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More Women on Bikes: AIS Team Launch

The new line-up of SCOTT's ORICA-AIS team not only looks beautiful, but also starts the 2013 season with some promising results

(lifePR) (Givisiez, ) Former top rider and world champion Judith Arndt ended her career last season. The loss of the ex-star of ORICA-AIS team is without a doubt a big one, not only for the team but also for the sport. However, the Australian team has come back very strongly with new faces and some fresh power.

The new ten-member crew includes recently crowned national road champion Gracie Elvin as well as experienced international riders such as Loes Gunnewijk (Netherlands - team captain), Swedish champion Emma Johansson and Sungeun Gu (Korea). London Olympic Games bronze medalist Annette Edmondson joins the program for its second season. Shara Gillow, Melissa Hoskins and Amanda Spratt are in the squad with Tiffany Cromwell and Jessie Maclean, completing the impressive line-up of accomplished riders.

ORICA - AIS Head Cycling Coach Martin Barras is very excited about the three international cyclists that have been included in his line up and the impact this will have on developing Australia's next generation of champions. "The international cyclists on our team are truly world class. Each brings unique expertise to the team that will be shared with our top Australian cyclists. I believe that the composition of this team is well balanced giving us great tactical versatility for the races," Barras said at last week's Team launch at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

"When we announced Australia's Winning Edge late last year we set some ambitious but achievable targets for Australia's international performance in world championships, Olympics, Paralympics, and Commonwealth Games," AIS Director Matt Favier added.

However, just before the team launch, Australian Gracie Elvin already made her mark and won the women's road race of the Australian National Road Championships, sprinting to a dramatic finish last week.

General Manager of ORICA-GreenEDGE Shayne Bannan explained why he is extremely proud of the AIS project. "The women's team had a dream debut last year and everything looks to be set up for another great year. We're really keen to be part of developing the talented Australian riders and having them next to some of the most experienced international athletes is a great asset."

ORICA-AIS have exceeded expectations during their first year on the world circuit in 2012, with more than 20 victories plus a silver medal in the Team Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships.