Professional riders Carlee Taylor, Loren Rowney, Julie Leth and Valentina Scandolara to be final guest-riders for #RoxsoltLadies
#RoxsoltLadies will kick-start their summer season of racing at the Tour of Bright on Friday. Valentina Scandolaraand Carlee Taylor join Ruby Livingstone to form a formidable trio in the hilly three-day tour.
“It is bittersweet that this will be our last summer season with UCI guest riders but I’m excited to be back,” said team owner Kelvin Rundle. “The opportunity for a mentorship relationship between the professionals who race in Europe all season and our domestic riders is invaluable. However, the complexity of running and funding a mixed team is vast. Sadly, our summer program has been compromised due to one club team’s refusal to release riders to race for us in December. Cycling Australia has not shown an interest in mediating to resolve the release issues and that’s a fair indicator that our summer team development model isn’t sustainable.”
“While the focus of summer was meant to be helping our domestic riders gain experience and knowledge, we also line up with some lofty goals thanks to our guest riders,” Rundle added. “I expect that we can contend in every race we start.”
“Having a team with a mixture of developmental riders and riders with more international experience is a smart move on Kelvin’s part,” said Taylor. “It offers the younger riders opportunities to learn and grow while giving the professionals, like myself, an opportunity to prepare for the season ahead in the best possible way. Being a hill climber, my summer season centres around Nationals, but Tour of Bright suits me, and I hope to do well there.”
Taylor and Scandolara join forces with Julie Leth, Loren Rowney and Chloe Baggs the following weekend at the Shimano SuperCrit on December 13. Baggs will benefit from a quartet of mentors to guide her through one of the fastest criteriums of the year. #RoxsoltLadies guest-riders have won the past two editions of the race with Chloe Hosking (2013) and Kimberley Wells (2014).
“We are all willing and happy to let the young Roxsolt riders draw on our experience,” said Leth. “Personally, I haven’t done many crits, so I hope to learn a thing or two myself.”
“I think it’s very important for us to take care of the young riders, to mentor them and to pass along as much experience as we can in order to help them do things smoothly – even if I strongly believe in the teaching power of mistakes,” Scandolara added. “The best thing we can pass along is always to have fun on the bike and with the team. That’s the very first rule for success.”
Just before Christmas, #RoxsoltLadies will take to the velodrome to contest the Austral and the Madison Championships. Baggs, Leth and Scandolara will feature on the boards in the two events.
“I love racing the track,” said Leth. “I love the speed and the tactical aspects. I haven’t raced on the track much since I’ve turned my attention to the road, but I know track racing will definitely help me regain some of the power and speed that I’ve lost since my crash last summer.”
A New Zealand-registered trade team, #RoxsoltLadies will contest the New Zealand Road Nationals in early January. Rundle hopes the team returns to racing in Australia in the second half of the month.
“The Santos Women’s Tour and Cadel’s Race were great additions to the women’s calendar last year, and it was hugely satisfying to see both races upgraded to UCI status for 2016,” said Rundle. “I very much hope #RoxsoltLadiescan be part of these historical events in January.”