Auckland teenager Georgia Williams will join Italian professional cycling team BePink next month after signing a one-year deal today.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic summer on the bike, highlighted by winning the New Zealand Criterium Championships in November and more recently, claiming second in the road race at the Elite Road National Championships in Christchurch on the weekend.
Williams will spend around seven months with the Milan-based team in 2013, having selected their offer over a number other interested teams from around the world, with the help of her coach Karl Murray.
“Karl sent out my CV to a few overseas teams and we had a few responses but the Italian team were by far the best team so we decided to go with them,” said Williams.
“Lots of the girls are quite a bit older than me and are really experienced so I’ll be able to learn off them which will be good and I’ll be doing all the top UCI races in Europe as well.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I kind of expected to race in America for the next few years first; going straight to Europe is just awesome because that’s where all the best cycling is.”
Moving to a non-English speaking country on the other side of the world as a lone 19-year-old would be a daunting prospect for anyone, but while Williams is nervous, she said there are some great people around her who will help with the culture shock.
“It will be different, but it will be cool. I’ll try to learn some Italian before I go over but my team has been really good and they said they‘d teach me when I’m over there,” she said.
“I’m really nervous about the whole thing but they seem really nice so that helps. Being away from the family will be hard as well but in the end will be worth it.”