Women's news shorts: Etixx partners with Lensworld-Zannata Ladies, Moolman wins Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge

Antonneau focused on World Cups and Worlds, Buchanan wins New Zealand criterium title

Etixx partners with Lensworld-Zannata Ladies Team in 2016

Sports nutrition brand Etixx announced Friday that they will partner with the Beglium-registered UCI women’s team Lensworld-Zannata Ladies Team for the 2016 season. The sponsor will be added to the women’s jersey and the official team name will become Lensworld-Zannata-Etixx Ladies Team.

The brand is a subsidiary of Omega Pharma and was co-sponsor of the WorldTour men’s team Etixx-QuickStep this year. The brand also supports the UCI women’s team Topsport Vlaanderen Ladies.

Davy De Vlieger, CEO Etixx NV and General Manager Omega Pharma Belux said in a press release that, “With this deal Etixx will be sponsoring two UCI Women Cycling teams from 2016 and we want to focus on women cycling as well: a sport where we, as Etixx, fully believe in.

“After the Topsport Vlaanderen Ladies team, also the cyclists from the Lensworld-Zannata-Etixx team will be able to discover that the right sports nutrition can make a huge difference when doing sportive performances.”

The Lensworld-Zannata-Etixx Ladies Team will include Hanna Nilson from Sweden, Oksana Kozonchuk from Russia and Winanda Spoor from The Netherlands, Belgian rider Maaike Polspoel, Annelies Dom, Kaat Van der Meulen, Kim De Baat and Kaat Hannes, along with Dutch rider Nina Kessler, Italy’s Alice Arzuffi and Maria Giulia Confalonieri, and Flavia Oliveira from Brazil.

Lensworld-Zannata Ladies Team

Moolman wins Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge

Bigla's Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio won the final elite women's UCI race of the season at the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge held in Johannesburg on Sunday. Her win at the UCI 1.1 event has bumped her into the top-10 overall ranking. Liv-Plantur duo Sabrina Stultiens and Floortje Mackaij were second and third.

“It was an incredible day for African cycling,” Moolman-Pasio said. “The first ever UCI 1.1 for women in South Africa and was a great showcase and we have to thank all the sponsors like Momentum for making it possible.”

Moolman-Pasio overcame the odds to win the race, having had a mechanical early in the race followed by a crash while she was in the breakaway. She rejoined the peloton and her teammates rallied at the front of the field to bring back that move. “It was a bit of a challenge out there. I was quite shocked when I fell. It was a high-speed crash. I checked everything was OK and I jumped back on the bike. It was a bit of a blow but my team were absolutely fantastic. The Bigla girls gave everything to support and help me.”

She attacked on the final climb and rode to the finish line solo for the win.

Moolman-Pasio wins Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge

Antonneau focused on final World Cups and World Championships

Kaitlin Antonneau (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) had a break-out start to her cyclo-cross season with a second place at the Valkenburg World Cup behind Eva Lechner in October. The 23-year-old American is looking for similar results during the final four rounds of the season. She is also hoping to have strong performance at US Nationals and the World Championships in January.

"My specific ambitions for the rest of the season are to continue to race consistently in the US and I want to have a strong ride at Nationals again," Antonneau told Cyclingnews. "... to be riding strong at the four upcoming World Cups I'm doing later on in the season is a big focus for me. I've been 13th at the World Championships the past two years, so I would really like to break back into that top 10."

The World Cup will continue in Namur on December 20, Heusden-Zolder on December 26, Ligniere-en-Berry on January 17 and Hoogerheide on January 24. The World Championships will be held in Heusden-Zolder on January 30 and 31.

Kaitie Antonneau negotiates the mud at Valkenburg

Buchanan wins New Zealand criterium title

UnitedHealthcare's Rushlee Buchanan won the New Zealand criterium title in Takapuna on Friday. She successfully defended her title ahead of Mikayla Harvey (Wanaka) in second. Hamilton’s Madison Farrant won the bunch sprint for third.

"It’s always fantastic to win races and this is really enjoyable. It’s so different and a lot of fun," Buchanan told Sports Media NZ.

"We worked well together in the break. I will be riding for UnitedHealthcare again in the US so it’s great for our team to be able to wear the New Zealand jersey in crits there, they have been so supportive."

Rushlee Buchanan (UnitedHealthcare) leads the peloton.

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