Cooke not part of T-Mobile women team

The T-Mobile Team professional women’s squad has announced the expansion of its roster, preparing for the season ahead. Kimberly Baldwin, Lyne Bessette, and Rebecca Much are the latest additions to the elite pro racing team, but British rider Nicole Cooke, although originally announced as being signed, will finally not be part of the outfit.

"We have several talented athletes on board and as sometimes happens, we were not able to align Nicole’s personal goals with those of the team," regretted the team’s sports director Andrzej Bek. "We wish Nicole the very best in her future racing career."

Baldwin, Bessette and Much will link up with the other confirmed riders, including Judith Arndt and Ina Yoko Teutenberg, at the team’s first get-together in Munich, Germany, from December 3-4. Both Kimberly Baldwin, four time US National Champion, and Lyne Bessette, two time Olympian and four time Canadian National Champion, are former teammates of Arndt and Teutenberg. "Kimberly has been with our US team for three successful years, winning four races last season and clocking up 16 top three finishes," Bek said. "I am looking forward to continuing to work with her in the future. Both Lyne and Kimberly are top-class cyclists. We are confident that these athletes will all combine together very well in magenta."

Also staying with the team is young talent Rebecca Much. The 19 year-old is a Silver Medalist from the Junior World Championships in Verona in 2004, and is a current U-23 national Champion in the USA. "Rebecca is well equipped for the international challenge. She holds dual German/US citizenship and she is definitely an exciting prospect for the future," predicted Bek.

On the agenda at the gathering in Munich are team building exercises, group and individual meetings to plan race programs for the season ahead, and a review of training plans among other planning activities. With the women’s team still taking shape, the final roster will only be announced at a later date, and the public presentation will take place during the course of the official men's team presentation in Mallorca, Spain, on January 14, 2006.

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