evelyn Stevens is a new face in women’s cycling. The 26 year old went from a Cat 4 to finishing 15th at the 2009 Road World Championships in a 12 month period. After playing college tennis at Dartmouth and landing a job at investment bank Lehman Brothers in New York, Stevens figured she would leave sports behind. But after a trying a cyclecross race in Northern California in 2007, she got a taste of racing that changed her life.
In 2009, Stevens won the overall at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Cascade Cycling Classic and a stage at the Route de France with the USA National team.
After four years of racing professionally in the United States with Webcor Builders and then Team TIBCO, Amber Rais joined the Kuota Speed Kueens team out of Austria. The 28-year old Rais, who moved to Austria in 2008, entered cycling late. After earning an athletic scholarship to Stanford, shoulder surgery brought a halt to her swimming after three years with the Stanford’s Swim Team. While doing her post-graduate studies, she started cycling to keep fit and with one thing leading to another, she finished college with a Masters of Science in Oceanography and a collegiate national championships criterium and omnium title.
She has won stages at the Tour of the Gila, Cascade Classic and Tri-Peaks Challenge where she also took the overall. In 2010, she will also continue to race with the US National Team. Rais broke her pelvis in a training ride prior to the start of the Ladies Tour of Qatar a few days ago.
After two years of racing on the Vanderkitten squad in the United States, Liz Hatch joined the Belgian Lotto Ladies Team in 2010. It’s not her first foray to Europe as the 29-year old raced in Belgium in 2006 as an amateur and as a guest rider with the small Italian team System Data in 2009 in the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile. Another late comer to the sport, Hatch started riding in 2004 while living in Florida.
Canada. Audrey Lemieux started cycling as cross-training for speed skating when she was thirteen. In her first year as a junior, she won the Canadian National Time Trial Junior title and finished third in the Road Race. In 2002, she finished seventh at the Junior Road World Championships. Her cycling career looked set as she claimed both the Road and TT National Title as a U23 rider in 2005 while riding for the Quark Cycling Team, but it all came to a stop in 2007 when diagnosed with thrombophlebitis. After a year off to recover her health, Lemieux came back and is still racing with the French team ESGL 93 – GSD Gestion while going to school full-time.
In her first year as a professional cyclist in 2008 with now defunct Aaron’s Cycling team, Julie Beveridge won the overall at Mt. Hood Cycling Classic, finished 3rd in the Cascade Classic Stage and both the time trial and road U23 Canadian National Championships. She repeated her victory at U23 National Time Trial last year, splitting her time between Team TIBCO in North America and the Canadian National team in Europe.
A runner, Beveridge took up cycling at the age of eighteen where she was sidelined with a bad foot injury. The 21-year old will be racing with the French team Vienne Futuroscope in 2010.
Joining Beveridge at Vienne Futuroscope is 21-year old Karol-Ann Canuel who started cycling at the age of eleven. In 2006, she won the Junior Canadian Road National Championships and finished fifth at the Junior Road World Championships in Belgium. That same year she was named Female Junior Cyclist of the year by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA).
In 2009, Canuel placed second at the Tour of Battenkill beaten at the line by Evelyn Stevens and finished third at the U23 Canadian Road National Championships.
Mexico. In her sixth year of racing on Italian teams that included three years with Fenixs, Laura Lorenza Morfin Macouzet joined Team Valdarno, a new UCI Women’s team in 2010. The 28-year old, who races both mountain bikes and road, placed third in mountain biking XC at the 2007 Pan American Games and third at the Mexican Road National Championships in 2008.
Some might remember Morfin as the unlucky cyclist who had to switch bikes at the 2008 World Road Championships in Italy. After swapping her bike early in the race due to a mechanical problem, Morfin made her way into the 13-rider break but she was forced to stop and switch bikes again because her B bike did not have a transponder. She had to chase back and in the end finished 25th.
After one year with Team Type 1, Mexican National Champion in both road and time trial, Verónica Leal Balderas is returning to an Italian team, S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox in 2010. The 32 year old previously raced in Europe for three years with three different Italian teams from 2006 to 2008.
Read more about Team TIBCO/To The Top here.
The 27 UCI Women’s team in 2010 are Kuota Speed Kueens (AUT), Lotto Ladies Team (BEL), Redsun Cycling Team (BEL), Topsport Vlaanderen – Thompson (BEL), Bizkaia – Durango (ESP), Debabarrena – Kirolgi (ESP), Lointek (ESP), ESGL 93 – GSD Gestion (FRA), Vienne Futuroscope (FRA), HTC Columbia Women (GER), Noris Cycling (GER), Giant Pro Cycling (HKG), Acs Chirio – Forno D’Asolo (ITA), Gauss Rdz Ormu (ITA), S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox (ITA), Team Valdarno (ITA), Top Girls Fassa Bortolo – Ghezzi (ITA), Vaiano Solaristech (ITA), Safi – Pasta Zara (LTU), Cervelo Test Team (NED), Leontien.Nl (NED), Nederland Bloeit (NED), Hitec Products Uck (NOR), Mtn (RSA), Fenixs – Petrogradets (RUS), Alriksson Go:Green (SWE) and TIBCO (USA).