The Toyota Supercycling professional women’s road cycling team wrapped up the 2009 year with a total of 57 podium positions and will go into 2010 looking to achieve even greater heights with a new title sponsor, international prospects and the services of South African women’s cycling legend, Anriëtte Schoeman.
Women’s road cycling is enjoying steady growth, both globally and locally and 2010 promises to be a year that sees this strengthening continue. Schoeman, a multiple national champion and the most prolific South African women’s race winner over the past decade, will add some much-needed depth and extensive experience to the team.
The team has also attracted a new naming sponsor in sports nutrition supplement brand, Biogen. The team will be called Biogen Toyota next year and, in addition to Schoeman, will comprise Lynette Burger, Ashleigh Moolman, Lizanne Naude, Joanna van der Winkel and Yolande de Villiers.
Captained by Burger, the team collected a total of 25 wins, 22 second places and 10 third places during the past year. The most notable victories were Burger’s triumphs at the South African road champs in March and the African road champs in November, Ashleigh Moolman’s wins at the Itec Jock Cycle Classique and Telkom Satellite Challenge and Joanna van der Winkel’s sweet season-ending win at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge.
“Anriëtte’s arrival gives us a huge boost. With Ashleigh (Moolman) becoming a strong sprinter, we’ll have three quick sprinters in the team,” said Burger, who is also a sprinter. “We also have good climbers so it’s going to be a very well-balanced team.”
Their regular podium occupation in 2009, has led to the team establishing a reciprocal partnership deal struck with the Belgian-based Lotto team, currently the world’s fifth-ranked women’s team. Burger and Moolman will race on the Lotto team abroad during the European summer and members of the Lotto team will train with Biogen Toyota in the South African summer.
“Personally, I’m very excited about racing with Lotto overseas. With Commonwealth Games and another Olympics coming up, I really want to become accustomed to racing at that level so that I have better opportunities when it comes to national selection for the big events,” said Burger.
“We’re very excited to see this team go from strength to strength,” said Andrew McLean, one of the founder’s of the Supercycling Club from which the team started. “Just two years ago this was a promising club team and now it’s an internationally recognised outfit. It’s an impressive jump in such a short time. A big thanks to Biogen, Toyota and the other sponsors for their support not only for the team, but for women’s cycling in general.”