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The Women's Road Racing Thread 2017

Page 26 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
More often "Ce-cil-je". At least if you're from Jutland.

Regarding names, like RHD says it's more caused by middle names often being more memorable than surnames. Since any person only can have a single surname, there's no ranking them; if you take both your mother's and father's surname one of them will be your middle name. While all surnames can be both surnames and middle names, there's also middle names that are so exclusively. They are often protected (I think there has to be less than 2,000 living users for that), so also more easily shows your heritage.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Of course, the biggest ticket item of the last week has already been touched upon, which is Jolien d'Hoore moving from Wiggle to Orica; especially with prior sprint options like Sarah Roy developing into more rouleur types, the team really lacked a reliable sprint option, so the signing of Jolien points at two things - firstly, a commitment to strong results and shoring up one of the team's acknowledged deficits, and secondly, a partial return to the more international days of a few years ago, as the last couple of seasons have essentially been an all-Australian squad supplemented by Annemiek van Vleuten. It is another year of upheaval for Wiggle though, as losing d'Hoore will leave an enormous void in their results as well as a card to play; Elinor Barker is a talent, but she's the only signing the team has made, while losing d'Hoore to a main rival and Lichtenberg to retirement. On the plus side, they can safeguard results to some extent with securing an extension for Elisa Longo Borghini and Bronzini is considering prolonging her career another year once more, but will Elisa find herself outnumbered in the groups the same way Niewiadoma did this year or can the team make a big ticket signing to plug that gap?

I am quietly fretting about the WH5 roster for next year. However, ELB said in her contract extension announcement that hoped to find a "good connection" with the new riders for 2018, and Rochelle Gilmore mentioned "a number of new talents" joining.

So it sounds like there are plans in place. The interesting question is whether they bring a top level sprinter.
Wild is the only option I think, if you want to replace Jolien like-for-like. Or do they leave the sprints to the remaining quicks of Garner, Garner, Edmondson and maybe Bronzini and focus on a rider who can be a foil to ELB, perhaps someone with a bit of punch at the finish to provide tactical options.

Don't know who that would be. I've mentioned a hunch Cecchini could move, but there's no basis for that.

Another point is that Colavita is folding and that roster has a couple of Aussies from the High 5 Dream Team that Rochelle also runs. Might be an opportunity there for Kendelle Hodges or more likely Jess Mundy. This is also pure speculation I should add.
 
Re: Re:

Jonhard said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Of course, the biggest ticket item of the last week has already been touched upon, which is Jolien d'Hoore moving from Wiggle to Orica; especially with prior sprint options like Sarah Roy developing into more rouleur types, the team really lacked a reliable sprint option, so the signing of Jolien points at two things - firstly, a commitment to strong results and shoring up one of the team's acknowledged deficits, and secondly, a partial return to the more international days of a few years ago, as the last couple of seasons have essentially been an all-Australian squad supplemented by Annemiek van Vleuten. It is another year of upheaval for Wiggle though, as losing d'Hoore will leave an enormous void in their results as well as a card to play; Elinor Barker is a talent, but she's the only signing the team has made, while losing d'Hoore to a main rival and Lichtenberg to retirement. On the plus side, they can safeguard results to some extent with securing an extension for Elisa Longo Borghini and Bronzini is considering prolonging her career another year once more, but will Elisa find herself outnumbered in the groups the same way Niewiadoma did this year or can the team make a big ticket signing to plug that gap?

I am quietly fretting about the WH5 roster for next year. However, ELB said in her contract extension announcement that hoped to find a "good connection" with the new riders for 2018, and Rochelle Gilmore mentioned "a number of new talents" joining.

So it sounds like there are plans in place. The interesting question is whether they bring a top level sprinter.
Wild is the only option I think, if you want to replace Jolien like-for-like. Or do they leave the sprints to the remaining quicks of Garner, Garner, Edmondson and maybe Bronzini and focus on a rider who can be a foil to ELB, perhaps someone with a bit of punch at the finish to provide tactical options.

Don't know who that would be. I've mentioned a hunch Cecchini could move, but there's no basis for that.

