The hugely successful High Road Sports' women's team lives on under the banner of Team Specialized lululemon in an announcement today by Velocio Sports, run by HTC-Highroad's former marketing and communications manager, Kristy Scrymgeour.
The HTC-Highroad team was forced to disband after five years in August, following a failed search for a new sponsor. Team owner Bob Stapleton held out hope that the women's outfit would continue and Highroad will support the Team Specialized lululemon.
"Bob [Stapleton] has been an avid supporter of women's cycling for many years and we would like to carry on his hard work by continuing the team with much of the same structure in place," said Director of Velocio Sports, Kristy Scrymgeour. "He has been very supportive of the project and will provide us with valuable equipment to get us going."
Many of the Highroad women will continue to ride for the new squad with Ina-Yoko Teutenberg , U.S national time trial champion Evelyn Stevens and former world time trial champion Amber Neben, Ellen Van Dijk, Emilia Fahlin, Chloe Hosking, Ally Stacher, Charlotte Becker and Katie Colclough.
Meantime, Canada's Clara Hughes has been announced as a new signing, joining her first trade team since her comeback to the sport began earlier this season.
Ronny Lauke will continue as Team Manager and Sport Director of the team and Oliver Grabowski and Beth Duryea will remain with the team as head mechanic and soigneur respectively.
With the London Olympic Games on the horizon, the competition will be a key focus for the team.
"This is such an awesome opportunity for us," said Specialized's President and Founder, Mike Sinyard. "We're really excited to put our name behind these incredible athletes with an inspiring company like lululemon that makes the best women's athletic apparel in the world. Our pro riders give us invaluable feedback to continue innovating the best bikes in the world."
"We can't wait to elevate women's cycling with Specialized," said Christine Day, CEO, lululemon athletica. "Their technical expertise, longstanding pedigree and dedication to women in cycling inspire our entire organization. Feedback from the athletes is what drives us and these amazing athletes further enhance our focus on technical product."
The team will race on the all-new 2012 Specialized Amira, on which they took many great victories in 2011 and showcased it as a podium-worthy women's race bike. The women will also ride the World Championship-winning S-Works Shiv, the S-Works Prevail and TT2 helmets, as well as Specialized Body Geometry Oura saddles and S-Works shoes.