A week after the men's team camp, Rally Cycling's women's team met for a pre-season training camp in Oxnard to get in warm-weather miles on their bikes before the start of the domestic US calendar. The 11 riders, decked out in flashy orange kit representative of their new sponsor Rally, tested new equipment, got to know one another and trained along the gorgeous western seaboard that makes California so famous.
"The engagement with Rally has been awesome and they are super, super excited and really want to be involved with the women's team in many ways," said director Pat McCarty. "Everything has been really positive with Rally.
"The camp is our first official meeting of the year and a proper training camp."
The 2016 roster includes Erica Allar, Elle Anderson, Heather Fischer, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Vivian Lay, Katherine Maine, Sara Poidevin, Jessica Prinner, Hannah Ross and Emma White. "Our decision was to focus on young, North American talent and then make a push toward European racing in 2017," McCarty said. "We have some first- and second-year racers, who are fairly new to the sport but who are very talented, and that was our decision."
The team will focus on UCI events in North America along with stage races, one-day races and criteriums on USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour. "If we got invitations to races like Aviva Women's Tour, La Course or the one-day race in London, we would go but with the way the new points system is structured we may not get those invitations.
"We would like to focus on Women's WorldTour events in the US: Tour of California Women's Race and Philly, we don't have the invitations in-hand but we expect to be invited to those, and we will be at all the major North American women's races."
Although McCarty directed the women's team in previous years, Rally Cycling hired Zach Bell to direct the women's program this year, while McCarty will focus more on the men's program. "Pat's been at the helm of the team for the past few years and they brought me in to take over the majority of the day-to-day stuff with the women and once the season rolls out, I'll be the on the road with the women, and Pat will come in for key events."
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