Yes, it’s that time of year again when new teams appear, old teams disappear, riders are strongly rumoured to be joining one team then join another (or remain with their old team) and I get a headache from trying to keep up with it all.
NS is expecting more news from more teams very soon, which will be added here as soon as those teams give the OK. Know something? Involved in an existing or new team and want to set the record straight? You know where to find me 🙂
Leaving: Jo Smith (to BowlPhish), Emma Lewis (to Aprire-HSS)
“The 2016 season has been a great season for the Aprire Bicycles-HSS Hire women’s cycling team, and we are pleased to announce that for 2017 Aprire Bicycles and HSS Hire are continuing with their support, into what will be our third year of the team,” says Aprire bos Phil Dempsey. “Over the next month we will be announcing our sponsors as well as unveiling our kit and our bikes, so stay tuned for that information.”
With several very strong riders in the squad, 2017 ought to be even better! (roster below)
Leaving: Gemma Sargent, Louise Laker and Lucy Harper (all On Form)
Joining: Nicola Toms (from EliteCycling), Lauren Humphreys (from Bonito Squadra Corse), Julie Elder (from Pedal Power Loughborough), Rebecca Johnson (from Fast Test RT), Isla Rush (from Matrix Pro Cycling), Amy Jones (from Lyme RC), Crystal Lane (from Bonito Sqadra Corsa), Emma Lewis (from Adalta), Joscelin Lowden (from Lewes Wanderers)
Staying: Sophie Lankford
Em Pantoja, Jenny Gunning, Chanel Mason, Sue McFarlane, Rach McKenie, Becky Hoare, Alex Farquhar, Dani Gloyn, Sam Wilson, Chloe Weller, Michelle Debono
Development Team: Libby Dankert, Sophie Barnes, Melissa Wilson
Bianchi Dama UK (formerly Bikeshed-Bianchi)
Bikeshed-Bianchi have been part of the scene since 2015, when they were known as Bikeshed-Exeter University, but it was during 2016 with their new backing from one of cycling’s most illustrious brands that they really came to prominence. Now, for the first time in the brand’s history, Bianchi UK are becoming the title sponsor of a women’s team.
“We’re delighted to become title sponsor of the team and to offer our support as the women compete nationally,” says Bianchi UK manager Andrew Griffin. ” The team’s aims and aspirations sit very well with Bianchi and we’re proud to help promote women’s cycling in this important time in the sports’ development in the UK.”
“We’re honoured to carry the Bianchi name and iconic Celeste colours next year, it’s such a great opportunity for everyone involved,” says team manager David Walters. “The riders have been amazing throughout 2016, despite various obstacles thrown at us, they never once complained and we grew as the season unfolded. With the addition of the new riders, we can continue our progress and maintain the level of enjoyment we have in racing hard in the biggest races.”
Joining: Sarah King, Charlotte Colclough (from Jadan-Weldtite)
Staying: Alex Sheehan, Jess Duffy, Bethan Stubbs, Emma Cockcroft, Georgie Panchaud
Bonito Squadra Corse
Leaving: Lauren Humphreys and Crystal Lane (to Aprire-HSS)
BowlPhish is a new team led by National Grass Track Champion Jo Smith, previously of Adalta CC, and will be a development cycling racing team based in the South East of England competing in local, regional and national level road, time trial, track and cyclocross events.
“The team’s focus is to provide a development pathway for both junior women and women new to racing, supporting their progress in regional and development races,” Jo told NS. “The team will also provide a visible and achievable pathway for the many talented youth girls in the South East to aspire to.”
The team is currently ironing out a few last details and promises further information on riders and photos very soon.
Joining: Jo Smith (from Adalta), Sherilyn Powell (from Chelmer CC)
British Cycling Academy/Team Breeze
Leaving: Emily Kay (to WNT)
Joining: Ellie Mae Dickinson (from Drops), Becky Raybould
Staying: Seniors – Mel Lowther, Manon Lloyd, Abbie Dentus, Megan Barker, Annasley Park, Emily Nelson. Moving to Elite Podium programme – Emily Kay, Danni Khan, Alice Barnes. More info here
A new outfit consisting of teams for women and paracyclists, run by South-West cycling legends Alice (podium finisher in tons of stuff) and Tom (2011 National Circuit Race Champ; KLF fan) Staniford. Tom will be riding in the Para squad. The team has backing from the legendary wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson – companies that might wish to back what looks set to be one of the most interesting new teams in British cycling for many years can contact Alice and Tom via the team Facebook page.
