Professional women's cycling team Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T-Interim was presented in the "Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen" in Oudenaarde, Belgium last Thursday. With three clothing companies as sponsors (Erima, Modemakers and Bio Racer), it was clear that there was going to be a short fashion show, so the presentation started in style with Hanka Kupfernagel (cyclocross world champion), Anita Valen (third World Championships on road 2004), Emma Davies (British track racer), Evy Van Damme (wife of Quick.Step's Nick Nuyens), Sharon Van Dromme (Belgian up-and-coming youngster), Veerle Ingels (Belgian cyclocross champion) and all the other ladies on the catwalk.
Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T-Interim, managed by Fons Leroy, is the first and the only Belgian professional women's cycling team. Established 11 years ago, the team is subsidized by the Flemish government and sponsored by Capri Sonne (German lemonade), T-Interim (a temporary employment agency) and Focus bikes (German company from Mike Kluge, Hanka Kupfernagel's partner and former cyclocross world champion). Thanks to experienced riders such as Hanka Kupfernagel, Anita Valen, Debby Mansveld, Sharon Van Dromme and Evy Van Damme, Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T-Interim offers young talented riders the opportunity to ride international world cup and stage races.
The most important race to the team this season will be the women's edition of the Tour of Flanders, considerably longer and hillier than last edition and starting at the Molenberg. Meanwhile, Hanka Kupfernagel has left for South Africa to prepare the for the race. Returning to the team after three years is Evy Van Damme, teaming up with newly signed British Emma Davies (2004 Olympian) and Charlotte Goldsmith. Also new to the team is Christa Pirard (partner of Mr. Bookmaker.com's Bobbie Traksel) and daughter from former Dutch rider Fritz Pirard. Debby Mansveld as well as Cindy Pieters will also stick to the team in 2005.
More information: www.cyclingteam-damesvlaanderen.be