, building an empire

Now armed with a UCI pro licence, the sky's the limit for the women's team....

Now armed with a UCI pro licence, the sky's the limit for the women's team. Cyclingnews' Jonathan Devich caught up with the crew at a recent team camp to find out what's driving the squad to all-new heights.

Over the past few weeks at a secret base in Tucson, Arizona the women's pro cycling team has been putting the final touches on what has become its most powerful and experienced group of riders yet.

The team is the dream child of director Scott Gerrie - you might remember Gerrie's name from the women's Biovail squad from the last couple of years. He started as a team director seven years ago when a group of riders approached him about putting together a team. He began with a men's masters team but then saw the opportunity in women's cycling.

"I felt at that time that it was going to be maybe a little easier to get sponsorship money selling a women's program because there were so few of them," Gerrie explained with a laugh. "I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing but I stuck to my guns and once I knew what side I was going to do, the vision was to go UCI at some point."

This year, with as title sponsor, Gerrie has been able to bring the team up to UCI status. With the new status in the bag a campaign in Europe is on the horizon.

"We're going in the spring just to get the team used to racing in Europe and to get used to racing together in Europe," he said. "June1st is when Olympic qualifying comes up, so from June to May 2008 the more points we can get as a team, and as individual riders, will help get spots for the Olympics."

Read the full news feature.

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