Hagiwara, Ale Cipollini open European season in Spain - Women's News Shorts

Astana and G.S. Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo announce Setmana Ciclista Valenciana rosters, Canada sends seven to track Worlds

Mayuko Hagiwara will start her European season with her new team Ale Cipollini at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana held from February 22-25 in Spain. Hagiwara joins the team for the 2018 season after competing with Wiggle High5 for the previous five years.

The four-day race features a climb on each stage and is well-suited to an all-rounder like Hagiwara, who won a stage of the Giro Rosa (2015) and is a former two-time Japanese national champion in the road race (2011 and 2015).

Hagiwara is joined by team captain Marta Bastianelli, Anna Trevisi, Martina Stefani and Ane Santesteban Gonzalez.

"We did a very intense work in these days, there will be two athletes who have been protagonists of the great season start in Australia, where we already took two victories. We will give our best in all the four stages, staying always in the front," said the team's new director Gulnara Fatkullina.

Chloe Hosking won stage 4 at the Santos Women's Tour and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. She will not be competing in Spain, however, as she will line up at Omloop het Nieuwsblad on Saturday.

Ale Cipollini roster for Setmana Ciclista Valenciana: Marta Bastianelli, Anna Trevisi, Martina Stefani, Ane Santesteban Gonzalez and Mayuko Hagiwara.

Mayuko Hagiwara with Ale Cipollini at Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

Astana send five riders to Valencia

The Astana Women's Team announced their five riders competing at the four-day Setmana Ciclista Valenciana that starts on Thursday in Spain. The team will also showcase their new kit made by Northwave.

Last year Arlenis Sierra won stage 3 and placed second overall, behind Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (Cervelo Bigla).

"The Spanish race is an ideal place for the season debut: the weather should be in fact favourable to the athletes and the four stages scheduled, without time trials unlike in 2017, will offer the opportunity to put pace and kilometres in the legs ahead of the first races of UCI Women's World Tour circuit."

Sierra will not be racing but the team will include Lara Vieceli, who was seventh overall last year, Sofia Bertizzolo, Sofia Beggin, Natalya Saifutdinova and Makhabbat Umutzhanova.

The team stayed with the turquoise colour that has always characterized Astana's teams. This year's jersey has added white on the shoulders and on the side panels.

Astana Women's Team roster for Setmana Ciclista Valenciana: Lara Vieceli, Sofia Bertizzolo, Sofia Beggin, Natalya Saifutdinova and Makhabbat Umutzhanova.

2018 Astana Women's Team new kit

Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo

The European racing season opens for the women's peloton at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo aim to impress after months of training.

The team will bring climber Vania Cancelli to contest the four-day, predominantly hilly stage race. The team will also field Nadia Quagliotto and Beatrice Rossato, Francesca Cauz, Chiara Perini and Francesca Pisciali, who had a successful cyclo-cross season.

"Here we are! There is great anticipation, determination and a bit of emotion for this seasonal debut," said Lucio Rigato.

"The first competition of the year is to give the first important indications on how the work was done during the long winter. As in every occasion, we will present ourselves at the starting lines motivated and eager to do well, honoring in the best possible way the jersey we wear and our sponsors who support us with great passion."

Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo roster for Setmana Ciclista Valenciana: Vania Canvelli, Francesca Cauz, Chiara Perini, Francesca Pisciali, Nadia Quagliotto and Beatrice Rossato.

Canada sends seven to UCI Track World Championships

Cycling Canada announced the seven women that will be competing at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, on February 28th to March 4th.

The Canadian women's endurance team has been consistently ranked among the best in the world over the past two Olympic cycles. "Cycling Canada is continuing its strategy of investing in new talent with its women's track endurance line up for the 2018 Track World Championships," said Craig Griffin, Women's Track Endurance Coach.

"We have a balanced mix of youth and experience that has the potential to win a couple of medals in Apeldoorn. They've all been 100% committed to the training process these last few months and are tracking well, so I'm quite optimistic."

The women's endurance team is led by two Olympic bronze medallists; Allison Beveridge and Jasmin Duehring. The rest of the team are Ariane Bonhomme, Annie Foreman-Mackey, Kinley Gibson and Steph Roorda.

In addition to the Team Pursuit, riders will compete in a number of other events, including the Madison, Points Race and Omnium. According to the official press release, individual assignments will be decided closer to the event.

Amelia Walsh will compete in the sprints.

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