USA Cycling announced that it is opening a training facility in Lucca, Italy for its women's national team and development programs. The Tuscan location for the European residence centre will allow the women close proximity to European races, favourable weather conditions, and excellent training.
The first group of women moved into the residence this week. Kristin Armstrong (Team Lipton), Katheryn Curi (Webcor Builders), Lauren Franges (Team Lipton), Rebecca Larson (Aarons), Alison Powers (Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light), Brooke Miller (Team Tibco) and Christine Thorburn (Webcor Builders) arrived in Lucca after a week of racing in Belgium and the Netherlands.
"The opening of our European residence centre represents the next step in our efforts to develop the next crop of world-class women cyclists," explained Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. "Right now, our women’s endurance program is enjoying unprecedented success across all disciplines of cycling and the opening of this facility is a crucial component in sustaining that success long after the current class retires."
"In order to replicate the achievements that the men’s program has yielded over the years, and to be able to consistently compete against the world’s top teams and nations, the women we have in the development pipeline need this type of stimuli on a regular basis." McDonough continued. "And, by involving proven veterans at the height of their career throughout this process, USA Cycling is providing the up-and-comers with another valuable resource that is paramount to their long-term success."