The WaowDeals Pro Cycling team will be kitted out by La Vos, the new clothing label set up by former world champion Marianne Vos, and fans will have the say on the design of the jersey for the 2018 season.
Vos launched her first collection at the EuroCycling XP trade fair in Holland on Friday, and used the occasion to announce that she and her WaowDeals teammates will be wearing the label in 2018. WaowDeals is the new name for the old Rabo-Liv team, which raced under the WM3 moniker this season.
The team is giving fans the opportunity to choose the 2018 jersey, opening a public vote between three different designs.
Orica-Scott sign Lucy Kennedy
The 29-year-old Australian came to cycling relatively late but has enjoyed a breakthrough 2017 season, in which the Ardeche win was accompanied by victory in the individual time trial at the Oceania Continental Championships, a podium finish in the road race at the Australian national championships, and fourth place at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Kennedy has ridden for the Cycling Australia-backed High5 team this season, and has enjoyed increased support after being awarded the Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship for 2017.
"We are extremely happy to have Lucy on the team for next year," said Orica-Scott directeur sportif Gene Bates. "Lucy is relatively new to the sport of road cycling, but has already shown a lot of class and potential over a short period of time. We certainly sat up and took notice when she was awarded the Amy Gillet foundation scholarship for 2017.
"Climbing abilities like hers don’t come along very often and we are very proud and excited to see her develop in the Orica-Scott colours next season."
Kennedy added: "To join Orica-Scott in 2018 is a huge thrill. I have so much admiration and respect for all the riders, so to be able ride with and in support of them is a dream come true.
"I have a lot to learn about racing at the very top level and there is no better place than Orica-Scott for me to do just that. The opportunity to contribute to the continued success of the team is highly motivating and I’m really excited about the season ahead."
HB Supermint launch ambassador program
The Hagens Berman-Supermint team has launched an ambassador initiative designed to support the growth of women’s cycling, which will see the pro riders paired with aspiring cyclists to share advice and experience.
The program will launch on January 1, 2018, and will see ten ambassadors, chosen from a pool of applicants, paired with a rider on the team to provide "individualized insight, support, and encouragement to aid in the ambassador’s desired growth in the sport". The pairs will maintain contact through the year, while the ambassadors will also enjoy discounts on team products and VIP access at races and events.
"We’re focused on growing women’s cycling at the professional level through more events, media coverage, and pay, but often forget to reach out to the very people that could be the audience and consumer base this sport needs," said team manager Lindsay Bayer. "We need to make an effort to engage with more women in their own cycling experiences and to understand and respect what cycling means to them.
"Our new ambassador program will connect each of our riders directly with another women in cycling so that both the pros and amateurs can learn from one another as they share their experiences in the sport."
Returning rider Julie Kuliecza added: "When I first started racing I was very fortunate to have a group of women who were experienced riders take me under their wing and teach me the joys of cycling. Even then it was a love for the team aspect of the sport and the camaraderie and confidence it instills. As I continued to develop as a rider I tried to never lose sight of that love. Having the team support a mentorship program allows me to stay in touch with that joy and drive that comes with first starting this sport. I believe that this program will build on that love and look forward to having newer riders inspire us just as much as we inspire them."
Applications are open now.