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Women’s WorldTour squad Roland Cogeas Edelweiss has confirmed its lineup for 2023 in what is set to be a major overhaul of the team’s roster.
The team has also confirmed that it will become the second top-tier team to have a development arm with the creation of a Continental squad for next season.
Just two riders will stay on with the WorldTour team from this year’s squad with Swiss road race champion Caroline Baur and top points scorer Tamara Dronova. The 29-year-old Dronova enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2022 with 15th overall at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift and fourth at the Tour of Scandinavia.
The rest of the team will be all new with nine signings announced over recent days, including former junior world road and time trial champion Elena Pirrone.
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With just 11 riders on its squad, the Roland Cogeas Edelweiss team is the smallest on the WorldTour and sits just above the minimum roster size set down by the UCI. Next year, teams in the top tier of women’s cycling will be required to have a minimum of 10 riders with a maximum of 20 to 22, depending on the number of neo-pros within the team.
Pirrone was the last of the team’s new riders to be confirmed Monday morning after the team mistakenly tweeted out that it had already completed its lineup. The 23-year-old is part of the swath of riders stepping up into the WorldTour from the Valcar Travel & Service squad at the end of this year.
Pirrone won the junior road race and time trial world titles at the 2017 UC Road World Championships in Bergen. She turned professional with the Astana women’s team the following year but moved to Valcar midway through the 2019 season.
Joining Pirrone on the squad will be a cosmopolitan group of riders with three more Italians, a Belgian, a Swede, a Brit, a Vietnamese, and an Irish rider.
Vietnamese rider Nguyễn Thị Thật is returning to the European peloton after a two-year break. The 29-year-old has previously raced with Lotto Soudal and the UCI’s world cycling center. This year saw her win the Asian Continental road race title as well as the Southeast Asian road race.
Nathalie Eklund is a relatively recent addition to the women’s peloton after swapping ballet for cycling. The 31-year-old has been racing with Massi Tactic this year and won the Volta a Portugal and the Tour of Uppsala.
Sofia Collinelli joins from Continental team Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano and, at 21, is still a developing talent. Silvia Magri, 22, has spent the past season racing on the Born To Win G20 Ambedo squad having previously raced at Valcar and BePink, she took top 10s at the Giro dell’Emilia and the Tre Valli Varesine last season.
Lara Vieceli, 29, moves to the team from Ceratizit-WNT where she has grown into an all-rounder. Belgian Fine Delbaere, 26, has been racing since 2015 and joins from the Multum Accountants squad.
Irish rider Mia Griffin, 23, has been a growing talent on the road and track this season and joins from the IBCT squad. Completing the lineup is British rider Claire Steels, 35, who won a series of national-level Spanish races this season, including the Markina, the Berriatua, and the Zaldibarko Emakumeen Saria.
The lineup for the development squad has not been announced but the team has confirmed that it will consist of nine riders. Due to changes in the UCI regulations, riders from that team will be able to make guest appearances for the WorldTour squad, though any points they earn will go to the Continental team.
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss for 2023
Caroline Baur (Swi)
Sofia Collinelli (Ita)
Fine Delbaere (Bel)
Tamara Dronova (Rus)
Nathalie Eklund (Swe)
Mia Griffin (Ire)
Siliva Magri (Ita)
Nguyễn Thị Thật (Vnm)
Elena Pirrone (Ita)
Claire Steels (GBr)
Lara Vieceli (Ita)