By Greg Johnson
Australian sprinter Rochelle Gilmore has signed with Lotto-Belisol for the 2009 road season. Gilmore will join the Belgian women's squad from the Tour of Qatar in February.
"I've had a great experience working with Team Lotto-Belisol, having input into the race schedule and team structure pre-season was exciting and motivating," said Gilmore. "Tour of Qatar will be a perfect little, short but important tour for our team to meet and experience racing together for the first time."
Gilmore will join the likes of Grace Verbeke, Vera Koedooder, Lizzie Armitstead and fellow Australian Emma Mackie at the squad. The rider, who is contesting the Beijing Track World Cup this weekend, is expected to take part in the Women's Road World Cup series in addition to major women's races like Tour de L'Aude, women's Giro d'Italia, La Route De France, Trophee d'Or, Holland Ladies Tour, Tour Ardeche and the Tour de Toscana.
"I'm really excited about the early season European racing in April," said Gilmore. "The Dutch and Belgium one day races will definitely suit the strengths in our team, I'm especially looking forward to racing with Vera, Lizzie and Emma and getting to know the other Europeans on our team."
The 26-year-old joined the Flexpoint team in 2008 after the women's Giro d'Italia having left her former Menikini-Selle Italia squad. A later parting of ways between Gilmore and the Dutch squad left Gilmore without a professional ride for the remainder of the season.
Gilmore isn't the only new addition to the Belgian squad, with the outfit set to ride Pinarello's Prince (Bianco) this season. The bike will be fitted with the latest Dura-Ace group set, Pinarello Tank 1K Cranks and MOst handlebars, stem and seat post.