Another point is that Colavita is folding and that roster has a couple of Aussies from the High 5 Dream Team that Rochelle also runs. Might be an opportunity there for Kendelle Hodges or more likely Jess Mundy. This is also pure speculation I should add.

I suggest that if Gilmore wants to go the Australian route then you can't go past Lucy Kennedy - A 29 year old who has only been cycling for 3 years - Recently finished the Aussie Development tour of Europe by winning the GC at L'Ardeche - During the Australian season finished 3rd in the National's behind Garfoot and Spratt, fifth in the ITT and 4th in the Cadel Evan's RR - Big engine, can get up medium mountains and a decent TT'er - She's ready to go - And in a more development phase you could try Shannon Malseed.
 
That development team has had some good results... I don't know how many of them want to do a full Euro season though?

Anyway, cycling fever says Wiggle have signed Eri Yonamine from fdj, with Wild and Brennnauer rumoured to follow. I imagine they will retain Mayuko Hagiwara, who's on her way back from mono, giving them the cream of the Japanese women's peloton in Europe.

Brennauer would obviously bring a lot, having taken GC in Britain, Thuringen and Dutch stage races in recent years. She has also been linked to Veloconcept which might be a good fit tbh.
 
Re:

Jonhard said:
That development team has had some good results... I don't know how many of them want to do a full Euro season though?

Anyway, cycling fever says Wiggle have signed Eri Yonamine from fdj, with Wild and Brennnauer rumoured to follow. I imagine they will retain Mayuko Hagiwara, who's on her way back from mono, giving them the cream of the Japanese women's peloton in Europe.

Brennauer would obviously bring a lot, having taken GC in Britain, Thuringen and Dutch stage races in recent years. She has also been linked to Veloconcept which might be a good fit tbh.

Get two of the three and Wiggle has done well - get all three and they are ahead - Still think Lucy Kennedy is the Aussie who can step into the WWT.
 
UHC has turned out to be an excellent nursery for riders who haven't yet got the results to sign for a big team. Ambitious young riders should really be clambering over each other to sign there - there's a calendar mixing being the big fish in the American pond with European visits, the infrastructure is more professional than other small teams because it's shared with a men's PCT team and there's decent money in winning most of the US crits. It's a much better deal than roughing it on most European non-WT teams.

Also does anyone have any theories to explain why riders being signed by European teams after getting good results in the Americas Tour in general seem to be slotting into the European peloton right away at a high level? Is the gap between the two scenes not as big as we all assumed?
 
Brennauer would be a very good pickup for Wiggle, she can also help by getting lots of good placements from reduced sprints and undulating stages in replacing the void in the results caused by the loss of Jolien. Some help for ELB in the hillier and more mountainous races wouldn't go amiss though, that is likely to be where they lack unless they have further signings planned. I also note that Amy Roberts has moved on after 5 years domestiquing at the team, to the radically revamped Parkhotel Valkenburg team. They keep hold of the veteran van Gogh and Solovey, but also most interestingly, the previously reported transfer of Lorena Wiebes to Sunweb appears not to have been true as the junior Euros medalist now appears on Parkhotel's 2018 roster. That may be better for her in terms of freedom, and certainly if she performs in the short distance national races, crits and so forth as she did this season as a junior it may be useful for Parkhotel, since they've lost a fair few solid names in the last couple of years. This year they'd already lost Eva Buurman, but the new roster is without at least two other significant names for the team, in Pauliena Rooijakkers, a useful climber who was top 10 in the Emakumeen Bira and won the queen stage of the Tour de l'Ardêche, and Demi de Jong, who came over from being lost in the shuffle at Boels last season. They have also lost Karlijn Swinkels to Alé, which we knew about, cyclocross specialist Sophie de Boer, and it is unclear whether Jermaine Post intends to return after her baby break. They have, however, kept a hold of the promising 19-year-old Nina Buysman, who scored top 20s in two tough stage races - Thüringen and l'Ardêche - and signed sprinter Nancy van den Burg from the Jos Feron Lady Force team. Also, Aude Biannic, who was previously known to be leaving FDJ, is now confirmed as going to the start-up Movistar team. She has experience of Spanish teams, having raced for Lointek a few years ago.
 
