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Dutch mountain bike team adds its first two off-road women riders
The Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team is expanding on the success of its first season by adding two accomplished mountain bikers: Katie Compton and Rosara Joseph, its first two women riders.
Compton, 32, divided her winter between the USA and Europe, winning all five World Cup races she entered and a silver medal at the 2011 cyclo-cross world championships. The American is a perfect match for the team as she starts preparations for the coming mountain bike season and the Olympic Games.
Her new, two-year deal is good timing for the American after her previous sponsor, Planet Bike, announced that it was pulling out of sponsoring 'cross last year. She is looking forward to racing with her new team.
"I am very excited to join the Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team over the next several years, which I believe will be the best of my career. I have high goals and expectations for myself for both cyclo-cross and mountain biking. I am happy to be a part of such a respected and well run team as I continue to pursue these goals."
Joseph, 28, from New Zealand, a former Rhodes Scholar and lawyer, was ninth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in cross country, and fifth in the 2007 mountain bike world championships, signed a one-year deal. She will also be looking towards London 2012.
The new signings will give the team an immediate boost to its standings, as the new UCI Elite Mountain Bike Team rankings for 2011 use combined scores of both male and female riders.
Jan ten Tusscher, Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team Manager, explained the benefits of signing Compton. "As of this year, for the rankings the team’s top three men and top two women will count as a team. Katie is very motivated to succeed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and will be targeting this year’s mountain bike world championships as a key stepping stone."
"The continued expansion and globalization of our team played a key role in attracting both Katie and Rosara to the team. Rosara had her share of bad luck in the past years, but is back on track. We will give her all our support to develop herself."