After recently announcing her retirement from professional bike racing, American sprinter Tina Pic confirmed that she will co-direct the Colavita-Sutter Home women's professional team in 2010.
"We are hoping to bring the team up another level," said Pic. "We'll see, we just started and there is still racing going on. It's tough to try to finish off this season and work on the team for next year."
Current rider, Rachel Heal, will co-direct the team alongside Pic. Heal is a long-time member of the British National team. She came to the USA to compete for the trade team Victory Brewing in 2006 and went on to race for Team TIBCO before joining the Colavita-Sutter Home team last year. The pair will take over the directorship from Iona Wynter-Parks.
"We had always wanted this team to run well," said Pic. "Iona said she was going to do it last year but that she could only do it for one year. So, I was next up. I wasn't sure if it was something I wanted to do alone so when Rachel said she wanted to direct too, we decided to do it together."
Pic announced her retirement from professional cycling after winning her sixth national criterium title. Her victory capped off a 13-year professional cycling career and thousands of Pic-fans gathered at the podium presentation to bid her a final farewell as she prepared for retirement at the end of this month.
When asked if winning the jersey for a sixth time would motivate her to reconsider racing next year, Pic said, "no, I don't think so. I don't know what made me decide to retire this year. I was going to retire last year and I really wanted to have one more fun year. My husband Chris [Pic] was telling me that I travel so much, but I just wanted to have a fun year with a great group of girls."
Pic is one of the most decorated cyclists in the North American women's peloton-she won the US National Criterium Championships in Downers Grove on six occasions along with the overall National Racing Calendar (NRC) championship title five times. She raced to victory in nearly every major criterium in the nation.
She began her professional career in 1996 after winning the Collegiate National Championship for the University of Georgia the year prior. She married former pro cyclist Chris Pic, and recently picked up water skiing as a new favourite past-time.
"We just got a boat so I've been water skiing a lot lately," said Pic. "I love it, it's different. We [the team] all started to learn to water ski. It's so fun, we've all been trying to learn together on Lake Lanier. The girls come to stay with me and we all try it."
Pic is a graduate of the University of Virginia with degrees in Finance and Marketing. She switched from triathlons and duathlons to cycling while at the University of Georgia where she'd enrolled in pre-med classes to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery.
When asked what her future plans might include once she decides to exit the cycling industry, her response was, "I don't know. Something in real life I guess."
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