Posted by Editoress on 12/8/09
In the shadows of the ongoing debate surrounding changes to the Olympic track cycling program, aimed at creating parity between men's and women's events, women's cycling took a big step forward today with the announcement of the Honda Dream Team for Australian summer of cycling.
The all women's team headed up by Rochelle Gilmore, one of Australia's most accomplished road and track cyclists, the Honda Dream Team will make its debut at the Cronulla International Grand Prix on Sunday 13 December.
Joining Gilmore on the Honda Dream Team will be some of Australia's most promising female cyclists Tiffany Cromwell, 21, Chloe Hosking, 19, and Skye-Lee Armstrong, 21, along with the experienced Liz Georgouras and New Zealander Nimesha Smith.
The announcement of the team is an extension of Honda's support of women's cycling after they were the title sponsor of the inaugural Honda Hybrid Women's Tour, which ran in conjunction with the 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Although she didn't win the overall honours it was a successful tour for Gilmore winning two stages of the race and the sprint classification.
Gilmore, who has won Commonwealth Games medals on the track as well as world cup races on the road, has been the one to pull the Honda Dream Team together and is confident with the choices she has made.
“There is a lot of strong competition but we're confident that we've got the right mix of girls to pull it off,” Gilmore said.
“We've put together a really strong team with a couple of sprinters plus Tiffany Cromwell is going very strong as a great worker.”
Having finished second in the Cronulla International Grand Prix twice Gilmore makes no excuses for wanting to win this weekend but sees the bigger picture for the team.
“As much as I want to win this race the first priority is for the Honda Dream Team to win in Cronulla whether it's me or one of the other members of the team,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore's experience tells her a key challenge of the Cronulla International Grand Prix will be that it's the first time the team has raced together but she is taking the steps required to overcome that hurdle.
“We've all raced together at some point throughout the year but not necessarily as a complete team so we'll take a look at the course today and get together on Saturday to plan how we will race on Sunday,” the 27-year-old said.
The Cronulla International Grand Prix will be a rare opportunity for Gilmore to race on home soil.
“Cronulla is really home for me so there'll be lots of family around and the people who have supported me right from the start so I'm looking forward to the race,” Gilmore said.
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