One of the strongest teams on the North American circuit, the ValueAct Capital Women’s Pro Cycling Team, has a new sponsor, new name and new mission for 2010.
The team, now called Team VBF, also has a new top rider: NRC individual champion Alison Powers.
The team is working with the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Specialized Bicycle remains a major team sponsor and equipment supplier. Team VBF will be outfitted with Specialized bicycles, helmets, eyewear and shoes. The team will race on the Amira — the newest addition to the Specialized Design for Women bike line.
“Specialized couldn’t be more proud of the team. Their new partnership works great with Specialized initiatives and the team already has an amazing ability to connect with women and their communities. Our goal is to introduce more women to the sport. With the team’s invaluable feedback on our design and geometry of the entire women’s line, they are helping us make riding a better experience,” says Tara Moeller, Specialized USA Marketing Manager.
Team VBF riders will lead clinics, group rides and other events at Specialized retailers across the country. The goal of these visits is to identify and alleviate barriers that women say prevent them from getting and staying on bicycles.
“My goal is to be the number one team in the country, and I truly believe we can accomplish this with the talented group of riders I’ve assembled,” says Team Director Lisa Hunt.
Powers added, “Our team for this year is super strong and well rounded. I’m excited to ride with such a talented group of women who will be able to support and win races for each other – no matter what kind of race it is.”
Returning to race for Team VBF from ValueAct Capital are team captain Robin Farina, Kristin Sanders and Leah Goldstein. Goldstein is the current Israeli National Champion Road Race and Time Trial Champion. The trio is joined by Canadian National Road Champion Alison Testroete and Oceania Games Time Trial Champion Alexis Rhodes. Rhodes joins the team from Webcor and Testroete returns full-time to the sport after racing part-time in 2009.
Additional riders include Carla Swart, who has won a collegiate national champion in all cycling disciplines and former New Zealand national team member Toni Bradshaw. Swart and Bradsahw join Team VBF from Team Lip Smacker. Sprinter Erica Allar won the Cannon Falls Road Race as a guest rider for ValueAct Capital at the Nature Valley Grand Prix stage race and will be the team’s lead sprinter. Newcomers Carrie Cash, formally of Team Revolution, and Lauren Hall join the pro ranks for the first time in 2010.
Additional team sponsors include Champion System, SRAM, Kinetic, LOOK, Michelin, PowerBar, Hudz, Personal Best, Qoleum, Dr. Vie Superfoods and Thule.
Team VBF will contest a full-NRC schedule following team camp in Tucson, Arizona in early March. They kick off the race season at the San Dimas Stage Race in mid-March as a tune-up for the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Fundraising efforts for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer begin next week.
Team VBF 2010 Season Roster
Erica Allar (USA)
Toni Bradshaw (NZL)
Carrie Cash (USA)
Robin Farina (USA)
Lauren Hall (USA_
Leah Goldstein (ISR)
Alison Powers (USA)
Alex Rhodes (AUS)
Kristin Sanders (USA0
Carla Swart (RSA)
Alison Testroete (CAN)