The majority of British women’s teams have revealed their 2015 rosters now – one or two are still keeping quiet and others still have a few places to be filled, but we have a good impression of how the peloton will look this season. Some teams remain much the same as in 2014, some are changing beyond recognition and one – Matrix-Vulpine, which will now be known as Matrix Fitness ProCycling – 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 – further evidence that the great strides made in 2014 are going to lead to 2015 being the sport’s best year ever in this country.
Here’s what we know so far…
New team managed by Phil Dempsey, with Rene Groot as directeur sportif. Press release here.
HSS Hire were, according to press releases that appeared online some weeks ago and then vanished, going to be sponsoring Nikki Juniper’s new team RST; the fact that a large and well-known firm was apparently determined to be involved in women’s cycling is good news for the sport.
“Their passion for cycling across the company, and their wanting to8do something great in women’s
cycling has meant that with Aprire Bicycles and HSS Hire teaming up, this year is not going to be one
to be forgotten!” says the team’s press release.
Joining: Alice Cobb (Shutt VR), Elinor Thorogood (Welsh Triathlon), Emily Mellor (Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa), Kayleigh Brogan (Thompsons Cycles), Amy Gornall (from RST), Lucy Harper (Welwyn Wheelers CC), Edita Janeliunaite (Forno d’Asolo-Astute)i
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 – beginning to look as though this one was just a rumour!
The “Mystery Team” revealed its true identity, and the Women’s Team Series website revealed that these riders are on the squad. There may be more names to come.
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 Giordana-Triton)
Elite Velo Kalas RT
New team formed from BikePure-Lemond-Aspire-Velotech. The team has promised us more details in the near future. The squad has an excellent website and promises to make further information and photos available on it following the official team launch in February.
Joining: Sophie Black, Francesca Morgans-Slader and Hester Stembridge (all BikePure-Lemond-Aspire-Velotech), Alice Miller (Look Mum No Hands!), Jenny Powell (Cheltenham & County CC), Julia Hesselberg (Performance Cycles)
Fusion RT-Gearclub-Bike Science
Joining: Rebecca Nixon (from Dundee Thistle RC), Sarah Byrne* (Champion System/Club Roost/Maxgear)
Development Squad: Megan Chard, Sophia Chastell, Sydnie Price, Beth Coupland
Leaving: Amy Hill (to UCI level Team Rytger)
New development team to be announced
*Sarah Byrne is listed on the Women’s Team Series website as racing for Giordana-Triton.
Joining: Mary McFadzean (Revo Racing), Jessica Stoddart (Stoddart will ride for the team in the Team Series only)
Alice Lethbridge, Gabriella Nordin, Linda Young, Louise Burnie, Stephania Magri
The new name – and sponsors – for RST.
Leaving: Amy Gornall (to Aprire-HSS)
Possible: Sarah Byrne (Champion System/Club Roost/Maxgear) – Sarah has also been named for Fusion RT-Gearclub-Bike Science
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.”
Look Mum No Hands!
Staying: Rebecca Slack (confirmed by Rebecca!)
Leaving: Helen McKay (to Les Filles RT), Alice Miller (to eliteVelo-Kalas)
More news expected soon
Confirmed Leaving: Louise Mahe (to Epic-Scott)
Another new team for 2015!
“”We’re based in South Wales and focussing on the women’s team series 2015. Supported by Onit Cycles to provide an opportunity for talented cyclists to get into the racing scene without having necessarily risen through the youth ranks,” rider Alex Willey told Neutral Service.
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!
Joining: Alexis Barnes, Susan Freeburn, Catherine Hills and Victoria Strila (all from WyndyMilla), Adele Martin (VC Raphael), Chloe Weller (Norwood Paragon), Elanor Cadzow (Bonito Squadra Corsa), Ruth Summerford*
Staying: Louise Laker
*Cat. 4 Ruth Summerford won Round 4 of the 2014/15 Imperial Winter Series on the 10th of January.
The new name for what was Speg-Project 51.
Confirmed Joining: Louise Borthwick, Amy Smith (VC Jubilee – Amy was spotted wearing the team kit at the Velopark Youth Track League in mid-December)
Staying: Flora Gillies, Dani Christmas
Joining: Paige Milward (BikePure-Lemond-Aspire-Velotech), Jess Willett (Squadra Donne), Tilly Gurney (Spalding CC), Sarah Bell (Squadra Donne), Tracy Dresch, Sakia Hook, Jenni Lake (Squadra Donne), Autumn Collins (VC Londres)
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
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
VO2 inform Neutral Service that they will be announcing two signings in the near future.
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), Daniella Frauchiger, Anna Jenkins, Sonja Knoll, Anna Sankjohanser
According to the website of Isorex, Claire Thomas (Velosport-Pasta Montegrappa) will be riding for the Belgian team this year – Claire lives and works in Oudenaarde, so she’ll presumably be concentrating on Belgian racing in future. She’ll be joined there by Dani Christmas, who will also race in the UK for Project 51.
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)