The Italian autumn classics have their women's versions, or at least this weekend's ones do, so we have had some nice hilly racing this weekend. In fact, some of it was even televised, with 20 minutes of highlights from the Giro dell'Emilia Donne. After the Worlds, a large number of the biggest names have shut up shop for the season, so there were precious few signs of the World Tour big guns on hand, with none of the big Dutch teams travelling to Italy, as well as only a fairly bare-bones Alé-Cipollini squad. The Italian and Italian-based squads were all competing, of course, as well as a fairly strong national team including Elena Cecchini and Tatiana Guderzo among their number. Cylance were also on-hand to add some international flavour, with Rossella Ratto having been the inaugural winner of the race back in 2014, but also with some useful WWT names like Doebel-Hickok and Sheyla Gutiérrez racing.

Now, the women's Giro dell'Emilia is not quite as, well, interesting, route-wise, as the men's, as the races are somewhat coterminous, therefore the women compete around a flat course in the Po floodbasin while the men are handling the longer part of their course, and the ladies finish with just a single climb of the Madonna di San Luca. That's right: it's about as true a Unipuerto race as it can get, as the traditional "_________/" is just about the actual profile as opposed to the oftentimes sarcastic approximation thereof, so it does become a pure power test on the final ramp, even if some of the riders who are here this weekend for the flatter GP Bruno Beghelli, like Chloe Hosking, decided to have a bit of fun up front to start with. The national team penned them back using the power of World and European Junior TT champion Elena Pirrone, who was chasing one of her future teammates too, since Astana's Lisa Morzenti was in the escape. Once they got to the final climb, Cecchini and Doebel-Hickok traded time at the front before the attacks started in earnest, and the first really important move came from Rossella Ratto, off the front as the riders came through that chicane under the walls. Guderzo was the first to respond, the veteran looking to salvage something from a disappointing year on home turf. Rossella went again and again but couldn't rid herself of the 2009 World Road Race champion. As the road shifted back to the right of the walls, the gradient eased and Ratto seemed to want Tatiana to take a turn, but she called her younger adversary's bluff, with Rasa Leleivyte chasing onto the duo and a stronger finisher than either. The Lithuanian rode through to the front, and then Guderzo launched her move; Rasa had just chased on so had not had sufficient recovery time to respond, while Ratto's several attacks had left her unable to answer, and the national team took its second win in four years here, after Elisa Longo Borghini won in her national colours in 2015. Ratto had one more forlorn attempt to catch her compatriot, but she didn't have enough left and sank behind Leleivyte again at the end. Nevertheless, after a couple of lean years, this last few weeks I've grown much more happy with Rossella's form, she seems rejuvenated and much more like the rider we know she can be. Whatever the truth of the gluten story, a good off-season and she could be very good next year.

Because of the limited cameras, we only really saw the top 3 once Rossella's move dropped the bunch, but behind some interesting results including an excellent team showing for BTC City-Ljubljana with 4 riders in the top 11, as well as Cylance, with a surprisingly good climbing performance from Sheyla Gutiérrez making the top 10. Erica Magnaldi, a Gran Fondo rider guesting with BePink, also made an impressive top 10 while some strong climbers were off the pace, such as Ana Cristina Sanabria of Servetto-Giusta; top 10 on the Izoard but outside the top 20 today, as well as Nikola Nosková, although considering she's been sent to the Giro and had a much higher workload than anticipated and may also be preparing for CX season that's perhaps not so surprising. Fran Cauz entered her first race since the Giro and finished it, baby steps...

