Movistar Team announced Friday that they have signed Barbara Guarischi from Team Virtu and Jelena Erić from Alé Cipollini, both on a two-year deal taking them through the end of 2021. They are the first two announcements that the team has made regarding their roster for next season as the women's peloton makes its transition into a new two-tier team system.
"They are two great reinforcements and two cyclists who have a lot to offer in this sport," said Sebastián Unzué, manager of the Movistar Team women's team.
Guarischi, 28, has spent 11 seasons racing professionally and is a prominent sprinter and one-day racer. The Italian has raced for teams SC Michela Fanini Rox, Forno D'Asolo Colavita, Ale Cipollini, Velocio-SRAM, and two seasons with both Canyon-SRAM and Team Virtu. She has won stages of the Giro Rosa, Thüringen Ladies Tour, La Route de France, and victorious in one-day races Sparkassen Giro and EPZ Omloop van Borsele WE.
She will take an on-road captain's role among the Spanish outfit. "Guarischi, although only 28 years old, is a veteran," Unzue said.
"She has raced in several different structures, knows perfectly the peloton and all the most important races on the calendar, which will bring us a lot of experience. She will be very important in the Classics and we are confident that she will also recover that speed that characterizes her, and we can contest some sprints. We aspire with Barbara to have a 'director on the bike', a woman who helps us know how to move in the peloton and deal with different career situations with skill."
Erić, 23, is also a strong sprinter who spent three seasons with BTC City Ljubljana and one season with both Cylance and Ale Cipollini. She is a four-time national champion of Serbia and won a stage of the BeNe Ladies Tour this year.
"Erić is already a great teammate for all kinds of scenarios, but she has the potential to go even further," Unzue said. "She is 23 years [old], the enormous margin of improvement that she possesses and she has good speed - we have already verified in the BeNe Ladies Tour that she knows how to finish off well - reinforce the group in every way and offer us more opportunities to fight for successes in many races."