Central Pro team presented in Cyprus

Number-one ranked mountain bike squad hopes to build on its success

The central Pro Mountain Bike Team was presented to 300 guests at the Club Aldiana in Cyprus on Friday. For 2010, the German squad includes four women: Olympic gold medallist Sabine Spitz, World Cup Winner Lisi Osl, Mona Eiberweiser and Anja Gradl.

The two-year-old team hopes to build on last year's success as the top-ranked women's World Cup team. Thanks to Spitz, the team collected in 2009 a gold in the marathon World Championships and a bronze in the cross country European Championships. During the season-long World Cup series, Osl also earned three victories and the overall title.

Team leader Sabine Spitz predicted that the bar would be very high for the team this year. During the off season, Spitz has been off the bike recovering from a groin injury, but she is optimistic about her chances this season. "I hope that I am at the Marathon World Championships in St. Wendel (Germany) and the cross country World Championships in Mont Sainte Anne (Canada)."

Mona Eiberweiser is a new member of the team and racing in her first year out of the junior ranks. The young German hopes to make her mark in the elite women's field. Even after her surprise early season victory in the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, Eiberweiser remained realistic about the transition she is facing. "This has changed nothing. I am proud to be part of this great team and want to gain experience, above all," she said.

After a breakthrough 2009, the Austrian Osl stands ready to defend her World Cup title. She's found herself more in the public eye than ever before. "I can't expect wins, so I'll just continue to ride. I want to acknowledge my achievements so far and then be among the front runners at the World Cup," said the Austrian of her 2010 ambitions. She also has her eye on doing well at the European and World Championships.

Anja Gradl is aiming for a podium at the German cross country championships after just missing out with a fourth place last year. "At the World Cup, I have made the top 15," she also noted.

"The success of the individual accounts for the success of the team, but what remains as the overarching goal of the team is bringing young athletes along and accompanying them on their way to the top," said team manager Ralf Schäuble.

The team is sponsored by the central Krankenversicherung AG, GHOST bikes and Garmin. The team is hoping it may be able to extend its primary sponsorships through 2012.

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