1 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy National) ITA
2 Rasa Leleivyte (Aromitalia-Vaiano) LTU +3"
3 Rossella Ratto (Cylance) ITA +5"
4 Polona Batagelj (BTC City-Ljubljana) SLO +16"
5 Urša Pintar (BTC City-Ljubljana) SLO +16"
6 Hanna Nilsson (BTC City-Ljubljana) SWE +29"
7 Krista Doebel-Hickok (Cylance) USA +35"
8 Sofia Bertizzolo (Astana) ITA +37"
9 Sheyla Gutiérrez Ruíz (Cylance) ESP +38"
10 Erica Magnaldi (BePink-Cogeas) ITA +38"

The GP Bruno Beghelli's female version is a comparatively easy race, just 80km in length and over a course which is best described as rolling; there is a climb on the circuit but much of it is little more than false flat, and so just like last year's inaugural edition, the race was won in a sprint. Despite her presence, however, defending champion Chloe Hosking didn't get to contest the final sprint, having already withdrawn, but that didn't prevent Alé-Cipollini from celebrating, however, as in her place the Italians managed to get another veteran former World Champion to win on home soil, with 2007 rainbow jersey winner Marta Bastianelli taking the victory ahead of Valcar-PBM's teenage prospect Elisa Balsamo and junior sensation Letizia Paternoster. Form at this late stage in the season tends to be variable, so it was perhaps not a surprise to see a few of those riders who'd gone well in the Giro dell'Emilia also go well here despite the different natures of the finish, with three riders making the top 10 of both races and a couple more - Cecchini and Bujak - being just outside the top 10 of both. This pretty much closes the European road racing season, however there are the small South African races in November.

1 Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini) ITA
2 Elisa Balsamo (Valcar-PBM) ITA +st
3 Letizia Paternoster (National Junior) ITA +st
4 Sofia Bertizzolo (Astana) ITA +st
5 Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Italy National) ITA +st
6 Sheyla Gutiérrez Ruíz (Cylance) ESP +st
7 Rasa Leleivyte (Aromitalia-Vaiano) LTU +st
8 Nadia Quagliotto (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo) ITA +st
9 Rachele Barbieri (Cylance) ITA +st
10 Michela Balducci (Giusfredi-Bianchi) ITA +st
 
Lisa Brennauer confirmed to Wiggle High 5. Smashing high class bike rider and the team are delighted.

Kasia Pawlowska moves from Boels Dolmans to Virtu/Veloconcept, which is a bit odd given she had a contract for 2018. Someone coming in at Boels? Plenty of chiefs, so maybe some new injuns. Pretty sure they had a couple of Dutch youngsters (Evy Kuijpers?) ride for them in one or two small races this year but I can’t verify that so maybe not.
 
Movistar's roster turns out to have the predicted Mavi Garcia and Eider Merino but not Ane Santesteban so far.

The rest of the squad is Alicia González, Alba Teruel, Lourdes Oyarbide, Lorena Llamas, Aude Biannic, Malgorzata Jasinska and 2 more to be announced soon.

All in all a pretty handy squad for a first year team. Wonder if they'll go WorldTour. With a squad like that they'll get invited to whatever they want anyway, I'm sure.

Jonhard said:
Lisa Brennauer confirmed to Wiggle High 5. Smashing high class bike rider and the team are delighted.

Kasia Pawlowska moves from Boels Dolmans to Virtu/Veloconcept, which is a bit odd given she had a contract for 2018. Someone coming in at Boels? Plenty of chiefs, so maybe some new injuns. Pretty sure they had a couple of Dutch youngsters (Evy Kuijpers?) ride for them in one or two small races this year but I can’t verify that so maybe not.

When I heard a big name at Boels was leaving due to too many leaders, Pawlowska isn't who I had in mind at all, but she definitely deserves more responsibility as she currently only really gets chances when with the national team at small races.
 
Brennauer is a great pickup for Wiggle, she'll shore up a lot of results, maybe not get the same number of wins they might have done with d'Hoore, but her durability and strength will make her a great foil for Elisa in the rolling and undulating races and her sprint strength will get them a lot of strong placements and a few wins here and there. They also have the makings of a very good TT corps with her, Elisa and Audrey as a foundation, and plenty of other riders on the books are no schmucks against the clock either.

