SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT.
A new look Specialized Women's Racing launched on January 3, 2018. The kit, created by Black Sheep, was a celebration of everything the team had achieved in establishing themselves as the longest-serving domestic women's team. But the design exhibited a distinct air of determination to evolve. An intention which would be upheld by everyone connected to the team – riders, sponsors and support staff alike. Expectations utterly exceeded, the time has come to reflect on an incredible summer of racing.
For a team sport, primarily focussed on individual results, what was abundantly evident from the outset was the cohesive group camaraderie among Specialized Women's Racing. This positive team spirit stretched beyond just Director Sportif Mark Brady and his seven riders and included guest riders, team founder Liz Phillipou, committed sponsors Peta Stewart Conveyancing, Lodex, adidas eyewear and CartGIS. Chris Stevens, owner of CartGIS – a business with no direct link to cycling – deserves special mention for being both one of the team's longest-serving sponsors and also the most dedicated soigneur in the women's peloton. Michael Brown from Specialized, too, has been on hand not only to represent the brand for which he works but also get his hands dirty. A communications specialist by trade, he was on the tools for the Santos Women's Tour Down Under and was on hand to ferry content gatherers around to many of this season's biggest races. And last, but by no means least, thanks must also be extended to former female pro Nicole Moerig and current Black Sheep Ambassador Melita Van Steel who both gave up their time to bring professionalism and content to the Specialized Women's Racing social media channels.
On the bike, the team's results were also a testament to incredible solidarity and team spirit. Specialized Women's Racing was fortunate to be invited to high calibre races such as the Women's Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour alongside some of the world's best teams. It was unimaginable at the beginning of the season that SWR would stand on the Team's Classification podium at the Tour Down Under and win the same category at Cadel's. But they did. And a massive congratulations must go to all involved. Chapeau.
AUSTRALIAN ROAD NATIONALS.
Black Sheep unveiled the new Specialized Women's Racing kit at the Australian Road Nationals, but it was the incredible legs of Kate Perry that caught everyone's attention. The time trial specialist from Melbourne led a group of three including Mitchelton-SCOTT's Jessica Allen and FDJ's Lauren Kitchen from the start almost all the way to finish, claiming the QOM and Sprint jerseys along the way and still finishing within the top 10. A notable mention must also go to Josie Talbot who, guest riding for the team, got second in the Under-23 competition.