Posted by Editor on 11/22/05
Earlier today we broke the story that Canadians Lyne Bessette and Amy Moore have joined the new T-Mobile women's squad. We caught up with Lyne a few minutes ago for a quick chat about her new team.
Canadian Cyclist: First of all, congratulations.
Lyne Bessette: Thanks, I'm very excited about this.
CC: How did this come about; did you contact the team or did they contact you?
LB: Andrzej Bek (team director) contacted me. I got a call from him, saying he was interested in having me on the team. I talked with him and then Bob Stapleton (team manager), and it was a really, really good offer for me. We were working on putting together a Quebec team in October still, so they (T-Mobile) didn't contact me until the end of October. It happened really fast.
I've never raced in Europe, I mean I've raced in Europe, but not for a European team, based in Europe, doing all the big European races, the full schedule. This was a really good opportunity for me to do this.
CC: It is a big change from this past year. When we spoke after the Olympics, you said that you wanted to get away from a team, with its schedule, travel, etc. Why go back to a team now?
LB: That (no team) was for one year only, the year after the Olympics. I needed some time away (from a team) to clear my head, to try some different things. After that I always knew that I would go back to a team, that was 100% my plan.
CC: This will be considerably different from Saturn and Quark, where you travelled a lot and raced a lot, but mostly in North America.
LB: Yah, I will definitely be in Europe a lot. Exactly how much, where, when I have to work out. Nothing has been organized that far yet.
CC: Tim (Johnson, Lyne's husband) has moved to Health Net, so that will put him in California a lot. This will mean a lot more separation I guess?
LB: Yes, it will, but Health Net will be going to Europe more also for 2006. It's going to be busy, for sure, but I will have times when I can come home and we will work it out. It just worked out that both (of these offers) are good timing for us.
CC: Do you know what sort of race schedule you will have yet, has that sort of thing been discussed?
LB: Well, I know for sure that it will be the World Cups, the big Tours - a big heavy European schedule!
CC: Does this mean we won't see you at some of the traditional California season-openers like Sea Otter?
LB: No, I won't be at those races, I won't be at Sea Otter. This is a different team from the U.S. (T-Mobile) team, it is more like the men's team and will be European-based, European racing.
CC: What about Commonwealth Games (in March)?
LB: The team is very supportive of me doing Commonwealth Games, which was a big factor, so I will definitely be going.
CC: How about specific roles? You have had some of your biggest results in the Tours; does this mean that you will be the leader there?
LB: We have a great team, with the riders I know so far - Ina (Teutenberg), Judith (Arndt), Kim (Bruckner), me (and Nicole Cooke - Ed.). The goal is to have the team win, so we have some riders with similar strengths. It is hard to know who will be the leader for which races, just having riders who support (complement) each other will make us stronger.
CC: How about Amy? Were you involved in her being named to the squad?
LB: No, that was a totally separate thing, I didn't know anything about it, but it's great! It is kind of funny - all the girls (except Cooke - Ed.) have been with me on either Saturn or Quark, so it is kind of nice to get back together with them.
CC: When do you go to Europe - for the January camp?
LB: No, actually I go over to Munich December 1st for a photo shoot. Then I will stay there for the Milan cyclo-cross World Cup before coming home again.
CC: I guess that this means T-Mobile is okay with you doing cyclo-cross?
LB: Actually, that stays a totally separate team, I get to stay with my Cyclocrossworld.com - Louis Garneau team. T-Mobile was really good about that, so I'm really happy.
CC: This is a big jump - from North America to Europe.
LB: Yah, it is different, but I think that I am ready now. Last year I needed some time off, but I am ready to go back (to a team). I have wanted to do this, ride in Europe for a European team, do all the races. This might be the last chance I have, so I have to take it.
Editor's Note: T-Mobile has announced a three year commitment to the women's squad. Bessette has a one year agreement, with an option for a second year.
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