Organisers of the Trust House Women's Cycling Tour in March received an early holiday present with confirmation that the women's T-Mobile team from Germany will be on the start line.
Fresh from a successful season of international competition, the T-Mobile women's team is aiming high in 2007 with a world-class roster of eleven riders from six nations.
"We have already decided who will ride in New Zealand", said team manager Kristy Scrymgeour. "We have five riders living and training down under in our off-season, four in Australia and one in New Zealand, and we will bring Judith Arndt over as the sixth rider. We want to start the season well, and I think we have a strong team in New Zealand and Australia to do that."
Leading riders Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and former World Champion Judith Arndt will stay with the team into 2007. They will be joined by Oenone Wood, Linda Villumsen, Kate Bates, and Alex Rhodes.
Australian Oenone Wood is the biggest new name on the roster and though she is still relatively new to cycling she has already achieved so much. She is a two-time World Cup Series winner and former Australian National Champion; Linda Villumsen is a European and Danish Champion; Track specialist Kate Bates is a current Australian National Champion and Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist; and making up the team is young Australian Alex Rhodes, who has fully recovered from serious injury incurred in a major accident in Germany in July 2005, which claimed the life of team-mate Amy Gillett.
"We have strengthened the squad considerably and I'm convinced that we'll be up there with the world's best teams and we will win many races," said team coach and former top pro racer Petra Rossner. "The team was strong in 2006 and we intend to follow up and expand on that. We want to make our mark on the stage-races like the Tour of New Zealand and our goal is simple - to win as often as possible."
Trust House Race Director Jorge Sandoval was thrilled with the news. "Having the team currently considered to be one of the best in the world racing here in New Zealand again is great for the sport and for our event," he said.
"The Trust House 2007 Tour is already looking like being bigger and better than last year, and that's fantastic for everyone involved. The better we can make it, the more international exposure both the race, and New Zealand, will receive. It's going to be big."
The German national team has also signed up for the Trust House Women's Tour of New Zealand, which will take place from March 7-11, 2007.