Transfer season has been underway for some time now and we’re starting to get a real impression of how the British women’s peloton will look in 2015: some teams remain much the same as in 2014, some are changing beyond recognition and one – Matrix-Vulpine – is moving on to race with the best riders in the world at UCI Professional level.
The best news is that several new teams are starting up, while a number of others have gained new sponsorship money allowing them to expand and take on more riders – evidence that, at long last, the sport is on the up.
Here’s what we know so far…
Aprire Factory Racing
New team managed by Phil Dempsey, with Rene Groot as directeur sportif. Press release here.
Four more places remain on the team.
2014 team discontinued; will become Elite Velo Cycling RT in 2015.
Bonito Squadra Corse
Leaving: Elanor Cadzow (to PMR@Toachim House)
Joining: Lucy Chittenden (Hoops Velo), Henrietta Colborne (Beacon Wheelers), Lydia Gurley (Jewson), Anna-Marie Hughes (Bike Pure-Lemond-Aspire-Velotech), Lauren Humphreys (Rugby Velo), Evgenia Ilyinskaya (Edinburgh RC), Bethany Taylor (Fusion RT Academy)
British Cycling Eastern Region Women’s Team
Rumour – no official announcement or name yet; organised by Gino Howe
New team run by ex-WyndyMilla-Reynolds management
De Ver Cycles
Staying: Abbie Dentus*
*Abbie will spend part of the season riding as a guest with Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa
Leaving: Nikki Juniper (to HSS Hire)
Elite Velo Kalas RT
New team formed from BikePure-Lemond-Aspire-Velotech. The team has promised us more details in the near future.
Fusion RT-Gearclub-Bike Science
Development Squad: Megan Chard, Sophia Chastell, Sydnie Price, Beth Coupland
Leaving: Amy Hill (to UCI level Team Rytger)
New development team to be announced
Joining: Mary McFadzean (Revo Racing)
New name for RST following recruitment of new sponsor… possibly. The eagle-eyed may have noticed that some press releases seem to have mysteriously vanished off the internet recently.
Leaving: Amy Gornall
New signings to be announced
The new name for Epic-Scott. Ikon-Mazda have revealed their full 2015 line-up and new kit – click here.
Joining: Jen McAndrew (National Junior TT Champion), Monica Hope Dew (Sport City Velo)
Leaving: Heather Bamforth
“Les Filles RT will be entering their third season in 2015, with a largely unchanged set-up and philosophy. With some 2014 members cutting down their racing commitments next season, Les Filles RT have recruited an additional four London-based riders to the team” – Les Filles RT 2015 line-up announcement
The team says that this is the finalised line-up for 2015.
Nicole Oh sent us a brief introduction to Laura Greenhalgh: “Les Filles RT are pleased to announce the addition of a final member to the team for 2015, welcoming Laura Greenhalgh from Twickenham CC. Laura was previously a world-class rower, winning a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in the lightweight quad. She has delivered some impressive results on the bike in 2014, coming 7th in the London Nocturne and 8th in the final round of the Tour Series in Woking, plus numerous wins this Cyclocross season. She is planning to target Elite criteriums and National Series races in 2015.”
*Kamila joins the team as a complete newbie to road racing in the UK. A Czech native, Kamila made the move to London 6 years ago and has been working as a doctor in the NHS. She first started road racing 10 years ago as part of the CK Pribram BEI youth team, compteting in Czech Republic National Series races. Not one to do things half-heartedly, Kamila wanted to re-enter road racing as part of a structured team, and has been putting in the training miles after not riding a bike for a number of years. She has ambitions to race at National level in 2015.
Look Mum No Hands!
Staying: Rebecca Slack (confirmed by Rebecca!)
Leaving: Helen McKay (to Les Filles RT)
More news expected soon
Confirmed Leaving: Louise Mahe (to Epic-Scott)
Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International
“Looking for female riders for next season. Road, Track & TT. Interested? Give us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or PM us on Facebook” read an intriguing Tweet just after transfer season got under way – and it paid off for PMR, who realise their long-held dream of fielding a UK domestic women’s team and kindly confirmed for us their very impressive 2015 line-up!
Staying: Louise Laker
The new name for what was Speg-Project 51.
Confirmed Joining: Louise Borthwick
Rumoured joining: Amy Smith (VC Jubilee) – Amy was spotted wearing the team kit at the Velopark Youth Track League in mid-December
See HSS Hire
Joining: Paige Milward (BikePure-Lemond-Aspire-Velotech)
Leaving: Alice Cobb (to Aprire)
Speg Project 51
See Project 51.
See Velosure Starley-Primal
New team based in the North-East. The set-up is to be exclusively female (with the exception of owner Tony Mailla) – all management and staff will be female.
Velocast have announced that they will sponsor the team in 2015.
VC St. Raphael
Leaving: Vanessa Whitfield (to Team 22), Adele Martin (to PMR@Toachim House)
PH-Mas reports that it has been approached by several British companies wanting to become involved with women’s cycling – more evidence that things are on the up for the entire sport in this country! Next year, the team will become VCUK-PHMas. Confirmation of the 2015 roster is expected soon
Staying: Jenny Eastham, Sinead Burke, Alison Kinloch, Jenny Eastham, Natalie Hodson, Gemma Sargent, Clara Sandelind, Amy O’Halloran, Martha Gill, Jess Taylor, Leah Pheasey, Madeleine Scott, Nicky Hartle (MTB/CX), Amber Southern (MTB), Anna Maunder (MTB)
Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa retains its two title sponsors and thus its name for 2015.
