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Domestic peloton update: 2018 women’s transfers

By Rebecca Reza • Published
Stage 4 winner Emma White took a corner early in the race at Tour of the Gila 2017. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Along with the WorldTour transfer guide VeloNews published back in August, a lot has changed stateside. To help fans keep track of what is happening with teams in North America, we gathered this detailed list ahead of the 2018 USA Cycling Pro Road Tour season next spring. This is a guide to the women’s teams. We’ve also published an equivalent guide for the men’s peloton.

There’s plenty of news to follow in the domestic women’s peloton in 2018. Visit Dallas-DNA has stepped down to domestic elite status, while Team Colavita-Bianchi had to make the difficult decision to fold at the end of 2017 after 14 years. There are currently no plans to run a program for 2018.

The U.S. peloton did not add any UCI Continental level pro teams in 2018, leaving the number at seven squads. These teams will battle it out throughout the 2018 season.

North American pro women’s cycling teams

(* denotes new signings)

Cylance Pro Cycling (USA) – UCI Continental status

Entering its third year as a Continental team, Cylance is making big changes signing five new riders after eight will not be returning, reducing the team roster to 10 from 13. Both Kirsten Wild and Rachele Barbieri have moved up, joining Wiggle-High5 next season. In turn, the most notable signing for Cylance is leaving Wiggle-High5 — two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini. Next season, the team’s focus will be on the WorldTour, looking to the Italian sprinter for her expertise and skill to not only find success but also help mentor younger riders. Other signings include TT specialist Lauren Stephens, along with national champions Jelena Eric from Serbia and the current road race champion of Isreal, Omer Shapira. Holly Breck joins Cylance after representing the USA National Team in Europe. Both Katie Keough and Krista Doebel-Hickok will continue.

Holly Breck*
Giorgia Bronzini (Leaves Wiggle-High5)*
Krista Doebel-Hickok
Jelena Eric*
Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz
Kaitlin Keough
Rossella Ratto
Omer Shapira*
Lauren Stephens (Leaves Team TIBCO)*
Marta Tagliaferro

Hagens Berman Supermint (USA) – UCI Continental status

This season will see several changes to the Hagens Berman Supermint roster. Scotti Lechuga signed with Sho-Air Twenty20 after several successful seasons, while Megan Alderete and Elizabeth Williams did not renew. The mostly American squad have added Whitney Alison after a strong season with Colavita-Bianchi that saw her moving into a new GC role. Other new signings include Mandy Heintz and Jen Luebke, both from Visit Dallas-DNA. Tarah Cole returns after signing with the team mid-season. Peta Mullens will continue with the team as the only foreign rider next season. For the first time, the team will kick off its season in Australia before returning stateside for the Tucson Bicycle Classic. Another significant change will see team manager/director Sportif Jono Coulter stepping back to focus on coaching with Lindsey Goldman moving into a managing role. The pair co-founded Supermint Racing in October 2015.

Whitney Alison (Leaves Colavita-Bianchi)*
Jessica Cera
Tarah Cole
Lindsey Goldman
Mandy Heintz (Leaves Visit Dallas-DNA Pro Cycling)
Julie Kuliecza
Jen Luebke (Leaves Visit Dallas-DNA Pro Cycling)*
Petta Mullens
Liza Rachetto
Starla Teddergreen
Lily Williams (First-year professional, won 2017 Stage 1, Joe Martin)

Rally Cycling (USA) – UCI Continental status

Like their male counterparts, the women of Rally Cycling dominated the domestic circuit, earning an astonishing 98 podiums this year. Aiming to keep that momentum heading into the new year, the team has eight riders returning with five new signings in 2018. Beginning with Tucson Bicycle Classic to the Green Mountain Stage Race they proved hard to beat in 2017. Sara Poidevin had a breakthrough performance after breaking her arm in the spring, returning in late summer to win the Colorado Classic and every jersey within the race. Erica Allar earned another U.S. national criterium championship, while Sara Bergen won the points jersey and a stage at Cascade. Incoming riders to watch will be Heidi Franz after winning the best amateur jersey at Redlands, and Abby Mickey with her years of experience.
Between the two, the team is expecting to have more options in the overall general classifications of stage races.

