New project combines road, track and cyclo-cross teams for 2011
The full roster for the multi-discipline AA Drink-Leontien.nl was revealed on Tuesday in a presentation ceremony at the hotel Van der Valke Ridderkerk, outside Rotterdam. Dutch legend Leontien Zijlaard van Moorsel introduced the 2011 women's team, led by her country's current top rider Kirsten Wild.
Van Moorsel, the former Olympic champion who started the Leontien.nl women's fitness web site, was on hand to toast the team, which combines her Leontien.nl women's road squad along with a host of talented men who focused on the track and cyclo-cross as part of the AA Drink team.
The women's team includes Dutch star Kirsten Wild, ranked third in the world in 2010, German Trixi Worrack, Dane-turned-Kiwi Linda Villumsen, former European U23 road champion Chantal Blaak, track sprinter Willy Kanis as well as continuing riders Lucinda Brand, Irene van den Broek, Monique van Ree, Heleen van Vliet, Marijn de Vries, Anne de Wildt, Josien van Wingerden, and new recruits German Marlen Johrend and Belgian Eline de Roover.
The men's team unites the track riders Léon van Bon, Bram Imming and Willy Heeneman under six day legend Danny Stam, who will continue as a rider on the team while transitioning to a team director in anticipation of retirement. Stam has already been helping the 'cross team this season, and may be present in the team car behind the women's squad this summer.
Cyclo-cross racers Thijs Al, Thijs Van Amerongen, Eddy van IJzendoorn and Tom van den Bosch complete the roster.
"I just get the jitters again, as I look around me and see all the faces of the men and women. Often I found such a presentation to be wasted time, but it meant the real start of the cycling season for me - another year I tried to bring out the best in myself. Fortunately, this was very often accompanied by great success," said van Moorsel who is considered the "spiritual mother" of the team run by her husband Michael Zijlaard.
"I believe we have a great season ahead of us. I am aware you cannot order victories, but if you go down the list of names, and consider the person and his or her results from the past, I think chances are that most of the AA Drink / Leontien.nl riders here will bring home prizes."
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