American women’s squad Tibco-To the Top has turned to Europe to bolster its roster for 2013. With an increasing focus on its European calendar, the California-based squad has signed Claudia Hausler, Shelley Olds and Chantal Blaak.
Hausler, of Germany, comes to the team from the Orica-AIS squad, the women’s companion of the Orica-GreenEdge men’s team. Tibco has also extended lifelines to Dutch rider Blaak and American Olds, who both will see their AA Drink-leontien.nl shut its doors at the end of this year.
In 26-year-old Hausler, Tibco has the 2006 German national road champion, who in 2009 took overall wins in the Giro Donne and the Tour de l’Aude.
“Claudia is a proven winner in the biggest races in the world,” said Tibco manager Linda Jackson in a press release Tuesday morning. “Her ability and confidence are tremendous assets for the team overall.”
Blaak was the 2009 European U23 road champion and this season finished second overall in the Ronde van Gelderland, ahead of Tibco’s own Megan Guarnier. The Dutchwoman spent much of this year riding in the service of teammates Olds and London 2012 silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead.
“She’s going to be one to look out for in the next couple years,” Jackson said of Blaak.
Olds is a multiple-stage winner at the women’s Giro and won the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup race this spring. She made the race-winning breakaway at the London Olympics before an ill-timed flat relegated her to the peloton, where she finished seventh in her first Games.
“Shelley looked like she had a good shot at a medal… She not only showed her strength but her tactical prowess in jumping on the winning move,” said Jackson.
“The first year we went to Europe in 2010, it was to gain experience,” said Jackson. “For 2013, we want to keep building on our success, and these new signings will help us get there.”
Captains Joanne Kiesanowski and former U.S. road champion Meredith Miller will return to the team and Jackson plans to announce additional new signings soon.