By Brian Holcombe
Alison Powers rode the Team Type 1 colors to overall wins at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and Joe Martin Stage Race in 2009 en route to securing the season-long Women’s Prestige Series and National Racing Calendar individual titles. Had things rolled her way, she would defend those overall titles for Team Type 1 in 2010.
As things played out, however, that will not be the case. Powers has moved to Lisa Hunt’s ValueAct Capital team, a team expected to reveal a new title sponsorship. Powers’ departure from Team Type 1 comes as that squad reshuffles its roster for 2010 with the goal of promoting more athletes living with Type 1 diabetes.
“It was an excellent experience working with Alison and the professionalism she helped bring to the team was welcomed,” said team director Jack Seehafer. “With the focus of our program being the development of athletes with Type 1 diabetes, we talked with her to find what her next step should be so she can continue to move forward as one of the top female cyclists in the United States.”
That next step will carry Powers onto one of the strongest women’s rosters to take the road in 2010. The 2008 national time trial champion joins returning riders Leah Goldstein, Robin Farina and Kristin Sanders, as well as a slew of new additions that include multiple-time collegiate national champion Carla Swart and Canadian road champion Alison Testroete.
“I like Lisa and I like the girls that are on her team,” Powers said. “Ultimately, I want to ride with people that allow me to have a fun time, because when you have a fun time, results usually come and if they don’t come, you’re still having fun because you’re with cool people.”
In 2009, Powers saw the fun and the results come in bunches. When she was not winning NRC stage races, she was challenging Kristin Armstrong during the Cervélo rider’s farewell tour in May and June.
Powers was bested only by Armstrong at the Tour of the Gila and finished third overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix behind Armstrong and Shelley Olds (Proman Hit Squad).
By mid-June, the Pinecliffe, Colorado, resident had all-but locked up the NRC and Women’s Prestige titles.
“In the right circumstances a rider can thrive and that just so happened to be my circumstances last year,” Powers said.
Looking toward 2010, Powers hopes to flourish within Hunt’s well-rounded roster. With riders capable of road race, criterium and time trial wins from top to bottom, Powers’ new squad offers her both support and the opportunity to relieve the pressure she felt as the sole GC leader at Team Type 1.
“We have a team that has more than one rider that can do well in the GC,” Powers said. “This year with a stronger team, I think that if I’m not riding well, someone else will be and I can support them. I’ll also be able to have some support at the races if a scary break goes up the road or if I need help on a climb.”
Hunt expects Powers to take a leadership role on the team that will be captained on the road by Farina.
“In addition to being the NRC champion, Alison is one of the most versatile riders out there,” Hunt said. “Being an incredibly talented time trialist, she’s also a very strong climber. She’s going to be one of my top GC riders for stage races.”
Powers would be one of the top GC riders on any domestic team for 2010, when she will look to recapture the form that delivered her six wins and both of the national women’s overall titles in 2009.
2010 ValueAct Capital Cycling Team
(awaiting new title sponsor announcement)
Alexis Rhodes (from Webcor Builders)
Alison Testroete (from Total Restoration)
Carla Swart (from Lipsmackers)
Carrie Cash (from Team Revolution)
Erica Allar (from BMW-Bianchi)
Lauren Hall (Unattached)
Alison Powers (from Team Type 1)
Toni Bradshaw (from Lipsmackers)
Leah Goldstein (ValueAct Capital)
Robin Farina (ValueAct Capital)
Kristin Sanders (ValueAct Capital)