Erica Allar
Sara Bergen
Allison Beveridge
Kelly Catlin
Gillian Ellsay (Leaves Team Colavita-Bianchi)*
Heidi Franz (Leaves Amy D Foundation)*
Megan Heath*
Kirsti Lay
Katherine Maine
Abigail Mickey (Leaves Team Colavita-Bianchi)*
Summer Moak (Leaves Sho-Air Twenty20)*
Sara Poidevin
Emma White

Twenty20 Pro Cycling (USA) – UCI Continental status

Chloé Dygert OwenJennifer Valente, and Jasmin Duehring return to headline the power-packed 2018 Twenty20 Pro Cycling program. The team will balance a track and road program during next season following a successful 2017 campaign. Leah Thomas has signed with UHC, while notable signings include Margot Clyne, after a strong showing at Cascade, and Scotti Lechuga who will be looking for stage wins and assisting in the sprint lead-outs.

Sofia Arreola
Erica Clevenger
Margot Clyne (Leaves Amy D Foundation)*
Allie Dragoo
Jasmin Duehring
Chloé Dygert Owen
Scotti Lechuga (Leaves Hagens Berman Supermint)*
Marlies Mejias Garcia
Danielle Morshead*
Shayna Powless
Stephanie Roorda
Georgia Simmerling
Jennifer Valente

Team Illuminate (USA) – UCI Continental status

The first year of the women’s program for Team Illuminate proved to be a challenging one. The team saw the star Schneider sisters leave mid-season, citing issues over the race calendar and roster selections. The team will continue to focus on UCI events where both the men and women are able to participate at in 2018. Rosters for both men and the women are forthcoming.

Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA) – UCI Continental status

Team TIBCO returns in 2018 for its 14th consecutive year with a strong, 11-rider squad for the new season. As in 2017, the team will look to balance racing in Europe with the domestic racing calendar back home, affording the riders the experience and opportunities of racing abroad against the best in the world. Six will be returning with five new riders joining the squad. Notable riders include Kendall Ryan, returning after her victories at BC Superweek this season, followed by Ingrid Drexel, Lex Albrecht, Kate Buss, and Jennifer Tetrick. After racing a few seasons with Team Colavita, Emma Grant will be looking to continue her late-season success at Cascade and Colorado with Team TIBCO, following her recovery from an iliac artery surgery earlier this season. Alison Jackson returns stateside after racing overseas with Bepink-Cogeas last season. The British rider, Alice Cobb, will look to the veterans on the squad, as she continues her transition as a standout endurance runner to professional cycling.

Lex Albrecht
Nicolle Bruderer
Kate Buss
Alice Cobb (First-year professional)*
Ingrid Drexel
Emma Grant (Leaves Colavita-Bianchi)*
Alison Jackson (Leaves Bepink-Cogeas)*
Shannon Malseed (First-year professional)
Emily Newsom
Kendall Ryan
Jennifer Tetrick

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (USA) – UCI Pro Continental status

The preliminary roster for UHC shows eight riders thus far. Both Tayler Wiles and Ruth Winder are moving overseas after a strong 2017 season. Wiles joined the British team Trek-Drops, while Winder will be joining fellow American and UHC alumni, Coryn Rivera at Team Sunweb. Replacing the two will be proven time trial and GC rider, Leah Thomas, from Sho-Air Twenty20 and the overall winner of the United Kingdom’s Women’s National Road Series, Lizzy Banks. UHC will look to Thomas to join forces with GC leader, Katie Hall, in the stage races. Banks will be racing her first season in the States, looking to build her proven consistency for both team goals and personal gains. The team will look to continue the success it enjoyed both at home and abroad in 2017.

Lizzy Banks*
Rushlee Buchanan
Janelle Cole
Katherine Hall
Lauren Hall
Lauretta Hanson
Diana Peñuela
Katherine Sherwin
Leah Thomas*

DNA Pro Cycling (USA) – domestic elite status

DNA Pro Cycling will be moving back down to domestic elite status after several seasons as a Continental program. Visit Dallas is stepping down as a major sponsor. The focus of the team will be shifting from the Pro Road Tour and stage races to a wide range of events from gravel grinders to gran fondos. The team’s preliminary roster includes six riders for now, with Mandy Heintz and Jennifer Luebke moving on with Hagens Berman Supermint, and Claire Rose jumping up to the WorldTour with Cervelo-Bigla in 2018. Two new signings include Alie Larsen, a Utah native looking to move up to the professional ranks, and Heather Fischer who will be returning back to DNA having raced with the team years ago. Breanne Nalder has chosen to focus on coaching and developing young riders for Plan 7 Coaching next year after racing several seasons with the team.

Alie Larsen*
Catherine Fegan-Kim
Hanna Muegge
Heather Fischer (Leaving Team TIBCO)*
Kathryn Donovan
Katie Clouse

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