In NS’ opinion, this team is exactly the sort of thing British cycling needs: young, passionate cyclists creating new teams so they can offer others what they’d like a team to offer them. Chapeau, Stanifords!
Joining: Heidi Viles, Lucy Driver and Hannah Newsham (all from Somerset RC), Jenny Bolsom (from Bike Motion), Susan Freeburn (from PMR@Toachim House), Alice Staniford and Sophie Williams (both from EliteVelo-Kalas)
Another new women’s team, supported by Swiss wheel maker, EDCO, www.edco-wheels.co.uk the team will rider Aerosport Umbrial Lights throughout the season and be equipped with EDCO pedal. Worldwide tyre brand Continental provide tubular tyres for the season and insurance company Driverplan offer financial support, with kit provided by Bioracer. Further key supporters will be unveiled over the weeks.
The team plans to target the Tour Series, National Series and Championships, Ride London and Criterium races in the UK and Belgium in their first season.
Joining: Elites – Ellen McDermott (from Jadan-Weldtite), Hannah Righini-Brand (from Vertex), Hetty Niblett (from Footon-Velosport), Jenn Batey (from Vertex), Hannah Farran. Juniors – Alana Prior (from Manilla), Marie Lynn (from Hetton Hawks CC), Megan Kay (from Vieri Velo) and Olivia Fawcett (from Hetton Hawks CC)
Leaving: Ellie Mae Dickinson (to Breeze/BC Academy), Laura Cameron, Jen George, Karla Boddy (more info here)
Joining: Lizzie Holden (from Ford Ecoboost), Anna Christian (from Wiggle-High5; more here), Susanna Zorzi (from Lotto Soudal), Anne-Sophie Duyck (from TopSport Vlaanderen-Etixx), Martina Ritter (from BTC Ljubljana, more info here; Susanna, Anne-Sophie and Martina are Drops’ first international riders), Abby-Mae Parkinson
Staying: Alice Barnes, Becky Womersley, Rebecca Durrell, Hannah Payton, Annie Simpson, Lucy Shaw, Rose Osborne, Sophie Coleman, Laura Massey
Leaving: Nichola Toms (to Aprire-HSS)
5th Floor CC
5th Floor’s Sophie Edmondson got in touch to let NS know that the team will remain much the same in 2017 – which hopefully includes their kit, which was the most stylish at the races in 2016 – with one addition in the shape of Eryn Nolan. Eryn won Round 4 of the Cyclopark Summer Series and was second behind Victoria Strila, beating Susan Freeburn, Georgina Panchaud and Chloe Weller (and other strong riders), at Paceline RT’s Surrey League RR last season.
“We’ll be continuing to race cyclocross into the New Year, then focusing on crit races, some local road races and possibly some track,” Sophie says. “We’ll also be entering the Tour Series and London Nocturne in 2017.”
Sophie also says the 2017 kit is similar to the 2016 design – follow the team to see it when it’s revealed!
Joining: Eryn Nolan
Staying: Sophie Edmondson, Adeline Moreau, Clare Ross, Petra Dolejsova, Aoife Doherty
Fast Test RT
Leaving: Rebecca Johnson (to Aprire-HSS)
“The end of the racing season comes around once more. Riders search for new teams and teams search for new riders. By the end of October, new contracts are signed and new partnerships made, all ready to start preparing for the following year’s racing season. Simple, right? From the innocently naive eye of an outsider to the situation, yes, it is all simple. It’s even rather exciting, eagerly anticipating the release of the fresh news of who’s going where. But from the inside, as a little cog in the complex machine, it’s far from simple…” Sian Botteley talks about transfer season and why it can be a headache for riders too
Leaving: Hetty Niblett (to DriverPlan Edco)
As expected, Nikki Juniper’s Ford Ecoboost had an enormously successful first season and were arguably the strongest team on the British circuit with a plethora of victories and high placings throughout the year and in a wide variety of different races.
