Skil-Shimano’s management has confirmed that Project 1t4i will have a women’s team for the 2012 season. The team will race at UCI level, sharing resources and structure with the men’s squad. The 10-rider team will look to compete in the biggest races, while their male counterparts are also under consideration for a WorldTour license for 2012.
As well as keeping Regina Bruins, Amy Pieters, Esra Tromp, Suzanne de Goede, Anne de Wildt and Linda van Rijen, the team will bolster its ranks with Adrie Visser (HTC-Highroad), Monique van de Ree (AA-Drink) and Janneke Kanis (Nederland Bloeit). The squad has also offered a full time contract to Kelly Markus, who finished ninth in the women’s junior road race at the World Championships in Copenhagen last month.
"The Project 1t4i women’s team will proceed with the same supporting staff, vision and character as the men’s team. Sponsor Skil, who signed a two-year Olympic commitment with the women’s team last year, will remain connected to the team for another year," the team announced in a press release.
Skil-1t4i is the public name for the new squad until the spring when the new lead sponsor, which has already signed a three-year deal, will be unveiled.