By Susan Westemeyer
Petra Rossner, track world champion, Olympic gold medallist and an active rider through 2004, has joined the T-Mobile women's team as a trainer for the upcoming season. Rossner (39) is only one of the new faces at the team, which this year also boasts a new team manager, Kristy Scrymgeour and sport director Anna Wilson, as well as eight new riders.
Rossner will work closely with Scrymgeour and Wilson. Rossner says according to the team's website, "Together with them and the riders who want my help, I will put together training and racing plans." She is also available for other questions, such as nutrition or tactics, and she says and hopes "that I can share my experiences, particularly with the young riders."
One of those young riders is, indeed, very young. Emilia Fahlin, of Sweden is only 17 years-old, but considered one of the most talented young European riders. "She is to be slowly brought up to this level of women's cycling, to find her role and to learn -- especially from the experienced riders on the team." The team won't let her devote herself entirely on riding, though. "Above all Emilia will concentrate on her schoolwork in 2007."
One of those experienced riders is Kim Anderson, one of only three riders returning from the 2006 squad. "With her 38 years she is very experienced, but can always improve herself. She still has great potential," remarked Rossner.
The biggest new name on the team is Oenone Wood, the Australian rider who won the World Cup in 2004 and 2005. "At 26, Oenone has been very successful in the past. She is very talented, very fast and will surely be a top candidate to win in one-day races. In the season just ending, she had some motivation problems, so the change to a new team will do her good."
But despite the big names on the team, Rossner says, "Our trump card is the team itself, the unity. A rider can win a race only when she is supported by her team to the best of its ability. Every rider on our team can win races next year. That will be our strength."