NS spoke to Nikki and directeur sportif Nick Yarworth, who told us about their plans for the new season and were insistent that the team definitely won’t be resting on its laurels this season. “There are a lot of very good riders on the smaller teams this year,” Nick said, listing a number of examples that he feels will shake things up. “Women’s cycling in the UK has grown enormously, it’s on the up. Nobody will get their own way and nobody can be complacent, we just hope to step up to meet them and help raise the profile of the sport along the way.”
Leaving: Lizzie Holden (to Drops)
Joining: Beth Hayward, Lauren Creamer, Kelly Murphy, Charmaine Porter, Corinne Clark, Jenny Powell, Louise Surridge
Staying: Nikki Juniper, Jo Tindley, Adele Martin, Charlotte Broughton, Clover Murray, Julie Erskine, Mel Brand, Sophie Fennell,
Another growing team with five new riders for 2017 – including multiple National Hill Climb Champ Maryka Sennema.
Leaving: Ashleigh Fraser (Ashleigh announced on the 1st of November that she’s decided to take a break from racing – NS hopes to see her back in the saddle soon), Lizzy Banks (to Sunsport Velo)
Joining: Tina Hartwright (from Dulwich Paragon), Rosie Lethbridge, Lauren O’Brien (RST), Molly Patch (CC London), Maryka Sennema (Paceline RT)
Staying: Jenny Holden, Fiona Hunter Johnson, Eleanor Campbell, Gillian Taylor (who remains onboard after taking a year out in 2016 to become a mum)
Leaving: Charlotte Redden (to On Form)
Joining: Jennie Tillott (from St Ives CC)
Staying: Michelle Forster
Iris Race Team
Sarah Hickman got in touch to tell us about her new cycling project a few weeks back –
“I previously ran the Women’s Race Team under 3C Cyclexperience, sponsored by a shop Cyclexperience and Really Useful Box. We are based in Southampton and surrounding area. It was created with the intention of taking women that had never raced before and turning them into racers…. which we did during the 2016 season!
We are now changing our name and going bigger and better with a much more comprehensive sponsorship package. We are currently four from last year and recruiting riders in the region and will be targeting regional and national races.”
The new team, Iris Race Team, was announced on the 2nd of January. Not much information yet, but a roster should be available soon. Sponsored by Nisa Local and Really Useful Box, with more sponsorship details on the way.
“A New Year – a new team! We are pleased to announce that we have created IRIS Race Team, an all women’s race team based in Southampton and the south coast.”
Team manager and coach is former Team GB International track and road star Michele Ward, who competed at the World Champs, European Champs and Commonwealth Games, and won numerous events between the late 1990s and mid-2000s.
Joining: Laura Bailey, Sarah Hickman, Faith Fisher, Donna Lovelock (all previously with 3C CycleExperience), Harriet Hernando (previously VC Venta), Kelly Bennett (from Bognor Regis CC), Lizzy Campbell (previously Bournemouth Jubilee), Helen Nicholls (previously Fareham Wheelers)
Jadan-Weldtite has new backing from Vive Le Vélo, and an impressive roster made up of existing members and new signings.
Leaving: Charlotte Colclough (to Bianchi Dama UK), Ellen McDermott (to DriverPlan Edco), Liz Burrows (to Sunsport Velo)
Joining: (Juniors) Ellie Smith, Olivia Bent, Georgia Bullard, Shauna McFadden, Amy Monkhouse. (Seniors) Lucinda Kerr (from London Phoenix), Holly Flannery, Beth McCluskey, Michelle Geohegan
Staying: (Juniors) Maisy Vaisic, Eve Martin, Jenny Holl, Charlotte Dalton, Rhona Callander. (Seniors) Leah Pheasey, Vikki O’Brien, Louise Scupham, Charlotte Parnham, Jennifer McAndrew
- We previously stated that Henrietta Colborne was joining Jadan; however, Henrietta has been in contact to let us know this is not correct – expect to hear more from her soon!
Welwyn Wheelers’ racing team had a fine first year, becoming one of the most dominant and talked-about teams in the south-east of England as well as having many successful races further afield. The team will look to build on their first season of racing with a larger squad and targets will include the Team Series, the National Road Series, the Junior series, Eastern Race League and Tarmac Tour Series.
