Movistar has revealed the names of eight of its ten-rider women's team that has been created for the 2018 season.
The Spanish communications giant announced its plan to create a women's team in early September. The team will sit alongside its men's WorldTour team, with riders using the same equipment. They are expected to wear a blue Movistar jersey similar to the one already revealed for the 2018 men's team.
Movistar joins Team Sunweb, Lotto-Soudal, Orica-Scott, FDJ and Astana as WorldTour outfits with both men's and women's squads. It will become the third UCI-registered Spanish women's team alongside Bizkaia-Durango and Lointek.
The women's team has been created to help develop Spanish athletes, and Mavi García, Eider Merino, Alicia González, Alba Teruel, Lourdes Oyarbide and Lorena Llamas have all secured places in the roster. They will be joined by Poland's Malgorzata Jasinska from the US-based Cylance Pro Cycling, and France's Aude Biannic, who joins from the FDJ women's team.
26-year-old Biannic finished sixth in the time trial at the recent World Championships in Bergen and has secured a series of solid results in recent seasons. Jasinska has competed at WorldTour level since 2011 and has twice won the Giro Toscana Internazionale Femminile stage race.
The Spanish riders include a mix of experience and young talent who have competed across Europe but so far with little success.
The Movistar team said it hopes to reveal the names of two further signings shortly.
The team will have a predominantly Spanish focus, and will form part of a wider drive to develop women's cycling in the country. Spain is currently ranked 15th in the UCI nations standings, with 23-year-old Giro Rosa stage winner Sheyla Gutierrez the country's best ranked rider.
"It's a medium-to-long term project that seeks to dynamise women's cycling as a competitive sport, boosting the number of licence-holders and ensuring that Spanish female cyclists have the best sporting means to compete in the international peloton," Movistar announced on launching the venture, adding that the team will work with the Spanish Cycling Federation on other projects to develop the women's side of the sport.