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Lack of UCI license may impact race invitations
Former world champion Emma Pooley will ride for Team Bigla in 2013. The 2010 time trial world champion had previously suggested the idea of spending a year away from the sport after her AA Drink-Leontien.nl Cycling Team announced they would discontinue sponsorship in 2013.
Those initial suggestions have been cast aside as the time trial specialist looks set to race in 2013, albeit on what has become a smaller non UCI-registered team. Team Bigla was once a dominant force amongst the UCI women's peloton from 2004-2009, winning a number of stages at the Giro Donne before the main sponsor Bigla pulled back on sponsorship at the end of 2009.
For the past three seasons the team has existed as a development squad for Swiss riders with Pooley's experience to be used in assisting the younger riders step into the professional ranks. Without a UCI license the team will likely race a reduced schedule to what Pooley has been familiar with over the past seasons.
"Bigla is a professional team again," said team founder Fritz Boesch on the signing of Pooley. "This is the requirement to be successful."
Having registered as a Swiss national team, the team may receive invitations to a number of bigger races however, it's unlikely Pooley and her younger teammates will be attending the World Cup circuit, Tour de Feminin or the Giro Donne.
"I am looking forward to the new task and will give my best to help the young riders," said Pooley.
Pooley will join another 14 riders who have been named on the 2013 roster: Andrea Graus and Verena Eberhardt (Aut); Nathalie Lamborelle (Lux); Isabelle Becker (Bel); Katarina Hranaiova (Cze); Emilie Aubry, Désirée Ehrler, Martin and Sandra White, Nicole Hanselmann , Larissa Brühwiler Imstepf Rita, Caroline Baur and Stefanie Bochsler (Swi).