One of Neutral Service’s favourite squads, K-W are a very friendly team run by (manager) Richard Maynard, with assistance from Francis Gallacher, Graeme Anderson and John Chastell; all of whom are involved because of their love of women’s cycling and desire to help promising riders achieve their potential. Show your appreciation when you see them racing in 2017!
Leaving: Anna Carter, Gaia Casciello
Joining: Claire Fisk (Senior; from Welwyn Wheelers), Lesley Courtney (Senior; from Welwyn Wheelers) and Elspeth Grace (Junior; from Welwyn Wheelers)
Staying: Elanor Cadzow (Senior), Rachel Heptonstall (Senior), Sophia Chastell (U23), Kat Anderson (Junior). Annabel Sill also remains with the team and will chiefly concentrate on time trials.
Les Filles – Queen of the Mountains
Hang on a minute – Les Filles – Queen of the Mountains…? Yep, that’s right: for the first time in their five-year history, the popular (and until recently self-funded) London-based team has recruited a title backer in Alicia Bamford’s high-performance women’s cycling kit producer, whose Mont Ventoux and Col d’Iseran ranges are widely popular.
Joining: Louise Moriarty (from Look Mum No Hands)
Staying: Nicole Oh, Sophie Curle, Helen McKay, Tracey Corbett, Louise Mahe, Delia Beddis
Nobody ever really leaves Les Filles, because membership is as much a lifestyle (involving a lot of wine as well as cycling) as being part of a team. Thus Alexie Shaw, Clem Copie and Laura Greenhalgh may reappear with the team at various events, as might part-time/associate riders Coralie Glaunes, Claire Gillott and Jayne Paine.
Nicole, who manages the team in addition to riding, informs us that the team still has room for another couple of riders. To be considered, you’ll need to be 25+ and employed (the team remains largely self-funded); if you’re suitable it’s likely you already know the team well enough to know it. You can contact her via email@example.com.
(previously Hub Velo Junior Women)
Team manager Pat Hayes tells NS: “the riders all have experience of the frenetic world of mixed youth racing and are looking forward to riding in the rather different environment of women’s racing.”
Joining: Connie Hayes (from CC Hackney), Rosie Wallace (from Wigmore CC), Issy Torrie (from Chelmer CC), Hannah Graveny (from Kent Velo), Savannah Hewson (from Hillingdon Slipstreamers), Lauren Higham (development rider, from Welwyn Wheelers)
Liv CC-Epic Coaching
Joining: Connie Hudson (from RP-Vision), Anna Docherty
Staying: Lizzy Bennett, Lauren Dolan, Pfeiffer Georgi, Lauren Murphy, Jess Roberts, Emily Tillet
If you love women’s cycling, you’ve got to really love this club and team: the first race they’d ever organised, the Lovelo-Cinelli RR, was a massive success, and when they heard there wasn’t going to be a National Women’s Masters Champs this year they stepped up and in just a couple of months organised one – and that was a massive success too. Lovelo-Cinelli’s passion for women’s cycling and determination to back it is truly admirable.
“Lovelo Cinelli RT have built their women’s team from scratch, with riders who had never raced ever at the start of the season to 2nd and 3rd cats who will now target the Women’s Team Series as they continue to develop themselves in their second season (and first “proper” one) of riding as a team and racing in a more organised fashion. They will be hosting a Women’s road race on the 9th April to follow on from last year’s.
They are part of a wider team that boasts a 50/50 split of men and women who all race; a real equality team like it should be: not a women’s team, not a mens’ team, just a team of people who race bikes equally.”
Leaving: Anna Henderson (to On Form)
Joining: Becky Fawcett, Gemma Bitaref, Charlotte Davis, Bethany Thomson, Kerry McCann, Jennifer Amy Lake
Staying: Amy Shilliday, Zoe Allsop, Melinda Atkinson, Sam Fawcett, Charlotte Verrinder, Hannah Priest, Amy Louden
More news to be confirmed. Also, look out for the team’s amazing kit, which will be revealed soon!
Leaving: Alana Prior (to DriverPlan Edco)
For many years now Matrix has, under various names, been the best-known women’s team on the British circuit, and its contribution to women’s cycling has been enormous. No surprise then that a lot of people have been wondering what manager Stef Wyman has up his sleeves for next year – at long last, we can now know.
