Movistar maintain core of Spanish riders in 2019

Women's team renew contracts with nine riders

Movistar Team Women announced Thursday that they have renewed contracts with nine riders as the team heads into their second season in 2019. Highlighting the roster are Spanish champions Mavi García, who won the time trial, and Eider Merino, who won the road race.

The team also re-signed Alicia González, Lorena Llamas, Lourdes Oyarbide, Gloria Rodríguez, and under-23 time trial champion Alba Teruel.

French champion Aude Biannic will also rejoin the team, as will Polish champion Malgorzata Jasinska, who is currently placed in the top 20 of the UCI world ranking. The Polish rider placed fifth in the road race at the UCI Road World Championships, runner-up at Plumelec and Veenendaal, and had top-10 results in the Tour of Flanders, GP de Plouay, Thüringen Ladies Tour and Emakumeen Bira.

The team already announced signing newcomers Sheyla Gutierrez from Cylance and Roxane Fournier from FDJ.

The only rider not returning is Australia’s Rachel Neylan, who joined the team as one of the more experienced riders and guided the younger roster throughout the year.

"The Movistar Team wants to thank Rachel Neylan for her contribution as an expert competitor - a value profoundly appreciated by a newly-established team - and wishes the Australian rider all the best in her future sporting and personal endeavours," the team said a statement sent to the media.

Movistar have supported a men's WorldTour team for eight seasons and they announced last year that they would launch a women's programme to compete in the highest level of women’s racing to better-align themselves with gender equality and inclusion.

In their first season, the team won the prologue at the Lotto Belgium Ladies Tour and five national titles. They also placed in the top 10 in stages at the Giro Rosa, Vårgårda, Ladies Tour of Norway, Madrid Challenge, Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and Emakumeen Bira.

The team will fill additional spots on the roster later this year.

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