Topsport Vlaanderen 2012's Grace Verbeke sees her handlebars and the smooth pave of Orvelte
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New Belgian-based UCI Women's team attracts Ryan
The UCI women's peloton is continuing to take shape with the Cyclelive-Zannatta team launched.
The Belgian-based outfit will be overseen by former Belgian champion Heidi van De Vijver but the announcement on the cyclelivemagazine.be website was bolstered by the news that Grace Verbeke will head the squad, along with Carla Ryan.
Verbeke was hit by a truck in October 2011 while out on a training ride, sustaining a broken eye socket, a bruised pelvis and superficial wounds. The 28-year-old was set to race with the Kleo Ladies team but the 2012 season was then interrupted by illness. Along with De Vijver and Verbeke, Annelies Van Doorslaer also comes across from Kleo Ladies.
Former Australian champion Carla Ryan is another big name signing for the team, the last of the riders to find a new home following the collapse of the AA Drink - Leontien.nl squad following the decision of the title sponsor to cease funding. Ryan said via her Twitter account that she was "Looking forward to turning things around in 2013."
The announcement also alluded to an "American rider making a comeback after a year's absence from the peloton" though is yet to be named.
A host of Belgian riders have also been listed: Latoya Brulee (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley), Lieselot Decroix (Dolmans Boels), Annelies Dom and youngster Daisy Depoorter. Dutchwoman Marissa Otten (Specialized DPT) and Monique van de Ree (SKIL-Argos) complete the team.
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