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Human Powered Health strengthens classics squad with Alice Barnes signing

The American squad also signs neo-pro sprinter Daria Pikulik for 2023.

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Human Powered Health has added some strength and experience to its squad by signing up former British national road champion Alice Barnes.

The 27-year-old has penned a two-year deal with the American squad keeping here there until at least 2024. The team has also signed 25-year-old neo-pro Daria Pikulik on a one-year deal.

Both riders have pedigree as sprinters, while Barnes has proved herself into an all-rounder who can mix it in the classics and the hillier terrain. At the recent Tour of Scandinavia, Barnes was one of the major aggressors during the stages, putting in a couple of dangerous attacks.

“I am really looking forward to new challenges with Human Powered Health,” Barnes said. “I feel I have learnt a lot over the last five years and throughout my racing career so far,” she added. “I like the steps that the program has been making the last few years and feel it is a nice place for me to be able to continue developing, not only myself but to also help others to make the step up.”

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Barnes is moving to Human Powered Health after five seasons with the Canyon-SRAM team. She joined the squad after an impressive first two seasons as a professional with the Drops team.

She won the British national title in 2019 but held it until earlier this season due to COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 competitions. She is a world champion in the team time trial discipline after taking gold in Innsbruck in 2018 with the Canyon-SRAM squad.

The team is looking for her to strengthen its classics lineup, a stretch of the season that Barnes is particularly fond of.

“I love the classics because of the excitement the races have behind them and the variation that there is,” she said. “The weather around this time of year really suits me as well as the terrain in the flatter races.”

Pikulik joins from the Polish ATOM Deweloper Posciellux.pl squad after a solid year that saw her take fifth in the road race at the European championships as well as a bronze medal on the track in the Omnium.

Earlier this season, she took a string of top placings at the Baloise Ladies Tour, finishing sixth overall at 2:09 behind the winner Ellen van Dijk. This year was her first true road campaign after spending much of her early career on the track.

“That team attracted me because a squad with a good atmosphere with a race calendar that I like is important to me,” Pikulik said. “I like flat and windy races but also like small hills that make races more difficult.

“This will be my first year as a pro, so I really want to be a better rider, develop, and just learn how to race on this level. Of course, if I have a chance and good legs, I will try my best to win some races for the team.”