The NOW and Novartis for MS Women’s Team started off the season with their training camp in tropical Bermuda last week. Bermuda Tourism invited Phil Keoghan (host of the Amazing Race and cyclist) and the team to Bermuda to showcase Bermuda as a cycling destination. Bermuda Tourism was excited to host the NOW and Novartis for MS Women’s Team, which includes team captain Robin Farina who is the current US National Road Champion and has been selected to the Olympic Long Team.
Looking to improve on a very successful 2011 pilot season, the team that launched in June of last year will tackle a full season of racing in 2012 with a 9-rider roster.
The team will once again be directed by Kurt Stockton, the 1990 US professional road champion. “My goal is to continue the upward trajectory that we started in 2011” says Stockton “with a group of solid riders who first and foremost are here to race their bikes. I was very fortunate to put together such a tight knit core group in 2011 and will build on that in 2012”.
Joining World Championship and Pan-Am games team member Robin Farina and returning from 2011 will be Anne Samplonius winner of stages at Tulsa Tough, the Cascade Classic and the Tour of Elk Grove, Junior double-national champion and world championship team member Addy Albershardt, Tulsa Tough overall winner Christina Gokey-Smith and Devon Gorry.
New riders for 2012 include Alison Powers the 2009 overall NRC winner who sat out most of 2011 injured, former Irish national road and time trial champion Olivia Dillon, double elite national 2011 track champion (Omnium and points race) Beth Newell and development rider Ashley James who is a collegiate national champion.
The uniqueness of the NOW and Novartis for MS team is that not only do the riders race their bikes at the highest level but they are also paired on tandem bikes with people living with Multiple Sclerosis at select high-profile charitable Bike MS events around the country. The goal is to show the world that MS does not define those living with the disease.
“We are lucky to have Novartis, who share our passion in the battle against the disease, as our title sponsor again in 2012” said Keoghan.
Photo © Chris Ross