“Being outside the day-in day-out schedule of road racing whilst supporting our Olympic stars has given us the chance to pinpoint exactly what we want to achieve in the coming seasons,” he says. “Until now we have been a pure racing team fulfilling a full race program with riders with mixed skill sets within a professional environment. Those elements combined with our work off the bike allow us to provide the investment return our partners need to justify their continued investment. These additional activities have included our involvement in events, either directly or via partnerships with team sponsors, leading to the creation of the televised criterium series the Matrix Fitness GP.
In recent seasons we have worked in an increasingly crowded market, with more teams created and pushing for their place at the top of the domestic scene, most having very similar objectives and all targeting the same pool of riders. When we entered the sport under the Matrix banner in 2010 it seemed a distant dream to have so many strong and successful teams at the top of the domestic scene.
Reflecting on what we have achieved as a team at our team launch back in April, we highlighted the 2015 graduation of Molly Weaver to the upper echelons of women’s professional cycling as the previous year’s biggest success despite holding jerseys in major races and winning prestigious events. That leg-up for Molly shone brightly above the other achievements and since 2012 there has been a steady stream of riders that have taken a step, via our team, to a UCI team that matched their ambitions.
It has become clear that developing riders for strong international UCI teams is a far greater goal for us and we are now looking at forging development pathways for riders in two ways:
Creating sustainable links to leading professional teams, and being able to provide those teams with World Tour level riders that match the skill set they are looking for.
- Continue putting the best riders we can into our set up, and giving them the highest support available in all the areas they can get, to allow them to move up to the right team.
These two clear branches of our operation mean that going forward we will be moving away from the traditional racing team format, and creating a “performance centre” environment, where we focus on fewer riders, with each rider having a far greater input from us into a fully customized program.“
Stef goes on to say that thanks to the continued support of Matrix Fitness – support which is now in its eight year, an almost unheard-of length of time in women’s cycling – the team will retain its training facilities in Belgium and the South of France, enabling it to further tailor training structures to individual riders and base them where they need to be in order to target the races that suit their talents. Meanwhile, the search for a new co-sponsor wishing to help develop the future of the sport will continue over the winter.
Of new signing Laurine van Riessen, Stef adds: “We are delighted to have Laurine as part of the team. She was launched to fame during the Rio games, when millions of people worldwide, including myself, watched her escape a crash by ‘riding the wall’. She is as impressive off the bike as she is on it, and we hope to assist Laurine in creating the optimum pathway to Tokyo 2020. She will be our first track sprinter in our seven-year history, and it’s very exciting for everyone connected with the team to welcome her onboard.”
Leaving: Harriet Owen (off to America – read more here), Alice Cobb (to Lares-Waowdeals), Isla Rush (to Isorex and Aprire-HSS)
Joining: Laurine van Riessen
Staying: Elinor Barker, Lora Turnham, Corinne Hall, Laura Trott
New sponsors and a new look for the team formerly known as Team Torelli.
“NCC Group-Kuoto-Torelli is an Elite Womens Racing Team based in Manchester,” says manager Tony Orrell. “Our main targets for next season include the Women’s National Road Series, Women’s Team Series, Tour Series and the Ras na mBan. We will also be venturing into Europe and already have invites from organisers in Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Italy and Spain. Our first major target for the year is the Tour ta Malta in April.”
Joining: Sophie Black, Autumn Collins, Ciara Doogan, Anouska Edwards, Rhiannon Gornall, Gwenno Hughes, Jane Hellewell, Steph Mottram, Alice Sharpe, Mads Scott, Sophie Thackray, Steph Alden, Karolien Liesens*
(Liesens was born in Ghent but lived much of her life in Limburg – so, a Flandrian toughened up by the Limburg hills. Should be interesting!)
New Team 1
See Iris Race Team
New Team 2
…being put together by a very popular and well-known British rider – but it might not happen until 2018. When it does, be it this year or next, you’ll hear about it.
New Team 3
…another one involving a very well-known and highly successful rider. More info asap!
“Helen Wyman, multiple National Champion and twice European Champion is today announcing the “NEXT Wyman” project; an initiative planned to try to fill the void between the sport’s leading riders and the up and coming individuals that struggle alone to reach those heights. Helen puts much of this gap down to areas other than fitness and talent; calendar planning, access to appropriate events, confidence, equipment, and quality training facilities are all major factors in a riders pathway to the top, and over the past 10 years Helen has often learnt this the hard way. Read more here.
