Women's news shorts: Scandolara wins Shimano Super Criterium

Astana Women's Team presented in Kazakhstan, Albrecht joins BePink, Verschueren leads Superprestige

Scandolara wins Shimano Super Criterium

Orica-AIS rider Valentina Scandolara won the Shimano Super Criterium while riding for the composite team Roxsolt in Melbourne, Australia, over the weekend. The Italian will soon switch jerseys to her new Cylance Pro Cycling kit for the 2016 season.

This year's field included defending champion Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team), with the support of Kendelle Hodges, Sam de Riter, Tessa Fabry and Jess Mundy. While Scandolara, Julie Leth, Chloe Baggs and Carlee Taylor raced under the composite jersey Roxsolt. Other riders included Chloe McConville, Jo Hogan (Total Rush-Hyster team), Gaby Leveridge and Rose Osborne, and local rider, Bridie O’Donnell.

Valentina Scandolara makes her move

Astana Women's Team presented in Kazakhstan

Astana-Acca Due O will become the Astana Women’s Team in 2016 and continue to showcase the development of women’s cycling in Kazakhstan. The team was presented at a ceremony held at the Astana's Saryarka Velodrome on Saturday.

“We believe in this project,” said the team’s president Maurizio Fabretto, “and we are working to help our riders show their full potential. For 2016 we decided to give even more visibility to Kazakhstan, but I really want to thank all the other sponsor that supported us in 2015 and that will continue to do it also next year: companies like Acca Due O and Manhattan did a lot for women's cycling, they were with us in the past and will be a big pleasure to have them on our jerseys also in 2016.”

The team has also from six to eight riders and will include national road and time trial champions Natalya Saifutdinova and Yekaterina Yuraitis, Faina Potapova, Natalya Sokovnina and Makhabbat Umutzhanova, who are all returning.

The new riders, coming directly from the junior category, are Viktoriya Pastarnak and twin sisters Nadezhda and Tatyana Geneleva.

“They're all very young riders that need experience to improve,” said the team’s manager Zulfia Zabirova, “and without doubt the best way is to race permanently in European cycling, where you can learn something every day: this multi-year project let us work without too much pressure and last season we already saw some good signs of improvement.”

2016 Astana Women's Team launched

Albrecht steps up to European team with BePink in 2016

Canadian rider Lex Albrecht will leave the US-based Optum Pro Cycling women's team and join the European-based team BePink in 2016.

"I am really excited to have signed with BePINK, it is the ideal situation for me in 2016. For me personally as an athlete it was imperative to be racing primarily in Europe for next year," she told Canadiancyclist.com. "I have been really fortunate to be a part of some incredible American pro teams in the past seasons, but I wasn't totally satisfied with the amount of time I was spending on the European race circuit. I knew it was my responsibility to find a way to fix that."

BePink LaClassica is an Italian UCI-registered women's team, run by Walter Zini, which will take part in some of the events held on the inaugural Women's WorldTour in 2016. 

Lex Albrecht (Optum) stretched her legs attacking the field

Cant slips out of Superprestige lead, Verschueren moves into top spot after Francorchamps

Jolien Verschueren (Young Telenet-Fidea) was fifth in Francorchamps on Sunday, but it was enough to move into the Superprestige series lead with 64 points. Sanne Cant, who was injured and skipped the fifth round, is now in second place with 60 points and Helen Wyman, who won the race, moved into third with 56 points. Only the six best results out of the eight Superprestige rounds are taken into account.

There are still three more rounds; Diegem on December 27, Hoogstraten on February 7 and Middelkerke on February 13.

Sanne Cant on her way to the 2015 European championship

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