Just as last year, two women’s sports teams will be involved in Austria and the World Cup: Elk Haus NÖ and Uniqa Graz. RADWELT presents the most important changes.
Elk Haus NÖ
In October of last year Elk team manager Heribert Springnagel had to absorb a heavy loss: His Austrian drawing card Andrea Graus, the reigning national champion, switched to the Swiss Bigla racing team. A gap resulted, but Heribert, who is a fighter, didn’t let it faze him. After all he can still bank on the strong Swiss cyclist Annette Beutler, who is Number 22 worldwide after all – especially in international races. In addition, the two Wieser sisters – Isabella, the new and former Cyclo-Cross National Champion – and Karin, Patricia Schwager, another Swiss participant, the German Katharina Blum and the American Alisha Lion, who lives in Munich, have signed up for the new season. When she is not on the go with the mountain bike circuit, then Bärbel Jungmeier also switches to the road cycle where she exchanges her Ciclopia team outfit for the red Elk jersey. That’s the group that will also tackle all the World Cup races (twelve from New Zealand to Canada, after all). The cyclists will also be backed by the new Assistant Team Manager Niki Fleiss, who will support the athletes in the customary manner from behind the wheel of his Renault Skala. Austrians Chrisabel Prischl, Petra Pilz, Siegrid Hauer and Iris Sperdin will also be pushing the pedals of their Simplon bicycles during the home Cup races. Heribert Springnagel has clearly defined the goals: “We want to be in the Top Ten in the Team World Ranking List and also among the ten best with one cyclist in the Singles’ World Rankings, national championship medals for road racing and time trials, one to two winners' podium placements in World Cup races. In addition, Isabella and Bärbel as well as the two Swiss women should qualify for the home World Championship race in Salzburg." Tough demands from the boss. The international starting shot will take place in February/March at the World Cup race in New Zealand and Australia. After that it continues successively until the aforementioned World Cup week from 19 until 24 September in the Salzburg region.
Cyclists: BEUTLER Annette SUI 29 Jun 1976 BLUM Katharina GER 24 Oct 1984 JUNGMEIER Bärbel AUT 08 Jul 1975 LION Alisha USA 26 Mar 1981 RUSO Karin AUT 28 Oct 1984 SCHWAGER Patricia SUI 06 Dec 1983 WIESER Isabella AUT 07 Apr 1976 WIESER Karin AUT 23 Jun 1978
ÖRV Women’s Team Speaker and UNIQA Graz Team Manager Klaus Kabasser is banking on the tried and tested this season: “Basically, the regular cyclists have remained the same. New to the team, however, is Drahteisel General Manager Arnold Eisel, whom I’d like to welcome as the new Athletic Coach.” The team, which is banking on Kuota racing bicycles and will be on the go with cars from automobile maker Citroen, will be spearheaded by Christiane Soeder, as in the past. “Chrisi“ will compete in all Austrian races wearing the UNIQA jersey, in the World Cup she will be starting with the mixed team from Univega. There has been a cooperation with the Swiss racing stable since the autumn of 2004. Besides Soeder, Kabasser is mainly counting on Daniela Pintarelli, Bernadette Schober and Austria’s promising young talent Veronika Sprügl, who was fifth in the individual time trials at the European championships last year. Kabasser, an attorney by education, has an interesting cyclist in his line-up with Andrea Mayr: Andrea is an active runner and track and field athlete, who won the annual Empire State Building Run-Up [race up 1,576 steps] for the third time at the beginning of February. At the last track-and-field World Championships she competed in the 3,000 meter hurdle race. ”She is a genuine sports talent. She cycled in her first race two years ago, the Mountain Cycling Championships, and was able to win on her first try, in front of Gruber and Graus.” The season’s top goal is the Cycling World Championship race in Salzburg, for which the UNIQA Graz team would like to have at least one cyclist qualify for the time trials and road races. Furthermore, they are shooting for top results at the U23 European and the national championships. In addition, the women from Austria’s Styria region gathered around Christiane Soeder are looking to win the team and individual ratings in the green heart of Austria [Styria] at the UNIQUA Women’s Cup.
Fahrerinnen: DRIUSSI Maria AUT 01 Mar 1984 MAYER Andrea AUT 15 Oct 1979 PIERINGER Angelika AUT 10 Oct 1969 PINTARELLI Daniela AUT 10 Nov 1983 SCHATTE Kathrin AUT 27 Nov 1976 SCHOBER Bernadette AUT 15 Jul 1984 SCHOGL Gudrun AUT 28 Jul 1980 SOEDER Christiane AUT 15 Jan 1975 SPRÜGL Veronika AUT 21 Dec 1987 WEIGL Yvonne AUT 31 Jul 1978
In Salzburg cycling is very popular. The bicycle is the most favoured means of transportation in the population, the network of cycle paths is one of the most densely structured throughout Austria. Additionally professional cycling is quite significant too. Thus I am especially pleased that we succeeded in our bid to host the 2006 Road World Championships in Salzburg. The World Championships as one of the biggest sport events, taking place on venues all over world and each year, is an important multiplicator for race cycling and an unforgettable event for the fans of cycling – hence the preparations run at full speed. Already now I am looking forward to the competitions and the finishes in the heart of our city!