Teams and Transfers 2017-18

Oh bloody hell – it’s that time of year again when we try to keep up with which teams are calling it a day, which new ones are starting up, which riders are retiring and which ones are off to new homes. It’s a bit of a headache to stay abreast of it all, so if you hear anything interesting please let us know via Facebook or Twitter.

Rumour Control

Unfortunately, with UK women’s cycling not in a good place financially right now, it looks likely we’re going to be saying goodbye to more teams than usual this year – you may already have heard rumours of a couple of well-known outfits shutting down in the near future. In most cases, the people behind those teams won’t just give up and will be working hard searching for new sponsorship in the hope of supporting their riders for another season. Neutral Service’s main aim is to spread awareness of women’s cycling in this country and, by doing so, hopefully help the sport develop into what we all know it can be: that’s why we won’t always publish rumours here, because in many cases doing so can cause problems when existing/potential sponsors hear about them. However, we’re still interested in hearing them, and will attempt to confirm or disprove them as soon as possible by talking to the teams in question and publishing facts as soon as those teams give us permission to do so.

Teams

Adalta

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Aprire-HSS

Team closing

Army Cycling

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Bianchi Dama UK

The South-West team had a very successful first season in 2017 and announced a couple of big name signings when revealing its roster at the Cycle Show. Sadly, the team will lose – hopefully only temporarily, and the team emphasises that she’ll always be welcome back – Charlotte Colclough: Charlotte has been diagnosed with iliac artery endofribrosis, a disease which affects blood supply to the legs (also suffered by ex-Team Sky rider Joe Dombrowski, who underwent successful surgery and now rides for Cannondale-Drapac). As the condition can be caused by cycling, the team will be working to increase awareness of it in 2018.

Leaving: Charlotte Colclough (see above)
Joining: Becky Womersley (from Drops), Bethany Taylor (from Vertex-Biemme; Bethany won three rounds of the Odd Down Summer Series in 2017 and took numerous top ten placings – including a silver medal at the Welsh Circuit Race Champs
Staying: Jess Duffy, Emma Cockcroft, Georgie Panchaud, Ali Sheehan, Sarah-Louise King, Bethan Stubbs

Bonito Squadra Corse

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Boompods-EDCO

After starting last season as DriverPlan-EDCO Continental Racing, EDCO rapidly became a well-known and popular team on the UK circuit. Support from Swiss manufacturer EDCO Wheels continues; new sponsorship from audio equipment manufacturer Boompods will hopefully see the team go on to enjoy a great season. In our opinion, they’re an early leader in the “best jersey design” contest too!

Leaving: Anna Kay (to Storey)
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Staying: Lauren Pestana (Lauren will also ride for Belgian team Isorex)

Bowlphish Racing

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British Cycling Academy/Team Breeze

Leaving: Mel Lowther (to WNT), Manon Lloyd (to Drops)
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Cycle Engage UK

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Drops

Leaving: Becky Womersley (to Bianchi Dama UK), Alice Barnes (to Canyon-SRAM), Ann-Sophie Duyck (reported by Dutch media; new team unknown), Martina Ritter (reported by media; new team unknown), Rose Osborne (retiring – read about her decision and watch a short documentary about it here)
Joining: Molly Weaver (from Sunweb), Taylor Wiles (from United Healthcare), Nina Buijsman (from Parkhotel), Manon Lloyd (from Breeze)
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Elite Cycling

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Xan Crees remains with Empella-Cyclocross.com

Empella-Cyclocross.com

Empella-Cyclocross.com have confirmed that Alderney Baker – formerly with Corley Cycles and the legendary Matrix Pro Cycling – has signed up for 2018, with another Junior rider to be revealed soon.

Leaving:
Joining: Alderney Baker (junior; from Corley Cycles)
Staying: Xan Crees (junior)

5th Floor CC

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Footon-Velosport

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Ford Ecoboost

Leaving: Mel Brand (to On Form), Charlotte Broughton (to Liv-AWOL)
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Fusion/Fierlan

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GB Cycles

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Iris Race Team

2018 will be Southampton-based Iris Racing Team’s third season, having started out as 3C Cycle Experience back in 2016, with the aim of supporting riders who had never raced before but wanted to give it a go. The team’s sponsors are mobile bike mechanic VeloCare, storage box manufacturer Really Useful Box, cycling clothing maker Jehu Bikewear and the well-known retail chain Nisa Local – as well as, of course, Iris Bicycles, who make titanium bikes.

