High5 Australian Women’s Development Team announced
Selected Athletes Head To Europe
The High5 Australian Women’s Development Team heads to Europe shortly for the second phase of their international development. Departing on March 15th, the team will tackle many of the iconic spring classics including the Women’s World Tour events La Fleche Wallonne and Gent Wevelgem. Also included in the European race program are UCI tours in Spain, Czech Republic and France.
Louisa Lobigs joins the team as the 2016 Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship holder. As an ambassador for the Amy Gillett Foundation Lobigs’ tenacious race style will be welcome as will her passion for promoting cycling safety whilst also achieving excellence on the bike.
Star sprinter and 2015 Amy Gillett Cycling Scholarship recipient Kimberley Wells will be an imposing presence in any sprint finish. The 2013 and 2015 National Criterium Champion showcased that ability in the 2016 UCI Santos Women’s Tour (TDU), beating international sprinters with a blistering stage win on the final day. Following a UCI stage win at the 2015 Trophee d’Or – Wells will be a rider to watch this spring.
Shannon Malseed, 2015 Under 23 Road Race Champion, re-joins the team after competing with the squad last year.
“What does being a part of the High5 National Development Team for 2016 mean to us? We are female cyclists in Australia striving for something bigger, training night and day to fulfil our passion. The High5 National Development Team makes it all worth it… we get to live our dream. Cobbles, wet, moss-covered roads, endless amounts of steep burgs, aggressive competitors and everything that comes with spring racing,” Malseed said.
Jenelle Crooks also returns to the team, fresh off her superb win in the U23 Road Race at the Australian Championships. Crooks will be looking to improve on her already impressive European results from last season, where she won the Under 23 classification in both Thuringen Rundfahrt and La Route de France.
2014 Oceania Road Race Champion Jessica Allen is one of the new faces in the squad. Allen however is no stranger to European racing having won the 2011 Junior World ITT Championship followed by three years of international racing including a year as the Amy Gillett Cycling scholar.
“I’m really excited and honoured to be selected in the High5 Australian Development Team. I haven’t raced in Europe with the National team for a couple of years now, so I can’t wait to get back into racing against the world’s best,” said Allen.
The sixth team position will be filled by experienced Australian riders already competing in Europe. This combination achieved considerable success in 2015 with Rachel Neylan capturing the General Classification title at Trophee d’Or and Loren Rowney winning a stage at the Route de France.
Donna Rae-Szalinski returns to lead the team as DS for the 2016 trip.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to further develop riders identified through the 2015 Selection Camp . We are equally excited to introduce a few new faces into the group and build the momentum established in 2015. The race schedule is significantly more challenging this year as the team will encounter cobbles, wind, rain, hills, mountains, and flat technical circuits – a typical spring season of racing in Europe!,” noted Rae-Szalinksi.
“The team exceeded all expectations on and off the bike in 2015. This year our development athletes will be thrown into a very competitive period during the final weeks of Olympic selections in Europe. They are thriving on the challenge to be at the business end of the toughest and most famous bike races in the world. It will be a pleasure to watch our young Aussies mix it with the best in Europe very soon!” added High5 Development Team CMO, (Chief Marketing Officer) Rochelle Gilmore.
The team is proud and grateful to be supported by High5 Sports Nutrition for this second stage in their development process. The team has a healthy respect for the challenge ahead but also a determination to build on last year.
Media release courtesy High5 National Development Team