Top European women's professional teams Nobili Rubinetterie-Minikeni Cogeas and Van Bemmelen - AA Drink have confirmed their participation in the Trust House Women's Tour (March 2 - 4) and the second round of the women's World Cup, Wellington, Sunday March 6.
Leading the charge in Nobili Rubinetterie are Russian sprinter Olga Slyusareva and Lithuanian Modesta Vzesnihuskaite, both national road champions in their respective countries. Italian riders Sigrid Corneo, Daniela Fusar Poci and Silvia Valsecchi are also part of an Italian team.
Nobili Rubinetterie also has a Kiwi connection in New Zealand number one Joanne Kiesanowski, who is looking forward to the rare chance to ride a top-level race in New Zealand. "I'm really excited about it, it's great to be able to ride an international event at home." she said.
Based in the Netherlands, Van Bemmelen - AA Drink will bring a multi-naitonal team of two Germans, three Australians and a rider from the Netherlands to the New Zealand races. Reigning Olympic champion, Australian Sara Carrigan will lead the team. Carrigan is twice Australian road time trial champion (2002 and 2003) and in 2003 won the opening round of the Women's World Cup in Geelong.
Carrigan will be supported by the Bates sisters Kate and Natalie. Kate Bates mixes road and track racing and recently won three gold medals at the Manchester track World Cup, and is excited about racing with her sister.
"It will be awesome to race with Nat," said Kate bates. "She is so good to have around in more ways than one. She is my best friend, my training partner and my psychiatrist. She really flogs me in training. She really has a lot of talent and I think being in a pro team will be perfect for her."
Suzanne De Goede from the Netherlands, Angela Brodika and Theresa Senff from Germany round out the team.