Exergy TWENTY12 just announced signing a mix of seasoned talent and a promising rookie to the team.
One is a Swiss champion in three disciplines. The second is very familiar with the view from the top of the podium. The third is transitioning from triathlon to a remarkable beginning of a cycling career.
Swiss born Pascale Schnider, Michigander Theresa Cliff-Ryan and Canadian Rhae Shaw all signed their allegiance to Exergy TWENTY12 for the 2012 season.
Schnider reunites with Armstrong
2011 proved a stellar year for Schnider, who took Swiss national titles in road, track and elite time trial.
She also bagged an overall win at the Czech Hana Tour and Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche, France, 2.2, where Schnider was 3rd in the prologue and 5th in the time trial.
“Pascale is a well respected athlete know for her tireless teamwork and versatility, I am really happy to include her in our 2012 roster,” stated Nicola Cranmer, co-owner and general manager of Exergy TWENTY12. “She brings a lot of strength and experience to the Exergy TWENTY12 team, our program works well for the multi-disciplined athlete, Pascale has a strong track background and we have experience in creating a balanced season for the challenging 12 month road and track schedule which is particularly important heading into an Olympic year.”
Schnider is eager to rejoin Kristin Armstrong, having raced with her on the Cervelo Professional Women’s Team and Cervelo Test Team in 2008 and 2009.
“Kristin for sure was one of the biggest reasons for joining Exergy TWENTY12,” explained Schnider. “I loved racing with her back in Europe. She is one of the most successful women’s in the world’s peloton and she has huge experiences. I only can learn more from her.”
“Exergy TWENTY12 gives me the opportunity to live and race in the U.S.,” she continued. “I know I will get great support until and after the Olympic Games as well for my track racing in the winter/spring.”
New team’s goals in line with former skater’s
“I have known Theresa since the days of our UCI track team PROMAN Racing,” said Cranmer. “I watched her participate in her first UCI Track World Cup, the following season quickly improving to three UCI podiums. Her focus switched to full-time road where she is now always the one to beat in a sprint.”
In 2006, her first year of racing, Cliff-Ryan was crowned National Criterium champion. Recent results include a gold medal in 2010 Pan American Championships and a bronze this year in the Pan Am road race.
Before her cycling career, Cliff-Ryan wowed as an inline skater. Her wins include 29 World Championship Titles, gold in the 1999 Pan American Games, overall World Cup champion in 2004, and a two-time World Games gold medalist in 1997.
Cliff-Ryan praised her new team for being consistent with her inline team’s values. “Exergy TWENTY12 share many of the same goals,” she said. “I’m proud to say I’m involved with a team that promotes alternative energy and supports women in sport. “
Standing on the podium at the Canadian nationals, the unattached rookie turned heads. The national team picked Shaw up just in time for her to win the time trial at the Tour de Bretagne Feminin along with a stage win and third overall.
Placing seventh in the world road championships in the time trial continued to delight the Canadian team.
“This opportunity to learn from such accomplished riders and management is unbeatable,” said Shaw. “The team had an incredibly successful year in 2011 and I’m really looking forward to contributing to the team’s efforts and racing hard for them.”
“She started as a great time trialist, so that is how people know her,” said Cranmer, “but she has really been developing her road skills. She races aggressively, and her strength on both the flats and the hills make her a powerful all rounder.”
Check back next week for a full roster.