Joining: Helen Wyman (obviously!), Amira Mellor
Another new team, put together by Simon Howes who was previously directeur sportif of Aprire-HSS. Riders’ names haven’t been made public yet, but there are eight on the women’s team, six on the mixed Junior team and five on the men’s development team.
The team will ride Bianchi Oltre Xr4 bike.
Joining: Charlotte Redden (from GBCycles.co.uk), Louise Laker (from Aprire-HSS), Anna Henderson (from Lovelo-Cinelli), Alicia Speake (from CC London), Gemma Lianne Sargent (from Aprire-HSS), Amy Elizabeth Hill (from Team Rytger), Lucy Harper (from Aprire-HSS), Sian Botteley (from Starley Racing). Junior Girls: Emily Ashwood, Holly Hoy, Jessica Woodworth, Neve Upton
Staying: Gemma Melton
PMR, sadly, are bowing out of women’s road racing; however, their very successful track team continues.
Leaving: Victoria Strila (to Sunsport)
Staying: Emma Towers, Jennifer Allum, Sophie Faldo, Suzannah Doyle, Amber Joseph and Megan Chard
Leaving: Sharon Laws (retired), Gabriella Shaw (to WNT), Katie Archibald (to WNT)
Leaving: Isabella Stone (to Isorex)
Racing Chance isn’t a team, it’s a charity which states its aim as “to promote amateur cycling for women throughout the United Kingdom by the provision of financial assistance, education, support and training.” However, the charity’s plans for 2017 are definitely worthy of inclusion here…
“After our AGM this week, we discussed the next steps for Racing Chance. The headlines are as follows:
- A junior academy on a regional level, with the first being piloted in the North West from 2017. These riders will race for the Racing Chance Foundation club;
- A senior academy on a national level, from which riders will be chosen to represent Racing Chance at a foreign stage race of a standard high enough to attract UCI level riders. These riders will train together and will race together (actual programme TBC) although it is not anticipated that this will be in women’s races in the UK due to existing team commitments of those riders on the academy. This will start during 2017, although the proper programme is scheduled to start properly in 2018.”
RP-Vision Racing Team
See Team Vision Innovative Leisure
Staying: Eleanor Lloyd
Leaving: Sophie Enever (to Team 22)
A rumour doing the rounds in August suggested Starley might no longer be with us in 2017; despite the company being bought by new owners, this does appear to be the case. Watch this space for the latest news.
Leaving: Sian Botteley (to On Form), Gabriella Nordin (to Sunsport)
They say the wise never listen to rumours, and that’s certainly the case with Sunsport Velo who, according to one doing the rounds at the end of the summer, were about to close down – in fact, following a successful 2016 with five riders, the team is expanding to eight and will be targetting several prestigious events in the new year.
“Sunsport Velo Women’s Race Team is a collaboration between SunSport Coaching and Velo Espresso to build a professional female cycling team based in Altrincham, Cheshire. We are a development team providing 360 degree support to our riders to help them develop their athletic potential and create opportunities for success at local and national level. We also have a desire to raise the profile of women’s cycling in the UK and give back to the cycling community,” explains manager Stuart Percival.
In November, the team revealed its new jerseys – fortunately not too far a departure from the 2016 design which, in the opinion of NS and at least a few riders, was one of the better ones in the peloton – and also that it had recruited a major new backer in Brother: it’s great in these uncertain times to see another “household name” international firm getting involved in women’s cycling.
Brother joins Betts Geo, Pactimo, Sunsport Coaching, Velo Espresso and Slater Heelis, all of whom have signed up already.
Speaking on the announcement Stuart Percival, Director and Head Coach at SunSport Velo commented: “We are looking forward to working alongside Brother UK in the 2017 cycling season. We have a super enthusiastic and experienced team so we feel we can also add value to Brother Cycling over the coming months and vice versa.”
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director of Brother UK, added: “Last year saw the team secure some impressive accolades throughout the season. Its ambitions for the 2017 season are to be admired and we’re delighted to be able to support them in their drive. The partnership reflects a portfolio of sponsorships the business has invested in, backing the domestic sport at all levels. It fits perfectly with our own business ethos which is all about teamwork, partnership and results.”
