FARO, Portugal (VN) — Specialized-lululemon has gathered this week on the Algarve Coast in Portugal for the team’s first training camp ahead of the 2013 season. The Germany-registered women’s professional squad returns for its second campaign with eight familiar faces, and every bit the strength of its inaugural roster.
One of the top teams in the world in 2012, the Specialized women accumulated 65 victories and finished the year second in the UCI rankings behind the powerhouse Rabobank squad of world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos. Kristy Scrymeour’s team also won the inaugural world championship team time trial, one of its main goals for the season.
“I don’t think we could have asked more of the girls,” Scrymgeour told VeloNews.
Eight riders return for 2013: Lise Brennauer, Katie Colclough, Loren Rowney, Ally Stacher, Evelyn Stevens, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Ellen van Dijk, and Trixi Worrack.
“I am excited about racing with this team again this year and the success we’re going to have and what we can do to develop women’s cycling,” said Stevens. The animated American won the World Cup at Flèche-Wallonne, finished second in the time trial world championship, and was a key player in the team’s worlds TTT win in 2012.
Specialized adds three newcomers to the mix this year: Gillian Carleton from the Canadian national team, Carmen Small from Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies and Tayler Wiles from Exergy Twenty12. Carleton is fresh off a successful season on the track where she won an Olympic bronze medal for Canada in the team pursuit with Tara Whitten and Jasmin Glaesser. A canny veteran, Small won the National Racing Calendar individual title in 2012 while riding for Optum, and the switch to Specialized gives her the chance to return to Europe after three successful seasons splitting time between the U.S. national team and the domestic circuit. And at just 23 years old, Wiles finished third overall at the Tour de l’Ardèche in 2012 and is a former U.S. U23 time trial champion.
Though Scrymgeour changed up the roster slightly, the team’s essential formula remains the same.
“We look for people who can win, but we also look for people who can turn themselves inside-out for the team,” said Scrymgeour, a former professional with Saturn.
Those people, the riders say, are driven by a passion for racing and by a desire to help build women’s cycling for the future.
“We’re not here for the money,” said American domestique extraordinaire Ally Stacher. “We’re here because we love racing our bikes.”