The newest Australian women’s National Road Series team, BikeBug-NextGen Racing, was launched in Melbourne on Thursday.
NextGen Cycling owners Chris Stevens, Stuart McKenzie and Claire Homsey also announced its relationship with sponsors BikeBug.com, as well as CartGiS Pty Ltd, Project Clothing and Carroll O'Dea Lawyers.
While only seven riders were introduced, the Victorian-based team will be comprised of eight contracted elite female cyclists, who along with managers, coaches and mechanics, are not paid but ride strictly for the "love of cycling" according to Homsey, who also serves as both a communications manager and team rider.
"Our sponsors have been very generous in their efforts to support our team this year, but more than this, they understand our commitment and want to be a part of setting a new benchmark in women’s cycling," said Homsey, a full time management consultant who trains in the morning before work and performs team administration after work.
"A lot of riders would not be able to ride without sponsorship," Homsey told Cyclingnews. "The expense of training, travel and racing is immense, and 100 per cent of our budget is allocated to helping our team reach their goals of racing in both the Victorian and National Road Series."
Aside from the five-race Victorian Road Series starting with the Mt Buller Road Race in March 23 and the seven-race women’s NRS schedule starting at the Adelaide Tour on April 3, BikeBug-NextGen will also be targeting the national time trial, road race and criterium championships in January 2015, as well as approximately 100 cycling races in between.
Chloe Baggs, 17, Melbourne
Claire Homsey, 33, Melbourne
Georgina Beech, 25, Melbourne
Justyna Lubkowski, 39, Melbourne
Elizabeth Doueal, 22, Melbourne
Penny Brown, 27, Melbourne
Prudence Rothwell, 24, Melbourne
Stuart McKenzie, Team Co-owner/Directeur Sportif
Chris Stevens, Team Co-owner/Company Director
Claire Homsey, Team Co-owner/Communications