With that in mind, the team is aiming to take part in the Women’s Tour, the Matrix Fitness GP Series, National level crits and stage races, international events such as Ras Na Mban, the Lincoln Grand Prix, RideLondon and the Cicle Classic as well as local events in the north-west of England and overseas events. In addition, riders from the team will ride track and cyclocross races.
The full roster is currently being announced with brief bios on each rider available here.
Joining: Victoria Fearn (from PMR@Toachim House), Liz Burrows (from Jadan-Weldtite), Hannah Larbalestier (from University of Bath CC), Rosie Walsh (from High on Bikes), Felicity Gledhill (from Sportcity Velo), Gabriella Nordin (from Starley Racing), Seonaid Thompson (from Albarosa CC), Lizzy Banks (from Fusion RT-Fierlan)
Just like every year, and especially right after the Olympics, there’s a good deal of uncertainty as companies that became involved in sports sponsorship decide to change or remove their backing. However, one team that isn’t in any danger is Team 22 – “we were pretty much all sorted in May to be honest,” manager Colin Batchelor told Neutral Service. Colin will be making a full announcement of the 2017 line-up in the next few weeks.
Keep an eye on the team’s Facebook for all the latest – and they’re a fun, friendly and approachable team who do an enormous amount for the sport of women’s cycling, so say hello when you see them at the races.
Jess Atkinson – who, back in 2012, was the first rider to sign up with Team 22 – is leaving to concentrate on her final year at university. Best of luck Jess, and we hope to see you and a shiny new degree back with the team in the future!
Leaving: Charli Alston, Frankie White, Gina Riley, Jen Edwards, Sarah Rose, Jess Atkinson
Joining: Juniors – Georgia Ashworth (from Cycle Sport Pendle), Lizzie Catlow (from Bourne Wheelers), Lily Greenhalgh (from East Bradford CC), Gaby Homer, Ellie Park, April Tacey (from Johnstone Wheelers), Bryony Board (from Glendene CC), Sophie Enever (from Speedflex)
Staying: U23 – Rachel Crighton (Rachel, originally listed above as leaving the team, will now remain), Flora Gillies, Lucy Lee, Phoebe Martin, Rosa Martin (U23). Juniors – Savannah Morgan, Sam Verrill, Charlotte Gibson, Libby Denby. Claire Martin is remaining with the team, but becomes directeur sportif.
Joining: Jodie Taylor (U14; from Colcester Rovers CC),
Staying: Sophie Capewell (BC Senior Academy), Lauren Bate-Lowe (BC Junior Academy), Sophie Holmes (first-year Junior), Holly McHugh (U10)
See NCC Group-Kuoto-Torell
Thanks DS Richard Reddy for letting NS be the first to know! Team formerly known as RP-Vision
Leaving: Connie Hudson (to Liv CC)
Joining: Isabel Darvill (1st year Junior; from VC Lincoln), Maddie Howden (2nd year Junior; from Gillingham & District Wheelers), Tamara Davenne (Senior; from Zappi’s), Louise Hart (Senior; from GS Henley)
Staying: Gabriella Butler (2nd year Junior), Maddie Gammons (2nd year Junior), Natasha Reddy (U23)
VCL (Velo Club Londres)
Joining: Catherine Coley (from Ludlow Brewery RT)
VC St Raphael
Joining: Emma Clarke (from RP-Vision)
Velo Schils-Interbike, home to National Hill Climb Champion Lou Bates, describe themselves as “A bunch of girls from around the UK doing a bit of bike racing; enjoying ourselves, supporting each other and promoting our lovely sponsors.”
Nic Soden informs us that “another couple of riders minimum” will be revealed soon. Check out the team’s redesigned website, too!
Joining: Rebecca Goodson (more here)
Staying: Lou Bates, Iona Sewell, Sandra Mackay, Nicola Soden, Kat Kimber, Caroline Guest, Natalie Hodson
Vertex were a presence in many of 2016’s early-season races, but then seemed to withdraw and almost vanish later on in the year – and Emma Coldwell, who manages the team, freely admits that this was because “our approach this year hasn’t really worked.” So, the team is doing what any organisation needs to do after a slow start: “we are looking to change the structure and how we operate,” Emma explains.
