Following the disbanding of the 2011 UCI Colavita/Forno d'Asolo team last year, Colavita, one of the longest-running sponsors of women's cycling in the USA, has announced it will continue with a small elite team in 2012 with sports broadcaster ESPN as a co-sponsor.
The team will race as Colavita-espnW, helping to promote ESPN's emerging business devoted to serving female fans. The team will be led by six-time US national champion Tina Pic and Jamaican Olympian Iona Wynter Parks, and will roll out for the first time at the SRAM Tour of the Gila on May 2 in Silver City, New Mexico.
"I knew a new business that focuses on supporting female athletes would be a perfect fit for this unique opportunity," said John A. Profaci, Vice President of Marketing for Colavita. "Assembling a team is always challenging, but I'm confident we have recruited a great squad of cyclists capable of representing our new team effort having leadership skills on and off the bike."
The team will include Kathryn Bertine, a three-time national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis, Olympic hopeful and columnist for espnW, Canadians Moriah MacGregor, Leah Guloien and Joanie Caron, Jamie Bookwalter, and Mary Zider.
"We'll be out there to win, but at the same time we will celebrate the women we race with by shining a light on their accomplishments. When we highlight one female racer, we all move forward," said Bertine.
The Colavita/espnW Pro Cycling Team will focus on NRC and select UCI events, including:
SRAM Tour of the Gila (May 2-6; Silver City, NM)
Gatineau Grand Prix (May 18-21; Gatineau, Quebec
Exergy Tour (May 24-28; Boise, ID)
Liberty Classic (June 3; Philadelphia, PA)
Nature Valley Grand Prix (June 13-17; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)
Cascade Classic Stage Race (July 17-22; Bend, OR)
Tour of Elk Grove (Aug 3-5; Elk Grove, IL)
Aspen/Snowmass Pro Women's Race (Aug 21-23; Aspen, CO)