Friday 30 December 2011

CONFIRMED: AA-Drink sign Cervélo women

Emma Pooley has confirmed that she will ride for  AA-Drink in 2012, also stating that the team has signed five other riders from the troubled Garmin-Cervélo whose manager Jonathan Vaughters announced recently that sponsorship issues had forced the women's team budget to be slashed by an unspecified amount rumoured to be as much as 50%.

There have been rumours that Pooley
would go to AA-Drink for some time. If
accompanied by her six team mates, the
Dutch team will be one of the strongest
for many years.
(image credit: Fanny Schertzer CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cervélo has for many years been one of the most respected women's teams, with creator Gerard Vroomen being one of the few managers to pay equal attention to his female roster as to the men's team. Crucially, that also meant equal pay in a sport where women very often receive salaries far lower than their male counterparts due to women's races often being seen as little more than side show entertainment to keep the crowds amused before the "real" race (ie, the men's) starts. However, there have been hints that not all riders have been so happy since Vaughters took the helm: Vaughters, meanwhile, argues that he has been prevented from developing the team as he would have liked due to the limited sponsorship in women's cycling - teams frequently have to survive on budgets that equal just a few per cent or less of what top men's teams receive. says the riders switching to AA-Drink are Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws, Carla Ryan, Lucy Martin, Elizabeth Armitstead and Jessie Daams. Pooley's move to the team has been subject to rumour for some time now. Now that she will be joined by five of her team mates - including two of the strongest - AA-Drink will be fielding one of the most effective teams in women's cycling for many years.

Iris Slappendel has gone to Rabobank, as was confirmed when she was spotted on a training ride with the team earlier this winter, while Alex Rhodes has gone to the new GreenEdge team.

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