The next batch of promising Australian cyclists has been announced with the launch of Cycling Australia's Jayco-AIS Women's Endurance Squad. The team will comprise of four road and three track riders with the goal of providing a structured pathway into the professional ranks of Orica-AIS and also preparing selected track athletes for targeted road events.
The multi-functioning program was finalised shortly after the Oceania Road Championships with four road athletes added to the previously identified three track riders.
Headlining the team on the road is reigning Oceania time trial champion Taryn Heather, 2012 National Road Series champion and time trial silver medallist from both the National and Oceania Championships Grace Sulzberger, under-23 road and time trial national champion Emily Roper and Chloe McConville - a European debutant last year who's aggressive riding made her a standout throughout the 2012 season.
The previously selected track athletes include London Games representative Amy Cure, Ashlee Ankudinoff - who won four gold medals at the Oceania Track Championships and national scratch race champ Isabella King.
The announcement comes shortly following the launch of the revamped under-23 men's Jayco-AIS World Academy which shifted away from a registered UCI Continental team and has since become a fully-integrated national program.
"I am really looking forward to resuming our activities in Europe and fostering the development of our next generation of riders," said AIS women's road cycling head coach Martin Barras.
"We have four very versatile [road] riders, all of whom possess strong work ethics and team oriented goals.
"This tour presents us with the opportunity to prepare the women who can ultimately ride for our professional team (Orica-AIS) and represent us in major international events such as the World Championships and Olympic Games," he added.
The road squad will race selected NRS events in the early part of the season before joining up with the remaining track athletes for the start of their European campaign.
The first major race will be the Tour de Feminin followed by Thuringen Rundfarht, Route de France, Trophee D'Or, Tour de l'Ardeche and Chrono Champenois - Trophée Européen.