Up-and-coming Australian talents, Jessica Allen and Jenelle Crooks will join ORICA-AIS for the remainder of the 2016 season.
The two riders have been given the opportunity to race with the Australian outfit in Europe having shown promising signs whist racing with the Australian High5 National Team earlier this year.
Allen, a 23-year-old rider from Perth, has displayed high potential over the years, notably winning the time trial at the junior world championships in 2011 and the Oceania Road Race Championship in 2014.
“I’m really excited and so grateful for the opportunity to join ORICA-AIS,” said Allen. “I can’t wait to learn from some of the best riders in the world and have them help me develop and grow into a better bike racer.”
“Signing a professional contract with ORICA-AIS is something I’ve been wanting for a long time and I can’t wait to get the most out of the remainder of 2016 with the team.
“It’s thanks to my family and my coach Donna Rae-Szalinski along with other support back home, including my previous teams, for giving me the opportunity to race with them earlier this year which has opened up the opportunity for me to sign with ORICA-AIS.”
Like Allen, Crooks has been racing overseas with the High5 National team, giving her valuable experience ahead of joining ORICA-AIS.
At just 21 years of age the youngster is eager to make the most of the opportunity and to learn from riders she has looked up to over the years.
“I can’t express how excited I really am about joining ORICA-AIS for the rest of the season,” explained Crooks. “I am so thankful for this huge opportunity, knowing I’ll be racing alongside and learning from girls that I have always looked up to, and aspired to be like.”
“I’m going to make sure I make the absolute most of this experience, to learn and develop as a bike rider as much as I can.”
Crooks adds to the already growing list of palmares for the young pair, claiming the best young rider classification at the 2015 edition of both the Thuringen Rundfahrt and La Route de France.
With this in mind, sport director Gene Bates is looking forward to having two fresh riders onboard and is excited to see what they can achieve with the support of ORICA-AIS.
“They are two young riders who have had some good experiences in Europe,” explained Bates. “We’ve been watching them develop racing with the Australian High5 National Team and we were really pleased with the way they have been progressing.”
“Everyone is really excited about having new riders join us and we are excited to see how they can progress over the next three months.”
Allen and Crooks will make their debut for ORICA-AIS next week in the Tour de Feminin, taking place from the 7-10th of July.