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Liv-Plantur, the Dutch women’s team affiliated with Giant-Alpecin, announced Thursday that it has signed Canadian Leah Kirchmann for the 2016 season. Kirchmann, 25, won two stages and the points classification at this year’s Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race. In 2014, she won national championships in both the road race and time trial — that year she also finished third in the inaugural La Course by Le Tour de France, arguably her top international result.
“I’m very excited to join Team Liv-Plantur for the 2016 season. This will be my sixth year racing as a pro and my first season racing full-time in Europe,” said Kirchmann, who is leaving Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies after a three-year stint with that team. “I share the same ‘Keep Challenging’ values as the team, and I’m looking for ways to be a better person and a better athlete every day. I’m confident that working with the experienced staff, riders, and partners of the Team Giant-Alpecin program will help me to continue challenging myself in different ways to reach my full potential as a rider, with the Rio Olympics quickly approaching.”
“Leah is a talented all-round rider who is good in the classics and capable of doing a good GC but also has a strong sprint, which she showed by finishing third at La Course by Le Tour last year,” added team coach Hans Timmermans.
Additionally, Liv-Plantur announced the signings of two Dutchwomen, Riejanne Markus and Rozanne Slik, as well as Australian Carlee Taylor.