Joining: Abbie Dentus (De Ver), who will ride with the team for part of the season as a guest; Hayley Edwards (Starley-Primal), Amy Brice (DID Electrics), Jennifer Crouch (London Dynamo)
Staying: Jasmine Dotti, Hayley Simmonds
Confirmed Leaving: Julie Erskine (to Epic-Scott)
Starley-Primal has announced a new title sponsor, Velosure, for 2015. Neutral Service is hoping that since so many women are taking up cycling, Velosure will be especially keen to advertise itself at women’s races – hence more cash for the women’s squad.
Joining: Pia de Quint* (from De Sprinters Malderen), Laura Cheesman, Gaby Leveridge, Josephine Gilbert, Sian Bottely, Emily Attfield
*26-year-old’s Pia’s best result to date was 18th place at the Herentals Road Race on the 31st of July 2014. Her race stats for the rest of the year and for 2013 can be seen here.
Staying: Tanya Griffiths
Sponsored by bike shop Vertex Ride, said to be putting together a women’s team including their existing rider Emma Coldwell
Staying: Emma Coldwell
Team manager Marcus Nainby took the time to get in contact and told us some more about his squad – and for anyone who loves women’s cycling, it makes for uplifting reading…
“First off what is WNT? It’s a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of cutting tools to the machining industry, basically if you want to cut metal we make the tooling for your machine. WNT is the first, middle and last letter of the company founders surname.
I first became involved with WNT when they started sponsoring our moto3 motorbike racing team, my partner Sam Burman races our Honda NSF250r racing bike in the Motostar championship, a support class at British SuperBikes. Both myself and Sam also race bicycles, WNT as a company are cycling mad…….
The team started this year in a very small way with the aim being to find out more about the women’s scene, what we found is something that we’d really like to be a part of and help develop so for next year WNT have upped their funding considerably to allow us to run at an elite level and provide the package that is required to do this.
Our main aims for the year will be the Tour Series and National Road Series as well as all the televised crits.
We are a little unique in that our aim is to get our customers involved, get them to the races and provide them with a ticket and a place to go. We do the same with the motorcycle, we have had in excess of 2000 guests to BSB this year and hope to replicate this at the big cycle races such as the tour series using their existing VIP areas where possible.”
Confirmed Joining: Charline Joiner, Jo Tindley (Matrix-Vulpine), Hannah Walker (Epic-Scott), Brit Tate (GB Cycles), Lauryn Therin (Bonito Squadra Corse), Becca Carter (WyndyMilla-Reynolds), Lydia Boylan (Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa)
Regional Riders: Elisa McDonagh, Victoria Williams
Staying: Isla Rush
Note: The WyndyMilla-Reynolds women’s team will no longer be with us in 2015. Isla will continue to be supported by the Surrey-based bike manufacturer and will act as a brand ambassador.
Sadly, the women’s team will no longer operate in 2015, with most of the riders going to PMR@Toachim House and Corley Cycles.
Zappi’s, which already has riders from the UK, the Czech Republic, the USA and Spain, has made the roster even more international with new signings from New Zealand, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as from the UK.
“For 2015 we’ll be focused on being a greater presence in the National Road Series road races, as well as competing in the Women’s Team Series Races. The team will continue on its quest to develop novice riders into winners on the road, as well as supporting the aspirations of our more experienced riders,” team manager Chris Smith told Neutral Service.
“The 2015 roster isn’t yet finalised; we have retained the core of our 2014 and made some new signings, but we’re still looking for a few more riders who’re fully committed to racing the national series, especially those who might be interested in a route to a pro ride in Italy via the network of our capo Flavio Zappi.”
Staying: Tracy Best, Sian Cahill, Clare Leaver, Emily Lyons, Merce Pujados, Hedvika Toncrova, Bonnie van Wilgenburg, Lindsey Ackland
Joining: Tamara Davenne (Oxford University CC), Anne Huiber (from the Netherlands), Juliet Milward (High Wycombe CC), Claire Richardson, Charlotte Sampson (Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves RT), Imogen Kempton (new to racing)
UK-based UCI Teams
Joining: Lucy Martin (Estado de Mexico-Faren), Christina Siggaard (Firefighters Upsala CK), Laura Trott & Elinor Barker (Wiggle-Honda), Molly Weaver (Epic-Scott), Sara Olsson (Hitec Products), Lucy Shaw
Staying: Mel Lowther, Harriet Owen, Jessie Walker, Penny Rowson
Leaving: Corrine Hall and Lora Turnham (to Epic-Scott), Jo Tindley (to WNT), Beth Hayward (to Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International)
Joining: Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Hitec Products), Mara Abbott (United Healthcare), Anna Christian, Jolien D’hoore (Lotto-Belisol), Elisa Longo Borghini and Cloe Hosking (Hitec Products), Nettie Edmondson (Orica-AIS), Eileen Roe (Starley-Primal), Jessica Mundy
Staying: Dani King, Anna Sanchis, Amy Roberts
Strongly Rumoured Staying: Giorgia Bronzini
Leaving: Jo Rowsell (to Pearl Izumi-Sports Tours International), Laura Trott and Elinor Barker (to Matrix-Vulpine), Linda Villumsen (to United Healthcare)