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Cycling - 19. April 2007.

USA Cycling opens women's European residence center in Italy

USA Cycling opens women's European residence center in Italy

Lucca, Italy (April 16, 2007)—Eight years after opening its men’s European residence center in Izegem, Belgium, USA Cycling announced today the opening of a similar facility for its Women’s National Team and development programs in Lucca, Italy. USA Cycling’s women’s European residence center will serve as a home away from home for several developing athletes and current world-class cyclists as they receive the consistent exposure to elite-level competition that is necessary to achieve athletic excellence.

The Tuscan location was chosen for its proximity to European races, favorable weather conditions, quiet and safe training environment and the passionate Italian cycling culture. Italy has long been a training headquarters for several UCI ProTour teams and other countries' National Team programs.

After competing in several events in Northern Europe throughout the last two weeks, the first group of women moved in Monday before it returns to Holland and Belgium for its next block of racing. The residents that opened the house include Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Team Lipton), Katheryn Curi (Mountain View, Calif./Webcor Builders), Lauren Franges (Ashville, N.C./Team Lipton), Rebecca Larson (Gainesville, Fla./Aarons), Alison Powers (Boulder, Colo./Colavita-Sutter Home-Cooking Light), Brooke Miller (Los Altos, Calif./Team Tibco), and Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif./Webcor Builders).

“The opening of our European residence center represents the next step in our efforts to develop the next crop of world-class women cyclists,” explained Pat McDonough, USA Cycling Director of Athletics. “Right now, our women’s endurance program is enjoying unprecedented success across all disciplines of cycling and the opening of this facility is a crucial component in sustaining that success long after the current class retires.”

Lauren Franges is one of many riders currently competing in Euope for the National Team

The National Team will next compete at the Ronde van Gelderland in the Netherlands on April 15, followed by La Fleche Wallone World Cup in Belgium on April 25, the Giro di San Marino in Italy, May 4-6 and the Magi Pache Time Trial in Switzerland on May 6.

“In order to replicate the achievements that the men’s program has yielded over the years, and to be able to consistently compete against the world’s top teams and nations, the women we have in the development pipeline need this type of stimuli on a regular basis.” McDonough continued. “And, by involving proven veterans at the height of their career throughout this process, USA Cycling is providing the up-and-comers with another valuable resource that is paramount to their long-term success.”

Since its inception in 1999, the men’s program has averaged the graduation of one rider per year to UCI ProTour teams – the highest level of men’s professional cycling in the world – and countless more to UCI Professional Continental and Continental squads. And although women’s cycling doesn’t share the same structure at the elite level as men, the overall goal of the program is to cultivate world-class talent that will sustain competitive excellence at the international level and compete for Olympic and World Championship medals.

The women’s European residence center and more competition in Europe will help American athletes develop the skill set necessary for success. By competing in larger and deeper fields, faster races and on the type of roads specific to European racing, Americans will gain experience that isn’t readily available in the United States.

Additionally, as USA Cycling restructures its track program, the facility is also expected to be used by other athletes as a European training base.

“In the coming years, we expect that athletes of all disciplines and both genders will ultimately spend time in Lucca,” said McDonough. “The residence center really represents a continuation of the expansion of our programs into Europe and is where we’ve been heading for some time now.”

About USA Cycling
Recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling promotes American cycling through its 60,000 members and 2,500 annual events. USA Cycling associations include the BMX Association (BMX), National Off-Road Bicycle Association (mountain bike), U.S. Cycling Federation (road/track), the National Collegiate Cycling Association and the U.S. Professional Racing Organization (professional men’s road). For more information visit or contact USA Cycling Director of Communications, Andy Lee at 719-866-4867.

This Article Published 2007-04-19 09:32:10 For more information contact: [email protected]

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