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SQUADRA DONNE – TEAM LAUNCH 2011

photograph courtesy of © Dominic James (www.domj.eu)

This Sunday saw us head off to the official Squadra Donne team launch (or should that be lunch) at the picturesque village of Goring-on-Thames, with the support team and team sponsors ShuttVR, who had come over from the morning ride at the Woodcote CX sportive just down the road.

Squadra Donne is run by Jon Miles, and is a team that races in the National Team Series as well as on the Continent – Jon himself set up the Team Series in order to raise awareness of women’s cycling in the UK, an initiative that we are happy to say it would seem others are also raising to over the last year or so, with new clearly branded and hugely enthusiastic teams popping up not to mention the new LWCR league. Squadra Donne has been around a long time though, guided under the watchful eye of Jon who ran his first women’s event in 1972, apparently it was a case of being in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, subsequently he’s devoted all his time and efforts to promoting women’s cycling, via the team and the Team Series. Jon was also the coach to Malta’s national team for a decade, and the Tour ta Malta features on the Squadra Donne calender where this year Iona Sewell will be defending her title as last years winner.

Iona Sewell wins the Tour ta Malta in 2010

Squadra Donne has long been a gateway that some exceptional riders have passed though, including names such as Nicole Cooke who rode for Jon’s team when she was just 16, the team is host to national and regional champions past and present. Steve, the team’s mechanic, also has an exceptional history within cycle racing having worked for some of the most respected names in the business both as a cycle coach and mechanic. Offering riders the opportunity to build their own bikes under his guidance in his workshop, not only do they get a race ready machine but they also gain an understanding of what it takes to maintain the bike, something many riders are sadly oblivious to.

ShuttVR are providing the kit, so the team will be racing in Shutt’s Coolmax Pro Bib Shorts and Sportwool Team Jerseys, additional Sportswool outers and accessories will also feature including one of the best looking Buffs around, a design featuring the Shutt colour strip.

ShuttVR’s range is all made in Great Britain.
The ShuttVR jerseys are a Sportwool mix in a women’s specific cut.

When Jon set up the Team Series it was in order to be able to have a series of races that would enable to winner to claim their place as the best women’s team in the UK. With the wealth of support and expertise available – we are certain that Squadra Donne will remain one of the leading teams for some time to come.

Team photoshoot outside the Miller of Mansfield, Goring-on-Thames.

Squadra Donne Round Up of 2010

The 2010 season has been a fruitful one for Squadra Donne, featuring a number of wins, amongst other podium finishes. One of the highlights of the season was in Malta, where Iona Sewell took the overall win in the Tour ta Malta, winning two stages in the process: an impressive improvement on last year’s 3rd place finish.

The successes don’t stop here: this season saw Vicky Ware take three victories at the Montee Courcheval, Montee St. Christophe and Alp d’Huez, and a 2nd place at Montee Maron, with her time up the Alp d’Huez putting her in the top ten women of all time to race this course.

Off the road, Stephania Magri finished fourth in her category (after five races) in both the Southern Cross Country Championships and British Mountain Bike Series.

With results like this, the 2011 season is set to be even stronger. The squad will head back to Malta in early March, in defence of Iona’s title.

Squadra Donne Race Schedule 2011

April

3 Women’s Team Race Series: Windsor

6-10 Tour ta Malta

15 Bruton Series: Cheshire

May

1-2 Bedford 2 Day Stage Race

8 Team Time Trial Championship: Lavenham

15 Bruton Series: Hillingdon GP

22 National 10 mile TT Championships

27 Bruton Bikefest Criterium: Dumfries

28-30 Jersey

June

5 National 25 mile TT Championships

12 Bruton Series: Capernwray

19 Women’s Team Race Series: Stratford Upon Avon

25 National Road Race Championships: Northumberland

July

2 Bruton Series: Blackpool

9 Women’s Team Race Series: Oakley

17 Women’s Team Race Series: Upavon (tbc)

24 Women’s Team Race Series: Naseby

30 Bruton Series: Tywyn Crit, Wales

31 Women’s Team Race Series: Abergavenny

Aug

7 National Criterium Championships

13-14 Essex Giro

21 National Track Championships

27 Women’s Team Race Series: Darley Moor

Sept

11 Women’s Team Race Series: Coalville

tbc Ras na mBan: Ireland

photograph courtesy of © Dominic James (www.domj.eu)

Squadra Donne Riders 2011

Iona Sewell

Stephania Magri

Vicky Ware

Gail Aspden

Sarah Maidment

Naomi Anderson

Alice Monger-Godfrey

management and support team: Jon Miles and Steve Wright.

Squadra Donne are currently looking for two talented riders to join complete the team this year – if you are interested please contact the team directly to find out more.

www.squadradonne.co.uk