Katrin Garfoot joins Orica-AIS

Katrin Garfoot (Pensar SPM Racing) warms down after finishing second in the opening stage of the women's Battle on the Border

Katrin Garfoot (Pensar SPM Racing) warms down after finishing second in the opening stage of the women's Battle on the Border (Image credit: Alex Malone)

Having started the season racing with the Australian National Team, German-born Australian Katrin Garfoot’s performances in Europe has landed her a contract with Orica-AIS for the remainder of 2014.

"We're really excited to bring Garfoot onto the team," said Sport Director Gene Bates. "She's relatively green to European racing, but what we've seen her do is good so far. She's new to the game, so she'll need some time to settle in, but we expect it to be a great fit."

"This has all happened very quickly," said Garfoot, who will make her debut with the team on Sunday at the Giro del Trentino. "Because it happened so quickly, it's a bit hard to take it all in. I was thinking in my head that further down the road, I might be able to get into a professional team, but I didn't have the confidence to think it could be this year. I'm really excited for the opportunity."

In 2013, just her second full season of road racing, Garfoot won the Oceania Road Championships and was the overall winner of the Women’s National Road Series (NRS). Those results saw Garfoot gain a place at the Cycling Australia selection camp at where she secured a place at on the Australian National Team for a European block of racing in spring this year.

Her results in Europe have also seen her selected for the Australian Commonwealth Games team.

"My husband got me into the sport," Garfoot said. "He was always mountain biking with a friend, and I felt excluded, so he organised a mountain bike for me so that I could ride, too. The road bike came next. We did some training crits from there, and he said he thought I had some potential. He got me a better road bike, and I started racing three years ago. My second road race was the 2012 National Road Championships."

After an unforgettable first World Cup race in 2014, Garfoot improved at La Flèche Wallonne Femmes to finish in the front group in 16th place.

"My result at Flèche was a big wake-up call," said Garfoot. "It showed that I can race in Europe. For some 16th place might not be important, but for me to finish in the front group during my first month of racing in Europe, it felt big. I think I can say that it was my best result because of the quality of the field."

Garfoot went onto the finish second overall at Gracia Orlova and fourth overall at the Tour of Zhoushan Island, where she also won the mountains classification.

"During my trip with the National Team, I often found myself thinking that I wish I could step into a team with an established leader and workers and just learn everything," said Garfoot. "That's what I'm really looking forward to about these next few months. The development team was a great experience for me, but it's also challenging because we're all new. When you have that many inexperienced riders, it's hard to create a team that can compete. I'm looking forward to learning as much as possible in a professional environment."


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