Equipe Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe has closed its roster for the coming season, adding Larissa Kleinmann as its third new signing. She joins Suzanne de Goede and German track champion Christina Becker on the team for 2008.
Kleinmann, 29, has an unusual background. She was a highly successful (running) track athlete at the junior level in Germany, and accepted a sports scholarship in the United States, where she got Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Business Administration. She injured herself while training for the 2003 New York Marathon, and while recovering, bought a bike to try cycling when she could not run. Enjoying the sport, she turned her full attention to it, riding her first race in 2005. She changed to track cycling and rode for the German national team until this year, when she stopped due to differences with the national team management.
"Actually I had already retired, but (Nürnberger team manager) Jens Zemke pulled me back," said Kleinmann. "I love this sport and now my dream is coming true. I want to give my best and have much success with my new team."
Equipe Nürnmberger will go into the coming season with 11 riders: Charlotte Becker, Christina Becker, Claudia Häusler, Larissa Kleinmann, Eva Lutz, Regina Schleicher, Trixi Worrack, (all Germany), Edita Pucinskaite, Modesta Vzesniauskaite (both Litauen), Marie Lindberg (Sweden), and Suzanne de Goede (Netherlands).