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While Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, Annemarie Worst, and Sanne Cant will remain the fiercest of foes through the mud of cyclocross season, Europe’s top ‘cross stars have been brought together for the warmer months of the year in a new women’s continental road team.
‘Ciclismo Mundial’ has been registered as a new team under the management of Alpecin-Fenix team heads, Philip and Christoph Roodhooft. The squad is made up of riders from Alpecin-Fenix, IKO-Crelan, and Team 777, and also includes Yara Kastelijn, Manon Bakker, and Loes Sels.
“You don’t have to be a genius to know what the underlying intention is,” Philip Roodhooft told Wielerflits. “More and more good cyclists are part of a road team. Just think of Lucinda Brand, Marianne Vos or Inge van der Heijden. We don’t want our ladies to fall behind.”
“We expect women’s cycling to continue to evolve in the coming years,” he continued. “If you do not want to lag behind, it is necessary to be able to offer our ladies a full road program. That was a problem so far. Starting up a continental team eliminates that problem. And hopefully we will stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Roodhooft emphasized that while riders would unite on the road, they would continue to battle it out in the muddy winter. “I would also like to point out that they do remain competitors in the field,” he said.
The Roodhooft brothers created Ciclismo Mundial to prevent Europe’s top ‘crossers being snapped up by big teams such as CCC-Liv or Trek-Segafredo, who already offer its stars a year-round program of cyclocross and road racing.
“We want to offer the cyclists an alternative to large road teams, who are interested in the best cyclists,” Christoph Roodhooft told Sporza. “Should we not push cyclists to road cycling?”
The team is hoping to have its riders star in Paris-Roubaix in the near future, however, don’t expect to see it as soon as this October.
“Don’t expect us to be at the start of the top classics in 2020 either. Our main goal is to offer our ladies a road program. We don’t know what this will lead to in the long term,” Philip Roodhooft told Wielerflits. “But we have the feeling that it can become something beautiful.”