American women's outfit Webcor Builders Cycling Team has announced its 2008 roster, which is led by top returning riders Christine Thorburn and Katheryn Curi Mattis. The squad will be the only UCI-registered women's team in North America this year.
Thorburn, a 2004 Olympian and 2006 Worlds Bronze Medalist, will take a leave of absence from her medical practice to focus on earning a medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing this August.
Curi Mattis enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2007 with overall podium appearances at the Redlands Classic and the Tour Cycliste Feminin International Ardeche.
"With our great success in North America in 2007, I am very excited to take our 2008 team to compete internationally against the best in the world," Team Manager Karen Brems said.
Thorburn and Curi Mattis are joined on the roster by a trio of top Canadians – 2006 double National Champion Alex Wrubleski, 2007 National Road Champion Gina Grain, and 2005 National Silver Medalist Erinne Willock, a Webcor rider in 2005 and 2006.
Brems, the 1994 World Champion and 2000 Olympian, expressed optimism about the team's Olympic prospects. "With our level of talent, Webcor Builders could send up to five riders to Beijing," she said.
Also racing for Webcor will be three promising new talents – Rebecca Much, 2004 Jr. Worlds Silver Medalist; Amy Dombroski, 2006 and 2007 U23 National Cyclo-cross Champion; and Janel Holcomb, who captured third place in the 2007 Bermuda Grand Prix time trial as a guest rider for Webcor.
The team's plans for international competition this year include the Geelong World Cup in Australia, the Women's Tour of New Zealand, and three top European races – the Tour de Berne, Giro di San Marino, and the Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Feminin. The outfit will also contest the Montreal World Cup, as well as top NRC road and stage races.
Webcor Builders' 2008 roster: Christine Thorburn, Katheryn Curi Mattis, Alex Wrubleski, Gina Grain, Erinne Willock, Rebecca Much, Amy Dombroski, Janel Holcomb, Laura McKenzie and Beverley Harper.