Alongside the Movistar news, my concern that they may become a division killer in the Spanish scene was not without its reasons; the now-established roster includes almost all the big Spanish names that aren't already on international teams (thus precluding Santesteban and Gutiérrez). Having lost three bright prospects in Alicia González, Alba Teruel and, most importantly of all, young climber Eider Merino, the Lointek team has essentially had its head chopped off, as has the Bizkaia team which has been long established and who have lost Lourdes Oyarbide, Lorena Llamas and Mavi García.

Lointek have regrouped however, merging with another smaller Spanish team to form the new Sopela team, which will target the Spanish calendar and try to compete with the Movistar squad while it is divided by its commitments overseas.

The signing of Jasińska is, I think, a good move by the Movistar team though; she's got a wealth of experience and contacts in the Italian scene, which could be vital as I think that the southern French, Swiss and Italian .1 races are where the team are likely to have most joy in terms of finding success outside of the obvious home targets of Valencia and Emakumeen Bira. Interested to note that as well as Santesteban not having been secured, there are a couple of other Spanish talents I thought were likely pickups that aren't confirmed yet, Lierni Lekuona and Anna Ramírez Bauxell. At the same time, I think they probably want one other international name to help shore up that side of the team and increase the exposure, as unless there is a parallel investment in terms of the race calendar in Spain, they're going to need to travel further afield for racing a lot of the time.

I'm interested to find out the eventual destination of Pauliena Rooijakkers. She is a good climber with good results at the Emakumeen Bira (GC top 10), two top 10s in the Plumelec weekend, top 10 in the Giro del Trentino and winner of the queen stage in l'Ardêche. She's 24 so plenty of time yet, and appears to be leaving Parkhotel, yet other than WM3 (which is a very strong candidate to sign her admittedly) the Dutch teams seem fairly full at the moment. It would seem odd to leave Parkhotel just to move sideways to a Lensworld or Lares type team, and having lost Buurman and Swinkels, their best performer of the year and one of their most highly-rated youngsters, you would have thought the team wouldn't just release her unless somebody else had made an offer.
 
Rooijakkers is the most interesting PHCT rider with destination unknown, I agree. Might she be of interest to Boels now, I wonder?

On the Wiggle front, they have five officially confirmed riders for 2018: ELB and Cordon and new signings Barker, Brennauer and Yonamine. Rumours (Cycling Fever) suggest Nettie Edmondson, Emilia Fahlin and Bronzini will extend, making eight. I expect them to keep Hagiwara (she’s been there since the start) and the likeable Julie Leth, leaving two Garners and Amy Cure as maybes.

I suspect they’ll keep both Garners. Not sure about Cure … she didn’t race much in 2017 for various reasons but she’s now based in Belgium full time… on the other hand, the Gold Coast commie games in April are a target (also for Barker I think), which won’t sit well with a classics road programme.

In conclusion, I think Wiggle have one or two more incoming. They usually have a fairly large squad and 12/13 including two or three trackies, and maybe Bronzini winding down, looks a little bit short. Kirsten Wild is rumoured but personally I think a punchy all-rounder or two would work better. Nettie Edmo is a capable power sprinter, Gio still has pace and imo Lucy Garner needs the chance to show progress at the sharp end. Second in Yorkshire this year (behind Wild) suggests this is possible.

The other thing is that Rochelle Gilmore does still push the notion that WH5 supports and develops GB riders. Until this year they always had four or five…
 
Rochelle Gilmore can't do everything - She still funds the Wiggle High 5 Dream that competes in the NRS in Australia, as well as bringing a group of Australian riders to compete in Europe each year - Not much Gilmore can do if British riders leave and you may recall that after Wiggle's first season Rowsell and Trott left for other teams - My experience is that teams change after a while - Orica Scott is flat out having 40% Aussies in their team after 6 years.
 
I did think that would be the most likely. She showed well in the OVO Tour, has good results at the national calendar level, Wiggle would give her the freedom to pursue her track commitments too, plus with her skillset having both Brennauer AND Bronzini to learn from would be ideal. The team having also signed Barker points to another young British development project, so having missed out on Alice Barnes (which was perhaps inevitable, since Canyon would always have had first dibs having already got Hannah on the books) Archibald is the other key young name from the UK domestic scene you'd say is ready for the step to a frontline WT team as of now.
 
