Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Evelyn Stevens and Clara Hughes are among the women to headline the new Specialized-Lululemon women’s team in 2012. The squad takes up where the successful HTC-Highroad team leaves off when that program ends at the close of the year.
The new team, run by HTC press officer Kristy Scrygmeour’s new management firm, Velocio Sports, will carry over much of the winning formula from Bob Stapleton’s High Road Sports program. Ronnie Lauke will continue as sports director and High Road will continue to support the team in some form on the equipment side.
“We’re looking forward to something a little bit new, but having the resources we had at High Road we have already had a really good start,” Scrygmeour told VeloNews. “The team is not run by High Road, but High Road will continue in some role as a sponsor, letting us use their equipment.”
The women’s team is particularly important with the 2012 London Olympics looming. Ten of the squad’s 12 riders competed at last week’s world championships in Copenhagen and the team will act as a launch pad for London-bound Olympians next summer.
“The girls had a really good year racing together, a lot of good energy, and no one really wanted to change things,” said Scrygmeour. “They wanted to stay together because they enjoyed racing together and they didn’t want to change equipment headed into the Olympics.”
Scrygmeour confirmed that Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, her former teammate at Saturn, would join continuing HTC riders including Teutenberg, Stevens and world time trial champion Amber Neben.
“Clara is the ultimate professional in any sport she chooses to do,” said Scrygmeour. “She’s back on the road with the ultimate goal of a medal at the next Oympics. I raced with her 10 years ago and she’s an amazing teammate and a great person to have around. We’re very lucky to have been able to sign her.”
As previously reported by VeloNews, world time trial champion Judith Arndt and American Amanda Miller will not be part of the new team.
While Scrygmeour cited the Olympics as a catalyst for the new project, she expected the team to continue past 2012.
“For a lot of women the Olympics are really important and we support those individual goals,” she said. “But this is not going to be a one-year, one-off project.”