Gillow joins elite Aussie squad
BELLI Park's Shara Gillow will race with Australia's first top-level UCI professional women's cycling team.
The national women's road cyclist of the year is one of six Australians to link with the team, which will be known as GreenEDGE-AIS.
The team is an initiative of GreenEDGE, Cycling Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport and is set to provide a high-performance pathway for Australia's female cyclists to forge a professional career.
Gillow, South Australian Tiffany Cromwell, Tasmanian Rowena Fry, Western Australia's Melissa Hoskins, the ACT's Jessie Maclean and NSW's Amanda Spratt are the six Australians on the 10-rider squad. Spratt, Hoskins and Gillow enjoyed breakthrough performances in Europe this year.
Gillow claimed the 2011 Australian and Oceania time trial titles and was the Oceania road race champion.
She also won stage two of the Giro Donne (Women's Tour of Italy) to take the leader's pink jersey before finishing ninth overall.
The Australians will be joined by an international contingent headlined by reigning time-trial world champion Judith Arndt.
The German joins GreenEDGE-AIS from HTC-Highroad. Along with her rainbow jersey, Arndt brings a wealth of experience to the young squad.
New Zealand's world championship time-trial silver medallist Linda Villumsen, former Giro Donne winner Claudia Hausler of Germany and Dutch national team regular Loes Gunnewijk round out the squad.
Both the GreenEDGE-AIS women's team and the GreenEDGE men's team will be officially launched during the Santos Tour Down Under in January.