I didn't mean any criticism of Rochelle Gilmore above, just that I wouldn't be surprised to see a British rider incoming. She's done great with Wiggle as far as I'm concerned, especially after Trott left, golden girl and all.

I'd love to see them sign Katie, who is in the front rank of young GB talent, as long as it works for her too. She's an absolute powerhouse.
 
I know Hagiwara has missed a lot of the 2017 season, but it does feel like Wiggle need reinforcements on the climbing side of the team, as Mayuko was a useful climbing helper for them for a couple of years, capped with that great Giro stage win in Morbegno, and with Claudia retiring, they are left with potentially having Cordon-Ragot or Yonamine as their last riders left with Elisa in the hillier and more mountainous terrain, and she could well find herself outmatched in the same way as Niewiadoma was this year. I mean, they've still got a world class team, but considering you're going to be looking at other teams with hydra-headed assaults on many of the races Elisa will be targeting - Boels with van der Breggen-Deignan-Guarnier-Canuel, Orica with van Vleuten-Spratt-(Garfoot?), Cervélo with Moolman-Pasio-Ludwig, Canyon with Niewiadoma-Ferrand-Prévot-Amialiusik-Cecchini - she could find herself outnumbered in a lot of key moves quite quickly in the more mountainous races. The team will likely be able to put numbers with her in the more undulating and hilly races but then also teams like Cylance and especially Sunweb have to be feared as well.

Oh, also worth noting is that Bizkaia-Durango has paired with the Murias team which may help keep them together as the existing Spanish teams cope with the creaming off of the crop from Movistar.
 
For various reasons, Wiggle have yet to find a consistent mountain helper for ELB. For hills/medium climbs they are relatively ok I think, but no-one else is a real climber.

I’m really not sure who could fill that role for 2018; maybe the team will focus on other targets. Sprints would be the traditional and obvious one, but they could also strengthen for the sort of selective and occasionally hilly races that dominate the WWT. Elisa was alone in the finals of those too often. So maybe they are not as ok as all that.

I mentioned above that Cecchini would in my view be perfect for them…. and a good fit, which seems to be a key factor for WH5 hiring decisions these days. No more than a hope on my part, in the absence of any news on her 2018 team.
 
With the loss of Niewiadoma and the lack of bonanza leaders available in the market, the team has looked to crystallise around their remaining superstar, and so WM3 become Molteni, sorry, I mean Waowdeals, with WM3 stepping down to secondary sponsor; looks like Waowdeals may also stay on as secondary sponsor for Lares, however, so the transfer market is becoming convoluted until that is cleared up!

The Vos Waowdeals has managed to safeguard itself a little though with some further signings, bringing respected engine Dani King over from Cylance and retaining Riejanne Markus, who will be a useful weapon for them as she progresses in the more durable sprint races and Dutch styled single day calendar. Lares-Waowdeals, for their part, have signed Pascale Jeuland from FDJ, and have been connected to Pauliena Rooijakkers even though I thought the WM3 Waowdeals would be a more logical stopping point for her, as she and Stultiens would give a decent enough climbing support team if Vos is going to be the leader across all terrains à la a few years ago. That's not to say that Vos' Waowdeals hasn't been looking at the Parkhotel Valkenburg yard sale, as they've been connected to 19-year-old prospect Nicole Steigenga.

Elsewhere, Virtu have added to their international roster, bringing German rouleur Mieke Kröger over from Canyon-SRAM; with the high profile acquisitions the German team have been making as well as some real young prospects as well, it seems that like Brennauer she has been kind of lost in the shuffle, Virtu seem to be building a fairly formidable TTT base as well with Kröger joining Neben and Villumsen, though the loss of Mathiesen will be felt. Experza-Footlogix, the former TopSport Vlaanderen team now looking for a more international roster looking like being led by Thalita de Jong, has brought in a young Dane as well, 20-year-old Trine Holmsgaard, to bolster their team. At the moment they only have 7 riders confirmed for next season, but once they lock the Druyts girls in that should easily be enough ;)