The team has both its own coach and a mechanic, and thanks to new backing will boast from an increased budget with each rider allocated a share, “rad new kit” and a shiny new website, and will target the big national events they missed in 2016 (National Road Series and other key events across the UK and Ireland)… and they still have places on offer. Interested? Send your rider cv to firstname.lastname@example.org.
World-class tri/duathlete Annabella Weaver will continue to share management duties of the women’s team with Emma; meanwhile, for the first time this year Vertex will also include a men’s team (I know, right? Men’s cycling is really starting to catch on – everyone’s getting in on the act! – Ed.) headed by Jordan Hargreaves, who will also provide coaching to the women’s squad.
Leaving: Hannah Righini-Brand and Jenn Batey (to DriverPlan Edco Continental Racing)
Joining: Anna Marie Hughes (from TWC de Kempen), Bethany Taylor (Boot Out Breast Cancer CC), Jose Gilbert (Starley), Lucy Horrocks (Speedflex), Sophie Household (SSLL), Karen Taylor, Gabrielle Duckworth (GB Cycles)
Staying: Emma Coldwell, Annabella Weaver, Evgenia Ilyinskaya, Christine Marshall,
Leaving: Dani King (to Cylance; see below), Anna Christian (to Drops)
Staying: Jolien D’hoore, Nettie Edmondson, Lucy Garner, Mayuko Hagiwara, Elisa Longo Borghini, Anna Sanchis Chafer
Rumours that Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo-Liv in 2016) was about to sign for Wiggle-High5 proved to be untrue – the French rider, who has 14 World and National road race titles to her name (plus many more in CX and MTB), will be moving to Canyon-SRAM. Giorgia Bronzini is rumoured to be staying with Wiggle.
As befits their new international status, the team’s official launch will take place at Rotor HQ in Madrid on the 24th of February, where their new custom Specialized Tarmacs will also be unveiled.
Leaving: Jo Tindley (to Ford Ecoboost)*, Corrine Clark (to Ford Ecoboost)
Joining: Hayley Jones (from Podium Ambition), Katie Archibald (from Podium Ambition), Anna Badegruber (from Vitalogic Astrokalb Radunion NÖ), Elise Maes (from Vitalogic Astrokalb Radunion NÖ),
Josie Knight, Emily Kay (from Breeze), Eileen Roe (from Lares-Waowdeals), Gabriella Shaw, Hayley Simmonds
Staying: Lydia Boylan, Hannah Walker, Rebecca Carter, Natalie Grinczer, Keira McVitty, Bex Rimmington
*Tindley left in August 2016
Ciara Horne, who has been with Brotherton Cycles since departing from Podium Ambition and won a gold medal in the team pursuit at the Olympics in Rio, is now with Swiss UCI pro team Cervelo-Bigla and will race with the team time trial squad at the World Championships. “I’m extremely excited to be part of such an incredible team and compete at my first World Championships on the road. I hope that I can help the team achieve their goals and aim for a medal at the TTT world championships. I’m predominantly a track rider specialising in team pursuit and individual pursuit but I love time trial on the road,” she said in an official press release published on the team’s website.
Henrietta Colborne has joined Dutch team SwaboLadies.nl, moving up from Juniors to Elite level. The team says “Colborne is already a well known name in Dutch cycling. Last year she won Acht van Chaam crossing the line solo. Also she raced at Energiewacht Tour and Omloop van Borsele with the British national team. The highlight of her season might have been the European time trial championships, where she finished seventh.” More info on her move here.
World Champion Lizzie Deignan (Armitstead) remains with Boels-Dolmans, as does Nikki Brammeier. Molly Weaver remains with Liv-Plantur. which becomes Team SunWeb.
Jessie Walker has decided to take a break from racing, but says she will remain in cycling – she’s written a forthright, even explosive, blogpost explaining her decision here. Instead, she’ll be working as a soigneur for WNT.
Three-time World Team Pursuit Champ (and winner of a ton of stuff on the road, including 2015’s very tough Tour of the Reservoir) Dani King is transferring to Cylance from Wiggle-High5. “King rode at a high level the whole season and showed her talent. Her track curriculum is great and we believe she will continue to improve with more opportunities down the road. We will see her succeed even more,” said directeur sportif Manel Lacambra on the team website.