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Beijing Olympian Rosara Joseph will leads the BikeNZ National team at the Women’s Tour of New Zealand in the Manawatu this week.
BikeNZ has selected a six-women team with a mix of skills and experience to provide valuable training and learning opportunities for some of New Zealand’s top women road riders.
Joseph, better known for her mountain biking success, will be joined by experienced New Zealand track representative Kaytee Boyd along with Sequoia Cooper, Emily Collins, Kate Chilcott, and Reta Trotman for the five-day tour starting in Palmerston North tomorrow.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity for the riders to get international racing experience here at home. There is a good mix of experience and newcomers in the team. This is the chance for another tier of riders to put their hands up and show what they are capable of," said Andy Reid, BikeNZ Team Manager.
"Our main objective is to ride cohesively as a team, which will lead to results on the general classification and the chance of a stage win."
Reid will be joined by former national road cycling champion Catherine Cheatley in the Director Sportif role. An injury last year has forced Cheatley off the bike, but she is relishing the opportunity to get a taste of the other side of the sport.
"Cath has a huge amount of experience, has achieved a great deal on the bike and brings a new dimension to the team" said Reid.
Joseph will be using the intense racing to increase her fitness ahead of the upcoming Oceania Mountain Bike Championships and World Cup Season as she looks to secure herself Olympic selection.
There is a strong international field for the Tour, which includes reigning Olympic champion Kirstin Armstrong (US National Team), former World Champions Tatiana Guderzo (Italian National Team) and Judith Arndt (GreenEdge-AIS).
The field also includes teams from USA, Japan, China, Australia, Italy and other top riders from Canada, England, New Zealand and Australia.
The racing starts on Wednesday evening with a 7.1km time trial around Massey University with the Tour continuing until Sunday.
BikeNZ New Zealand National Team: Kaytee Boyd (Waiuku), Sequoia Cooper (Invercargill), Emily Collins (Auckland), Kate Chilcott (Auckland), Rosara Joseph (Wellington), Reta Trotman(Kaiapoi)