Posted by Editor on 12/15/03
Team Rona 2004
Montreal, December 15, 2003 - Team RONA has released its lineup for the 2004 season:
Shani Bloch (ISR) from Richard Sachs
Kathryn Curi (USA) from Gearworks / Spinarts
Katrina Grove (USA) from T Mobile
Andrea Hannos (CAN) returning to RONA
Geneviève Jeanson (CAN) returning to RONA
Helen Kelly (AUS) from Team S.A.T.S. / Team TDS
Anna Milkowski (USA) from Gearworks / Spinarts
Émilie Roy (CAN) new to -- (junior)
Erinne Willock (CAN) returning to RONA
Directeur sportif : André Aubut (CAN)
Assistant directeur sportif : Jim Williams (USA)
Soigneur : Myriam Desrosiers (CAN)
Mechanic : Paul Buick (NZL)
"We've got many new faces on the team for 2004," says Team RONA's directeur sportif André Aubut. "But I think we'll have more depth in 2004 than in 2003, even though with Karen Bockel's retirement we're losing a first-rank cyclist. Some of the others couldn't accept our offers due to their own Olympic training program this year. This is a well-balanced team and we can promise an exciting show for the folks who come to watch us race. Geneviève Jeanson will get strong support in climbing. We also have what it takes to come out ahead on the flat and in the criteriums."
Shani Bloch (Israel)
Shani Bloch wore the Team Richard Sachs and Verizon-Cervelo jerseys in 2003. The 24-year-old got off to a strong start with Team RONA as a guest rider late in the 2003 season, finishing third in the demanding Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. A skilled climber, she stood out with second-place finish in the race's grueling mountain stage. Shani finished 39th in the women's road race at the recent World Cycling Championships in Hamilton. In 2002 she was Israeli National Champion, and also finished 18th, riding with the Michela Fanini team in the prestigious 2002 Grande Boucle Féminine - the "women's Tour de France" - where she also won the "best support rider" title.
Kathryn Curi (United States)
Born in Connecticut and now a California resident, Kathryn Curi joined RONA after dividing her time for a season between two teams (Los Gatos and Gearworks) in 2003. An all-round cyclist who's trained herself to deliver in stage races, the 29-year-old athlete won the 2003 Death Valley Stage Race, finished second in the Green Mountain Stage Race (wearing the RONA jersey) and took a respectable 9th place in the International Tour de 'Toona, as well as 13th place in the very competitive T Mobile International in San Francisco. She also won the Housatonic Road Race and the Stratford Road Race in 2002.
Katrina Grove (United States)
Katrina Grove joined Team RONA after two years of impressive results on the powerful American T-Mobile Team. At 29, Grove, a native of Fort Collins, Colorado, is a versatile racer. An excellent sprinter (with no fewer than seven criterium wins last year), she's also high in the saddle in time trials (coming 5th in the US National Championships) and right at home on tough climbs, finishing third in overall standings for the 2003 Tour of the Gila. She ranked 12th in overall standings in the Grande Boucle Féminine 2003 as well.
Katrina, who is trilingual (English, French and German), holds a degree in biological anthropology from the University of California in San Diego.
Andrea Hannos (Canada)
2004 will be the third cycling season with Team RONA for Canadian Andrea Hannos. In 2003, the 30-year-old Vancouver-born cyclist won the combined BC Superweek races, coming first in the Tour de White Rock, second in the Tour de Delta and third in the Tour de Gastown. Andrea also placed 5th in the Valley of the Sun and 12th in the Philadelphia Liberty Classic. She took first place in the 2002 Canadian National Championships criterium and finished third in overall standings at the Redlands Classic.
Andrea is a biologist with degrees from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Midwestern State University in Texas.
Geneviève Jeanson (Canada)
Geneviève Jeanson was named North American Female Cyclist of the Year for 2003 by VeloNews, the American cycling magazine. Her 32 wins in 2003 place her in the front rank worldwide based on standings established by Alfred North, author of Performances 2003, the annual women's cycling reference bible. The Lachine, QC-cyclist scored six decisive wins in 2003 stage races: the Valley of the Sun, the Pomona Valley Stage Race, the Redlands Bicycle Classic, the Sea Otter Classic, the Tour of the Gila and the Green Mountain Stage Race. She also won the Montreal World Cup, the Canadian Road Championship and the Mount Washington Bicycle Hill Climb. Geneviève also finished 2nd in the International Tour de 'Toona and 5th in the World Cycling Championship Time Trials.
Geneviève, who's already famous for her time trials and climbing prowess, amazed more than one cycling fan in 2003 by staking a new claim as talented sprinter.
Helen Kelly (Australia)
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Helen Kelly is 32 years old. She has raced successively for Denmark's Team S.A.T.S. and the American Team TDS in 2003. Winner of the 2003 Best Sprinter jersey at the Redlands Classic and Australian Cycling Clubs Criterium Champion in 2003, she was also cited as a key teammate for Katrina Grove in the 2003 Grande Boucle Féminine, Sarah Ulmer in the Nature Valley Stage Race and Tina Mayolo-Pic in the Giro d'Italia.
Helen is a chartered accountant and currently works for an international accounting firm.
Anna Milkowski (United States)
Anna Milkowski joined Team RONA after wearing Gearworks/Spinarts colors throughout the 2003 season. The 28-year-old American was a major success on the cyclo-cross circuit this winter, with podium performances in the Highland Park 'Cross, the Rock Bridge 'Cross Classic and the Camp Hill 'Cross Classic. She's also a definite contender on the road with good performances in the International Tour de 'Toona (29th), the Green Mountain Stage Race (6th) and the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic (19th).
Émilie Roy (Canada)
Team RONA's "new kid on the bike" in 2004 is 18-year-old Émilie Roy in her first Elite season. In 2003, after two years away from competition racing because of a virus, the young athlete from Saint-Cuthbert, Quebec was back in the races and riding strong, winning the Quebec Junior Road and Time Trials Championships and finishing first in the RONA junior cumulative rankings for the full cycling season, based on a point system awarded by the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes. Despite mechanical problems, Émilie finished 18th in the World Junior Championship Time Trials.
Émilie is studying for a French baccalaureate degree by correspondence with the Centre national d'enseignement ÃƒÂ distance at the Lycée de Rennes in France.
Erinne Willock (Canada)
Team RONA's revelation of the year in 2003, Erinne Willock proved herself as a strong, dependable and versatile team member in her first pro season. The young cyclist from Victoria, BC demonstrated major climbing talent with the key role she played in her team leader Geneviève Jeanson's Montreal World Cup victory and in Team RONA's win in team rankings at the International Tour de 'Toona, where Erinne also earned 10th place in general classification, a stage podium performance and the Most Aggressive Rider award. Also noteworthy are her 9th place ranking in the Canadian Road Championship and 44th place at the Hamilton Worlds.
Erinne is 22 years old and a student at the University of Victoria.
In September, Esker, a member of the Parmalat Group, announced that it would no longer sponsor the team financially in 2004. Team RONA is pleased to welcome new equipment sponsors. Tires for the teams Colnago bicycles will be supplied by Vittoria and roll on wheels by Bontrager, which also supplies the US Postal team. Shoes will be provided by Sidi. Cinelli will supply stems and handlebars. USE will supply saddle posts while Elite will supply home trainers and bottle cages.
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