Posted by Editoress on 10/27/14
After an incredible debut season on the women's domestic and international racing scenes, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team has their sights on the 2015 season with new goals and a talented roster ready to achieve them. The 2014 racing season was an enormous success for the team, yielding overall classification wins at the Tour de Femenino de San Luis, Vuelta El Salvador, and Tour of the Gila, followed by victories at the Amgen Tour of California and Tour of Utah. US National Championships were a primary goal for the women of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team in 2014, and the team executed by taking all three of the titles throughout the year (road and time trial, Alison Powers; criterium, Coryn Rivera).
From the 2014 squad, sprinters Rushlee Buchanan, Hannah Barnes, Cari Higgins, and Coryn Rivera will continue to build on the chemistry and precision that saw the team winning with textbook lead out trains in criteriums and road races last year. All-rounders Ruth Winder, Scotti Wilborne, and Alexis Ryan are back for 2015, lending horsepower in each race situation, along with climber Katie Hall who made her mark on the pro peloton when she launched a massive attack in the US national championship road race. Lauren Tamayo will resume her role as team captain on the road, rounding out the roster of returning UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team riders for 2015.
Joining the team for 2015 will be Linda Villumsen, Abby Mickey, and Laura Brown. Villumsen won both the Danish national road and time trial titles three years in a row before becoming a citizen of New Zealand. A consistent podium threat for both road and time trial disciplines, having earned silver and bronze in both on multiple occasions, Villumsen will continue to pursue victory at the highest level - in upcoming world championships and the 2016 Olympics games. Linda commented, "I am really proud to be joining the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team for 2015. Having finally made it to the top step of the podium at the Commonwealth Games, I believe the time is right to search for a new challenge so as to maintain this new momentum through to the Olympics in 2016!"
Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Laura Brown adds significant time trial ability to the team, having won the Tour of the Gila time trial in 2014. Brown added, "I am both thrilled and honored to be joining the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team for 2015. After witnessing their dedication and professionalism towards women's cycling in their inaugural year, there is no other team I would want to race for. The team had tremendous success in 2014 and I look forward to bringing my horsepower from the track team pursuit into the team time trial and Blue Train for 2015."
American Abby Mickey turned heads when she rode to 3rd overall in the 2014 Tour of the Gila. Mickey is an exceptional climber, with wins at the Lookout Mountain Hill Climb and Iron Horse Classic Road Race on her resumé. "The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is one of the best in business and this was an opportunity I could not pass up. I'm super excited for 2015," said Mickey.
General manager Mike Tamayo commented, "We have a well-rounded and tremendously capable squad assembled for 2015, one that represents the talented riders of today, as well as the up-and-coming talent of the future. We're excited to hit the road and start racing."
Sporting director Rachel Heal concluded, "After a great first year for the women's team in 2014, we're really looking forward to carrying the success into 2015. We've kept the core of the 2014 roster together and added some great new talent for 2015. Linda brings great TT strength to the team, and Laura brings the strength from her track experience as a team pursuit rider and both these riders will add to the depth of both our Blue Train lead out and our GC team. Abby is an exciting up-and-coming climber and we look forward to helping her develop as an all-round GC rider. Once again, our focus will be on racing in the US, both stage races and criteriums. With several UCI races on the calendar for 2015 and the TTT worlds being in Richmond, 2015 looks set to be a great year."
2015 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Women's Roster:
Rushlee Buchanan (NZL)
Lauren Tamayo (USA)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Hannah Barnes (GBR)
Alexis Ryan (USA)
Katie Hall (USA)
Carrie Higgins (USA)
Scotti Wilborne (USA)
Ruth Winder (USA)
Linda Villumsen (NZL)
Laura Brown (CAN)
Abby Mickey (USA)
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