Pooley signs with Lotto Soudal Ladies

Briton to start Giro Rosa in July

Emma Pooley announced Wednesday that she has signed a contract with her former team Lotto Soudal Ladies for the remainder of the 2016 season.

The Briton will begin her stint with the team at Great Britain's time trial championships on Thursday in Stockton on Tees. She will then toe the start line at the Giro Rosa on July 1.

“Just in time for tomorrow’s National Time Trial Championships: I’m delighted to announce that I’ve signed with the Lotto-Soudal Ladies’ Team for the second half of the 2016 season!

“I’m looking forward to being reunited with great teammates from the Lotto team in 2014 and Claudia Lichtenberg from Cervélo Test Team days. And I’m grateful that team directors Dany Schoonbaert and Liesbet de Vocht are giving me this opportunity to race with the team again – they supported and encouraged me so well in 2014.”

Pooley raced with the team during the 2014 season. Before that, she raced for teams Bigla Cycling, AA Drink, Garmin-Cervelo and Cervelo Test Team.

Pooley retired from professional bike racing in 2014 and turned her attention to duathlon and triathlon. She made a comeback this spring with a focus on securing a spot with the British team for the Olympic Games.

She is a medal hopeful having won an Olympic silver medal in the time trial in 2008 and she was world time trial champion in 2010. The challenging courses in Rio de Janeiro suit her ability. But so far, she has only raced two events where she placed 66th at the Women's Tour de Yorkshire and 45th overall at the Aviva Women's Tour.

Lizzie Armitstead has already secured her place on the Olympic team having won the world title last September, and The Daily Telegraph reported that Nikki Harris has been selected. There is still one spot available, widely assumed to belong to Pooley. British Olympic Association will officially announce the team on Friday.

Pooley will contest the next Women’s WorldTour round at the Giro Rosa from July 1-10 in Italy. She is a four-time stage winner at the event and was second overall in 2011. She will race in support of Litchtenberg.

“The Giro Rosa will be my main target with the Lotto-Soudal team, riding in support of Claudia in one of the toughest 10 days of racing the women’s Giro has ever seen.

“It will be hard, and it will be the perfect preparation for the Rio Olympics if I’m selected for Team GB – and if not, it will be great training for the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon!”

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