Pegasus’ Racing’s new women’s team will make its debut at this weekend’s Celtic Country Classic de Femme, contested between Glen Innes and Inverell. The event, run in conjunction with the men’s Grafton to Inverell race, will see the women tackle a 45km loop through Red Range before finishing in Inverell after 112km of racing.
The new women’s squad is entered under the Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans banner that Pegasus’ domestic men’s squad has competed under in 2010. Included in the six women roster is 2008 Glen Innes to Inverell runner-up Kristy Broun and current Australian time trial champion Amber Halliday. The pair will be joined by former Honda Dream Team rider Elizabeth Georgouras, Brittany Lindores, Laura Luxford and Jessie Maclean.
The six make up the biggest women’s field in the race’s history, with 59 women entered across two categories. Of those, 30 will contest the full 112km race while B Grade will contest a shorter 67km route.
The Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans team’s main opposition will come from defending champion Lauren Kitchen. Queensland’s Bundaberg Sugar team will also have a strong showing, with fourth placed from 2009 Simone Grounds leading a seven rider squad that includes former Olympic rower Sally Robbins.
Pegasus Racing announced last month it would form a women’s squad to contest the Australian domestic scene, with the hope of expanding its exploits over coming years. It will be the fourth team operated by Pegasus next year as it joins the company’s Australian men’s domestic squad, US-based men’s Continental team and a new European outfit which will run either as a ProTour or Professional Continental team, depending on the outcome of its licence for a much sought-after ProTour licence.