Amialiusik leads the line for Canyon-SRAM at La Fleche Wallonne Feminine

Hannah Barnes to make Women's WorldTour debut

Canyon-SRAM head to La Flèche Wallonne Féminine backing Alena Amialiusik as its leader with the Belarusian road race champion aiming to improve upon her ninth place in 2015.

"I expect that there will be a break that makes it to the final Mur de Huy. This is such a big race, with amazing crowds, and the women will be excited to try their chances for the win," Amialiusik said of the race. 

La Flèche Wallonne Féminine has been extended by 16km in 2016 with the introduction of the Côte de Cherave and Côte de Solières climbs, increasing the difficulty of the race which will features two ascents of the Mur de Huy. While the race has regularly been decided on the tough 1.3km climb, Amialiusik explained the example of last year's race proved she will need to be attentive to the possibility of riders launching late attacks before the 'wall'.

"In previous years it's usually played out to be a small group that make it to the bottom of the Mur for the last climb. But we saw last year, when Knetemann and van Vleuten were away in the last 25km, that a break with the right constellation can go for the win. It's a beautiful course, I really like it," Amialiusik added.

Amialiusik will be able to call upon the support of experienced teammates Tiffany Cromwell, Italian national champion Elena Cecchini, former world time trial champion Lisa Brennauer, while Hannah Barnes makes her second start for the team after a lengthy layoff due to an ankle injury.

"I've done hardly any races with race radios, it's my first time on the Mur de Huy and it's my first Women's WorldTour, I just can't wait. I've heard the crowds are amazing, the race is a constant game of concentration and the Mur is brutal," said 22-year-old Barnes. "I'm just so excited, really you can't believe it!

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to race La Flèche Wallone. I am determined to support the team as much as I can and contribute to the race."

American Alexis Ryan will also make her debut at the race and completes the six-rider roster for Canyon-SRAM.

Canyon-SRAM for La Flèche Wallonne Féminine: Alena Amialiusik, Lisa Brennauer, Tiffany Cromwell, Elena Cecchini, Alexis Ryan and Hannah Barnes. 

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