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SD Worx adds to Lorena Wiebes sprint train with Barbara Guarischi signing

Guarischi pens deal through 2024 while the team extends with Elena Cecchini into 2023.

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SD Worx has shored up its leadout train for Lorena Wiebes next year after signing sprinter Barbara Guarischi through 2024 and extending with Elena Cecchini through 2023.

Wiebes is the team’s star signing for next season after she cut short her contract with Team DSM to join the squad. However, the team has never had a lineup focused around a sprinter like Wiebes and it needed to add to its roster.

Guarischi has been part of the pro peloton since 2009 and has spent the past three seasons racing with Movistar. The 32-year-old Italian has won stages of the Giro d’Italia Donne, RideLondon Classique, and she took the road race title at the Mediterranean Games earlier this year.

She will slot in with some of the team’s other fast finishers to guide Wiebes through the bunch sprints.

“With the arrival of Lorena Wiebes, we were looking for reinforcements to prepare the sprint,” team manager Danny Stam said. “We never had a real sprint train, but now a lead-out train for Lorena is necessary. With Elena Cecchini, Christine Majerus, Lonneke Uneken, and Barbara Guarischi, we have riders who are suitable for this. Barbara is an experienced rider who knows how to choose position in a sprint. She is going to play an important role in that sprint train.”

Also read: Lorena Wiebes ends Team DSM contract early to join SD Worx on three-year deal

Though she’s only taken one victory this season, Guarischi was a regular top-5 finisher, making her a strong contender for a leadout rider.

“I was already honored when I heard through Elena that the team was interested in me,” Guarischi said. “Although I have been in the peloton for years, I see this as a new chapter in my career. It’s a switch I didn’t expect anymore. I am also looking forward to working with Lorena Wiebes. I am hugely motivated to take on this adventure.”

Cecchini joined SD Worx last season after several years with the Canyon-SRAM squad. She has proved herself as a strong support rider and a powerful engine for the squad, as well as a potential option for the sprints as some races.

She was part of the Italian team that took second in the mixed team relay at the UCI Road World Championships.

“I did not have to think long when Team SD Worx offered me a new contract,” Cecchini said. “I’m having a good time in the team and have set another step in the past year. I have found my role within the team. When I ride in service of the other girls it is greatly appreciated. I am also happy with the arrival of Barbara Guarischi, a second Italian rider. Surely that also gives extra motivation.”

In addition to Wiebes and Guarischi, the team confirmed the signing of up-and-coming Dutch riders Mischa Bredewold and Femke Markus from the Parkhotel Valkenburg team in September.