Last year’s Colavita-Sutter Home women’s team has been re-named the Colavita/Baci Women’s Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light. Sprinter Tina Pic is moving out of the peloton and into the follow car as co-directeur sportif with Rachel Heal, and the team has hired several new riders, including two-time Olympian Kate Bates and national time trial champion Jessica Phillips.
The team will look to Kelly Benjamin to step into Pic’s cleats as the go-to sprinter, said Heal.
“The prospect of replacing one of the greatest female sprinters the U.S. has ever seen seemed daunting,” said Heal. “But Kelly Benjamin proved to be an outstanding apprentice last season and is ready to rise to the challenge.”
Another new sprinter hire is Theresa Cliff Ryan, who joins the team from Verducci Breakaway. Ryan has 25 gold medals from inline skating world championships.
Colavita/Baci has also signed former Olympian and Lithuanian national champion Modesta Vzesniauskaite and current New Zealand national criterium champ Rushlee Buchanan.
Returning to the team are Cath Cheatley, Andrea Dvorak, Carmen Small, Heather Logan-Sprenger and Shontell Gauthier.
The team will ride Jamis Xenith SL frames from Jamis Bicycles, with a custom “Baci Blue” paint scheme to coordinate with the team kit.
“Last year, we dominated criteriums,” said Pic. “The 2010 Colavita/Baci squad is really well-rounded and has the potential to extend our winning record to all types of racing, including time trials and stage races.”
The team will hold its training camp in mid-March in southern California in advance of the San Dimas Stage Race and Redlands Bicycle Classic.