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Jadan-Weldtite p/b Vive le Velo

Leaving: Holly Flannery (to Swaboladies.nl)
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Kinetic-Welwyn

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Les Filles Queen of the Mountains

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Liv-AWOL

After a successful first season, the London-based team will be expanding to encompass both an an Under-23 squad and a youth development squad. The team’s first big announcement was rising star Clover Murray who, following a spell with Ford Ecoboost, moved to OnForm and picked up a selection of good results in 2017, including several podiums and a fine selection of wins. More big news came with the announcement that Isla Rush, who despite her young age has gained a wealth of experience including with the Matrix Pro Cycling team, has joined as road captain. This was followed by the team revealing that Charlotte Broughton, previously with Ford Ecoboost, had also come onboard.

The team’s sponsors are Giant Docklands/Liv, AWOL London, Perkins, City & Docklands and Life Residential, while the kit supplier is Forte of Assen. In addition, the team will work with a charity partner, the Basil Skers Multiple Myeloma Trust.

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Joining: Clover Murray (from OnForm), Isla Rush (from Aprire-HSS), Charlotte Broughton (from Ford Ecoboost), Sarah Lomas (from Nutcracker Racing), Zoe Brookes (from Hillingdon Slipstreamers), Elizabeth Marvelly (from Hillingdon Slipstreamers), Emily Bridson (from Jersey CC)
Staying: Hannah Bayes, Issy Torrie, Hannah Graveney, Connie Hayes, Rosie Wallace, Savannah Hewson, Lauren Higham

The Youth Development squad consists of Charlotte McGreevy (road and cyclocross; from WXC World Cycling), Iona Moir (cyclocross; from Welwyn Wheelers) and Harley Pell (MTB; from CC Ashwell).

National Junior Champ Lauren Murphy, who joins On Form

Liv-Epic

Another team that enjoyed a successful season in 2017, with one very notable highlight being Lauren Murphy’s epic victory at the first ever stand-alone National Junior Championships.

Leaving: Lauren Murphy (to OnForm)
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Lovelo Squadra Donne

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Matrix

Leaving: Elinor Barker (to Wiggle-High5)
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NCC Group-Kuota-Torrelli

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Joining: Emily Kay (from WNT)
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OnForm

Not many new teams would even dream of having a first season like the one enjoyed by OnForm – between the women’s and men’s team, they clocked up no fewer than 85 podiums and an incredible 65 victories, including first team overall at the Women’s Team Series and at the 3 Days of Bedford.

Leaving: Clover Murray (to Liv-AWOL)
Joining: Jessica Finney (from Portsmouth North End CC), Mel Brand (from Ford Ecoboost), Lauren Murphy (from Liv-Epic)
Staying: Sian Botteley, Gemma Lianne Sargent, Lucy Harper, Charlotte Redden, Alicia Speake, Anna Henderson, Charmaine Porter (formerly Ford Ecoboost and Army Cycling Union; Charmaine joined in September 2017, this will be her first full season with the team),

Pedal Power RT

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PMR@Toachim House

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Project 51

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Sigma Sport

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Speedflex RT

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Track star Emily Nelson joins Sarah Storey’s team (photo: Storey Racing)

Storey Racing

Sarah Storey’s team has announced that current National Team Pursuit champion Emily Nelson has joined with immediate effect ready for the winter track season. “The team are well known for helping riders with the balancing act of National Team membership and road racing so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to be able to continue my road development as I also focus on track goals with the British Cycling team,” says Emily – read more here.

Leaving:
Joining: Emily Nelson, Anna Kay (from EDCO)
Staying: Monica Dew, Neah Evans, EJay Harris, Chanel Mason, Hannah Dines, Beth Crumpton

Sunsport Velo

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Team 22 are an established part of the UK scene. Next year, manager Colin Batchelor will also be running a new U16 development squad

Team 22 and Pink Jersey RT

Manager Colin Batchelor – along with a few notable others – has made it his life’s work to sort out junior girl’s cycling and with the sport all but forgotten about by the powers that be in cycling for so long, all those of us who care about the future of women’s cycling owe him and others who share his aims a very big thank you indeed. In 2017, Colin will be running a new team alongside Team 22, which has become an established part of the British scene – called Pink Jersey RT, it will be focused entirely on assisting a small squad of Youth A (U-16) girls as they embark on their racing careers. So far, four riders have joined up and will be joined by a fifth.

Meanwhile, Team 22 will say goodbye to five riders with five new names replacing them. We’ll find out who they are as soon as the contracts are signed.

