U.S. rider Leah Thomas will ride in Trek-Segafredo colors next season after signing a with the team through 2023. The 32-year-old Thomas currently rides for Movistar, where she has been regularly working in service of Annemiek van Vleuten.
A strong time trialist, Thomas has previously won the Chrono des Nations and the Pan-American Championships. She also has also won the Women’s Tour of Scotland and the Tour de Feminin, as well as a stage of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, and took a podium place at last year’s Strade Bianche.
She will step in to replace fellow American Ruth Winder, who is set to retire at the end of the season.
“My goals for the next two years are to continue to learn and hone my strengths. Right now, I think I’m beneficial to a team in a variety of races and race situations, and I want to continue to be that all-around style of athlete,” Thomas said.
“However, at the same time, I want to home-in to really find where my strengths lie and what part of bike racing I excel in. I also really want to return to a focus on time trials and stage racing, and I think Trek-Segafredo will provide me with those opportunities. I’m excited to race with a team that really has shown to work together to get that top result.”
📢 TEAM NEWS!@DarthLeah 🇺🇸 is set to join Trek-Segafredo in 2022
📰 Full story: https://t.co/b3dDJUdvMR
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) August 12, 2021
Thomas turned professional in 2015 with the U.S. Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air team, where she spent two and a half years. She had a year-long stint at UnitedHealthcare before heading to Europe in 2019 with Bigla Pro Cycling.
Thomas signed for Movistar over the winter after the demise of the Bigla team (then called Equipe Paule Ka). She has largely worked for van Vleuten, but she finished third in the U.S. national time trial in June and was selected to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games last month.
“I’m really excited to race with Trek-Segafredo in the next two years because I feel like they approach every race with a plan, and I think they race cohesively as a team, all-in, with the goal of getting a top result. Their attacking style of bike racing suits me as a rider and plays to my strengths,” Thomas said.
Also read: Ruth Winder to retire at end of season
Sport director Ina-Yoko Teutenberg revealed that the team had previously been interested in Thomas but was unable to find a spot for her. The retirement of Winder opened up the opportunity to sign her to the team.
“We spoke with Leah in the past, but last year we had already finished our planning for the roster, so there wasn’t any room for her,” said Teutenberg. “Leah has proven over the last couple of years that she is a solid teammate who takes her chances in small breaks and by herself is a strong time triallist.
“For us, knowing that Ruth was planning to retire, we tried to find a similar rider who could step into her shoes. With Leah, we know that she is a reliable worker for her leaders and is good at taking the opportunities which come her way. I think she will be a great addition to the team.”