Posted by Editoress on 11/27/08
Local Ride Adopts Former Giant Women's Team
Maple Ridge (B.C.) registered trade team Local Ride Racing has adopted the talented women's road cycling team recently orphaned by Giant Bicycle Canada after two very successful seasons, which saw the squad constantly on the podium.
"Local Ride has jumped on board to continue supporting this project," said Team Manager Barry Lyster. "This women's program is just way too important to let go of, and we're so excited to help these racers develop into champions."
The team's former title sponsor, Giant Canada, provided valuable support, not only to team members, but to local, provincial, and national women's cycling as a whole. Through Giant Canada's support and investment in the program, the entire competitive women's scene gained a stronger presence, and encouraged other teams to increase their women's support as well.
"We are now looking for sponsors to step up and ensure that this talented, highly visible group of women can continue to race at the top level. Our vision includes adding a young women's team, since we're committed to development," said Lyster.
The roster includes Laura Brown, 2008 National Team Pursuit Champion; Chelsea Bilsbarrow, 2007 Western Canada Games gold medalist; Janelle Cassidy, a BC Cup contender, Jean Ann McKirdy, four-time 2008 BC Cup cyclocross race winner; and Sandra Walter, who recently finished second overall at La Ruta mountain bike stage race. Maggie Coles-Lyster, 2008 U17 Provincial Cyclocross Champion, is currently the sole young women's team member.
The team will shine in 2009, starting with the Escape Velocity Spring Series. The squad's focus will then move on to the BC Cup series, BC Superweek, Provincial Championships and select U.S. events.
Local Ride Bike Shop provided the best and biggest team race and mechanical support on the BC Cup circuit in 2007-2008 with an on-site mechanic, heated team tent, and hot coffee. Team Director Jeremy Storie originally spearheaded the project and still plans on being involved with racing and training aspects of the team.
The B.C. based Giant Women's Team was started in 2007 when Storie, along with Wayne Bleakley and Sean Kerr of Giant Canada, recognized a need for a local presence in women's road racing. In the two seasons, the team (Giant Canada in 2007 and Giant Canada/Team Whistler in 2008) won four National Championships on the road and track along with seven other National Championship medals, two provincial Road Race Championship titles, an individual and team overall title at Superweek's Tour de Delta in separate years, a Western Canada Games gold medal, and in total over 25 victories and 40 additional podium places.
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