After sealing the overall Team win at the Matrix GP series last night, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International have announced their Women’s Tour squad.
The ‘pink bullets’ will include pursuit World Champion, Jo Rowsell, plus European pursuit champion, Katie Archibald and Paralympic Champion and Paralympic Hour Record holder, Dame Sarah Storey.
Here’s the lowdown on each of the riders:
Dame Sarah Storey
Paralympic Champion and Paralympic Hour record holder Sarah is the team captain and will be defending four titles at the 2016 Paralympic Games. She’s super strong on the road, having won the 2014 National Points title, and the Cheshire Classic and Essex Giro on two occasions each, as well as the 2014 Tour de Bretagne Time Trial.
Scottish track star Katie’s number one dreams lie on the velodrome at Rio next year, but she’s pretty hot on the road, as demonstrated by her incredible attack and lapping of the field at the Matrix GP Series in Motherwell.
Archibald rode with Pearl Izumi last year, when she became a World Champion, Double European Champion and Commonwealth Medallist on the track whilst also winning the Cheshire Classic, Milk Race, Edinburgh and Stoke rounds of the Tour Series as well as the Curlew Cup.
Joanna Rowsell MBE
Olympic Team Persuit Champion Joanna Rowsell is also a former National Time Trial Champion and National Road Race medallist. She worked for Dame Sarah Storey at the penultimate Tour Series event, winning herself the Combativity Award for her strong attacks, putting the hammer down for the team goal.
Katie joined the team this year having ridden for Wales in the Commonwealth Games. A former member of the GB Cycling team, she has experience on the road and track and focuses her attentions on shorter road events and criteriums while playing a support and sprint role in longer road events.
GB Team Persuit rider Ciara is a reigning World Champion in the event, and also has a strong pedigree as a time triallist, having won the National Team Time Trial twice. Known for her attacking riding style, she will play a key support role at the Tour.
Having been on the team alongside Dame Sarah Storey for five years, Gaby has been a loyal contributor to the team. The Sports and Exercise Science Graduate took second place at the 2014 London Nocturne, and has ridden at the Tour of Brittany, Tour of Freestate and Tour of California, demonstrating grit and endurance.
The team will be supported by six members of staff, including two young cyclists who hope to forge careers in support staff roles. Team Mechanic Hannah Layland was previously a member of the GB development squad, and soigneur Samantha Bailey became a cyclist whilst at university. Samantha will work with fellow swanny, Colin Baldwin.
The Team Director is Marty Mc Crossan, and General Manager will be Barney Storey MBE with Alan Sheldon acting as Logistics Manager.
Dame Sarah Storey has said ahead of the race: “I am delighted to be riding the Aviva Women’s Tour 2015, it will be a fantastic race and an excellent opportunity for the team to test themselves against the very best riders in the world.”