Five more teams have confirmed their participation of the women's Tour of New Zealand, February 25-27. Race Director Jorge Sandoval announced the additions of the National teams from China, Japan and New Zealand, as well as Champion Systems Cycling team and the New Zealand-based Cyclosport team.
This is adding to the 41 Australians already registered. The New Zealand national team is led by Joanne Kiesanowski, professional at the US-based Tibco team. Supporting Kiesanowski are Emma Peterson, Serena Sheridan, Toni Bradshaw and Karen Fulton.
Australian hill climber Ruth Corset will lead the Champion Systems Pro team. Corset finished second on the stage up Admiral Hill in the 2008 tour, beaten by eventual tour winner Kristin Armstrong. Corset Canadian rider Steph Roorda, American pro Dotsie Baush and kiwi riders Malindi MacLean and Lauren Ellis will support Corset.
The Chinese team comes with a strong team, including 2007 Asia Championships Road Race champion Lang Meng, Yong Li Liu, Xiao Mei Huang, Min Gao, Li Chen and Fei Wang.
Sandoval is thrilled that more and more international teams are making their way to Wellington every year for the event. "We've got a fantastic field with lots of different experience and style. Riders who come here go home speaking highly about our tour and organisation - and this encourages even more overseas teams to come.
"The Japanese team has been in a training camp for the past two weeks in Japan preparing for our event. The New Zealand Tour is already looking like being bigger and better than last year, and that's fantastic for everyone involved."
A total of 70 riders in 14 teams will start the only international women's cycling event in Oceania next Wednesday 25 February.
The New Zealand Tour finishes on Friday 27 February, and on Sunday, riders take part in the Women's International Cup of Cycling in a 9km circuit in the city of Masterton.
(Additional editorial assistance from Susan Westemeyer and Antonio J. Salmerón)