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Rally Cycling signs Kaia Schmid and Makayla MacPherson

The Ameican-based team that races in the UCI Women's World Tour snapped up two of the brightest rising stars of American cycling.

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Rally Cycling announced Tuesday that it signed 2021 world junior road championship silver medalist Kaia Schmid, and her Lux Cycling teammate Makayla MacPherson.

Both women are on two-year contracts for the 2022-23 seasons.

Schmid, 18, is a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, can climb and also sprint, as evidenced by her second-place finish at the recent world road championships in which she was just edged out by Zoe Bäckstedt (GBR).

“I feel like I had a pretty successful junior career, so I’m feeling excited and confident that I’ll be able to make the jump,” Schmid said. “The race opportunities I will get with Rally Cycling are so important for my development and since it’s an American team, it’ll help with the transition to WorldTour as I’m doing it with people I already know really well.”

Schmid recently raced Ireland at the Rás na mBan stage race where she came away with a stage victory.

“That was a confidence boost,” Schmid said of the Irish race parcours. “There aren’t many climbing races in America, so I got to see how I could climb, and I surprised myself. I was like ‘oh actually, you know, I can climb I think too’ so that was cool.”

Macpherson, also 18, is the current national junior road champion and also finished fifth at the 2021 worlds road race.

“I’m beyond excited,” MacPherson said. “I’m looking forward to learning how to work in a professional team and seeing how Rally Cycling can help with my development so that two, three years down the road, I can reach my full potential.”

At last weekend’s Into the Lion’s Den, Macpherson and Schmid finished fourth and fifth, respectively, besting a slew of Women’s WorldTour racers, with much more experience than the two teenagers.

Rally Cycling women’s team director Joanne Kiesanowski previously worked with Scmid at the world track junior championships, and is excited to develop the young American talents.

“Both Kaia and Makayla have already shown their strength against the rest of the world at the junior world championships this year,” said Kiesanowski. “Rally Cycling is so happy for the opportunity not only to invest in the next generation of American cyclists but also to move into the elites with strong and accomplished athletes.”

 

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