Velocio-SRAM will send Aviva Women's Tour of Britain winner Lisa Brennauer to the seven-day stage race Thüringen Rundfahrdt to lead a team that also includes Amgen Tour of California winner Trixi Worrack, Mieke Kroeger, Karol-Ann Canuel, Tayler Wiles and Elise Delzenne.
The German stage race begins on Friday in Gotha with a short 66km evening road stage before moving to Erfurt, the capital of Thüringen the following day.
"I'm really looking forward to the stage race," said Brennauer, who finished third in 2013 and 2014. "It's special to me as it is a race in Germany and important part of our race calendar. I'm very confident going into the tour with a strong team."
Brennauer, world champion in the individual time trial and winner of the Energiewacht Tour earlier this year, is especially motivated for the time trial on Sunday.
"The double stage with the time trial in Schmölln and an afternoon stage up the 'Mauer von Meerane' will be very exciting and will play a big role for the General Classification," she said. "I don't feel more pressure because it is on home soil. I really enjoy to ride there. Crowds are always amazing in Thüringen and the tour very well organized with nice stages. I hope that my team and I can build on the nice results that we achieved at the tour last year."
Inaugural Tour of Montana cancels two stages
The Tour of Montana has been forced to cancel two of three stages initially planned for later this week after the race failed to secure permits in time for the inaugural event, according to an announcement on the race website. The 2015 race will now be a single day of criteriums in downtown Missoula on Saturday.
"To address concerns related to closing high traffic state and city roads in Missoula located on the proposed race courses, the Tour of Montana, after extensive meetings with the City of Missoula including the mayor’s office, planning and engineering, police, and others has decided to focus this first year on the criterium races on Saturday, July 18th, and the recreational ride, The BIG Ride, on Sunday, July 19th," the statement read. "The one-day circuit road race and team time trial will be postponed from the schedule this year."
The original race schedule had included a team time trial on Thursday, July16, followed by a circuit race in Missoula's south hills on Friday.
The Montana Department of Commerce gave the race $20,000 in sponsorship money earlier this year, according to a report in the Missoulian newspaper. Tour of Montana Executive Director Nicole Adamson told the MIssoulian that the agency said the race does not have to return the money.
The race will continue to promote events throughout the weekend in Missoula, culminating with the Saturday night criteriums and Sunday's gran fondo.
In a statement on the race website, Missoula Mayor John Engen offered his support for the race.
“The Tour of Montana is building a solid foundation with its inaugural road event in downtown Missoula this summer and we look forward to helping organisers grow the program into another signature attraction that adds to Missoula’s amazing summers," Engen said.
British Cycling announces team for EUC Mountain Bike Championships
British Cycling on Tuesday confirmed its roster for the UEC European Mountain Bike Championships in Chies D'Alpago, Italy, July 20-26.
Olympic podium rider Grant Ferguson made selection, along with Alice Barnes and Iain Paton, Liam Killeen and Annie Last.
“The programme riders have undergone an intensive period of road training under the guidance of coach Julian Winn and we’re starting to see the gains, particularly in Alice Barnes, who had her first top five result at a World Cup having placed second in the elite road national championships,” said British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton.
“It’s good to be able to welcome Liam back after he left the Great Britain Cycling Team post-London and it shows the door is never closed to talented bike riders.”
Great Britain Cycling Team: Liam Killeen (elite men); Annie Last (elite women); Grant Feguson, Iain Paton (U23 men); Alice Barnes (U23 women); Frazer Clacherty, Mark McGuire, Tom Craig (junior men); Evie Richards, Ffion James (junior women).