Hanka Kupfernagel will ride for the British Team Horizon Fitness RT for the 2011 road season as a guest rider. The German will concentrate on preparing for the world time trial championship, with an eye to the 2012 London Olympics as well.
"This is a great and new challenge for me,” Kupfernagel said in a press release. “The Thüringer Rundfahrt is a major goal for me this season. And I am looking forward to riding with this young, hungry and motivated team this season.”
Horizon Fitness RT is a developmental team for young riders, many of whom come from the GB Academy programme. The team plans to turn professional in 2012, in time for the London Olympics.
Kupfernagel, 36, won the world time trial title in Stuttgart in 2007, and is a four-time cyclo-cross world champion. She finished just off the podium in fourth at this year's 'cross championship in St. Wendel, Germany. Kupfernagel competed for the German national team in road races the recent years.
"We want to take part in the two biggest events in Germany,” said team manger Stefan Wyman. “One is the Thüringen Rundfahrt in July and the other is the Sparkassen Giro in Bochum. Thüringen is a very professionally organised six-day stage race. Every aspect of this race meets the highest standards and we look forward to being part of the high-class starter field.”
2011 is primarily aimed at “the further development of our riders, so that we will be in the best position to become a professional team in 2012,” he added. “We have some excellent riders and they can learn a lot under the direction of a world-class athlete like Hanka.”