2008 Geelong World Cup winner Katheryn Curi-Mattis will join the Vanderkitten-Focus squad for the 2012 season, the team announced today.
While Mattis has retired from professional racing, she will act as a co-director with Jono Coulter and a training and racing mentor for the team, occasionally jumping into a national-level event to provide hands-on tactical coaching and boost the team's strength with her still well-maintained cycling form.
"Jono, Vanderkitten and all the sponsors did a great job of building a strong team in 2011 and I wanted to be part of the program in 2012," Mattis told Cyclingnews. "The opportunity presented it after the development team I was working with this year - the Alto Velo Bridge Team - folded and I still wanted to be involved in working with development riders.
"I do hope to do some on-the-bike mentoring as a way to really provide the gals with instant feedback. especially now with no radios, it makes communication between director and rider hard," Mattis said. "For younger riders, having that instant feedback will be invaluable."
Mattis was a true animator of races in her career, and won the Geelong World Cup in a dramatic two-up battle with breakaway companion Australian Emma Rickards. She hopes to pass along her go-for-broke attitude to new riders.
"I think any of the young riders will benefit from having a mentor on and off the bike," she said. "i want to teach the riders to be smart on the bike and to not just follow wheels. part of bike racing is taking calculated risks and putting yourself out there."
Mattis joins new recruits Ruth Winder, 18, and Kathleen Billington, the fourth place finisher at the 2011 USA Cycling elite road race championship.