Team 22

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Pink Jersey RT

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Team Terminator

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VC St Raphael

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VCL’s Christine Robson won the cup for the crit at the Wallingford Festival of Cycling, and could win another in a Cheesy Grin contest

Velo Club Londres

VCL, as the name suggests, are really a cycling club rather than a team. However, they’re such force in the British women’s cycling scene, both in London and elsewhere and on road, track and off-road, that they’re included here.

Leaving: Emma Jane Hornsby (interview here; new team to be revealed)
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Velo Schils Interbike

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Vertex Biemme

Vertex Biemme manager Emma Coldwell got in touch with us to explain the future of the team.

“We’re having to take a step back from managing the team for next year,” she said. “It will still exist but in a different form, and will be more self-managed as it was affecting work and family with time commitments. I work for Biemme UK and I am passionate about bringing some decent cycling clothing for women. That hasn’t changed! Rather than offer sponsorship to Vertex, I would still like to offer some sponsorship to some ladies teams this year – and I think it will be a better way of helping.”

Leaving: Bethany Taylor (to Bianchi Dama UK)

Vision Innovative Leisure

Manager Richard Reddy says “We have funding for 2018 and will be running two teams, men’s and women’s, each of about 7-8 riders.”

Leaving: Maddie Gammons (new team to be revealed), Louise Hart (new team to be revealed), Isabel Darvill (new team to be revealed)
Joining: Olivia Bentley (from Didcot Phoenix CC), Clare Parkin (from VC Equipe-Flix), Connie Stevens (from Palmer Park Velo), Beccy Waters (from Performance Cycles)
Staying: Gabriella Butler, Maddie Howden, Natasha Reddy, Tamara Davenne

Wiggle-High5

Leaving: Amy Roberts (to Parkhotel Valkenburg)
Joining: Elinor Barker (from Matrix), Kirsten Wilde (from Cylance), Eri Yonamine (from FDJ Nouvelle Aquitane Futuroscope), Katie Archibald (from WNT), Lisa Brennauer (from Canyon-SRAM)
Staying: Giorgia Bronzini, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Nettie Edmondson, Elisa Longo Borghini, Emilia Fahlin, Julie Leth

WNT have signed German TT Champ Lin Teutenberg, niece of Ina-Yoko (photo: Frontal Vision/Arne Mill. c/o WNT)

WNT

WNT apeared on the scene two seasons ago and right away became one of the biggest, strongest and most successful teams in the country.

Their first new signing this year is Under-23 National Road Race Champ Mel Lowther, formerly with Team Breeze; though only 21 years of age Mel has extensive experience at the top UK races as well as in a variety of international events and has long been tipped as one of the most promising young riders around. Rider and team seem a very good match indeed, and it looks likely we’ll be seeing them on many podiums next year – more here. The team has also signed German star Lin Teutenberg, whose surname will be familiar – she’s the niece of former National Champ and Ronde van Vlaanderen Ina-Yoko, and is already following in her tyre tracks with National titles for the time trial and, on track, the points race.

Leaving: Keira McVitty (to Isorex), Emily Kay (to NCC-Kuota-Torelli), Katie Archibald (to Wiggle-High5)
Joining: Mel Lowther (from Team Breeze), Aafke Soet (19-year-old Dutch rising star Aafke was fourth overall in the Mountains competition at this year’s Thüringen Ladies Tour), Lin Teutenberg
Staying: Lydia Boylan, Hayley Jones, Hayley Simmonds, Natalie Grinczer

WXC World Cycling

Leaving: Charlotte McGreevy (to Liv-AWOL)
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Riders

Keira McVitty (WNT)  and Lauren Pestana (who will also continue to ride for EDCO Continental) will both ride for the legendary Isorex NoaAqua, where they’ll join fellow Brit Genevieve Whitson who remains with the team.

Also making the trip to the Low Countries is Holly Flannery, previously with Jadan-Weldtite, who is off to the Netherlands to ride for SwaboLadies.nl.

Dani King is leaving Cylance and will race in 2018 with Marianne Vos’ team, now known as Waowdeals Pro Cycling.

Hannah Barnes remains with Canyon-SRAM.

Claire Rose is moving to Cervelo-Bigla from Visit Dallas-DNA.

Emma Grant is leaving Colavita-Bianchi, her new team is to be confirmed.

Lizzy Banks, who spent most of the 2017 season with Storey Racing, is heading west – she’s accepted an offer to join United Health Care, one of the top UCI professional squads. More on that here

Rumours

(If rumours have been published on other websites, we’ll include them here)

Henrietta Colborne is rumoured to be leaving SwaboLadies for WNT.