Early in September, FCS announced the merger of its Elite Women’s Cycling Team and Rouse Bicycles’ Elite Women’s Cycling Team to create the FCSΙRouse Cycling Team, which is expected to be a strong contender in the women’s peloton on the National level in 2012. Chris Cornetto, owner of Rouse Bicycles, will be managing the team, while Rachel Byus, of FCS, will be directing. The program has great support from the Co-Chairmen of FCS, Lee Whaley and Doug Clark. FCS|Rouse will be based out of Dallas, Texas where FCS has a large following of over 80 club members and club affiliates.
Over the past few months Cornetto and Byus finalized their roster, compiling a versatile and talented group of riders. With a stage win and third overall at the 2011 Tour of the Gila, Kathryn Donovan will be a main asset for the FCS|Rouse squad. Donovan, 29, resides in Oxnard, California. Climbing and stage racing are Kathryn’s strengths.
Anna Sanders, 30, also a great climber and all-around stage racer is on board for 2012. Working as a sales professional in Phoenix, Arizona. Sanders has only been racing three years but has adapted to the sport quickly. Last year, she placed in the top 20 in the general classification at Valley of the Sun, Redlands Classic and Tour of the Gila.
The veteran of the team will be Mary Maroon, 34, who has over 35 career wins and has raced for Touchstone Climbing, Webcor and Vanderkitten in the past. With her explosive power, Maroon is a successful sprinter and will also be playing the role of team captain.
One of FCS’s returning riders, Lauren Robertson, 25, will be back in full force for 2012. Not only is Robertson a great stage racer, but she is also a high school math teacher. Residing in Dallas, Texas, Robertson has been racing for three years and has shown her skills at some of the most prestigious races in the country, such as Liberty Classic. Robertson has over 10 Texas State Championship wins.
Accomplished rider Rachel Warner has also signed with FCS|Rouse. Warner, 24, attends school and races for Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. In 2011, she placed second in the US Collegiate National Road Race and fourth at Stage 2 of Tour of the Gila.
Returning from FCS as director, Rachel Byus, 25, will also be racing for the team. Byus has been a part of FCS for nearly five years and looks forward to growing the team to even higher levels. Byus is also returning to school, she plans to complete her degree in Graphic Design at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, MO, where she will also be racing collegiately.
FCS|Rouse will be focusing mainly on the National Race Calendar events. The team will start off with training camp in Texas during early February. They will begin the season with a few TXBRA races, such as Tour of New Braunfels, Walburg, and Pace Bend before heading west to San Dimas and Redlands. The schedule will also include races such as Tour of the Gila, Joe Martin, Tour de Grove, Bike the Bricks(TX), Texas State Criterium Championship, Liberty Classic ,Tulsa Tough, Nature Valley Grand Prix, Aspen Women’s Race, Elite National Championships, Tour of Elk Grove, Hotter N’ Hell (TX) and Come and Take It (TX).
FCS|Rouse will be riding 2012 Rouse Psycho K and Isolation bicycles and using a variety of Oogie wheels. Drive train components will be provided by MicroShift. Arundel will provide bottle cages, handle bar tape and seat bags. Veloce Speedwear will be outfitting the ladies from head to toe with race clothing. Bicycles Plus, one of the best bicycle shops in Texas, will be a co-sponsor, along with Mr. Restore, a Dallas based fire, water, and storm restoration company. The team will gain the benefits of being fitted on both their road and time trial bikes by custom bike fitter Tad Hughes, owner of Tad Hughes Custom Fit Studio based out of the greater Houston TX area. Oakley will be outfitting the team with eyewear and other progressive Oakley products. Other sponsors include, Dallas based law firm Wilkins Finston Law Group, Big Wag pet grooming, Dallas, TX, Terra Firma Racing, Highland Village TX, Cross 24, Southlake TX, Cowabunga Ice Cream, Forked River NJ, The Racing Post Bedford TX, Athletes Honey Milk and Chamois Butt’r.