This winter has been a busy one in the transfer market with some of the biggest names in women's cycling switching squads for the 2017 season. Among those that have sought new pastures are Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen, and former world champions Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Ellen van Dijk.
Cyclingnews has put together a list of nine riders to watch out for as they look for success at their new teams.
The arrival of Ferrand-Prevot will certainly boost the ranks of the Canyon-SRAM team for 2017. In the team's previous guise as Velocio-SRAM, they were the dominant force in the sport but this season saw them challenged and bettered by Boels-Dolmans, and they needed to strengthen their squad for next year.
With her world titles on the road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross, Ferrand Prevot seemed destined for domination. However, she has really struggled since then, suffering a tibial plateau stress fracture over the winter and attempting to comeback too soon. She has learned her lesson, but she says that she won't confine herself to just one discipline. 2017 will be an important year for the French rider, who will be hoping to put this one behind her.
To: Team Sunweb
Van Dijk's move to Team Sunweb was perhaps a surprise following the success she has enjoyed with Boels-Dolmans over the past two years. However, signing the Dutchwoman was a big coup for the team and provides some major firepower.
Van Dijk's abilities in the time trial are undoubted with a world title under her belt in 2013 and a close-run battle with Amber Neben this year. She also helped her Boels Dolmans squad to the team time trial world title in Doha. The former Tour of Flanders winner also gives the Sunweb team much more strength in the Classics and in the shorter stage races.
With the uncertainty at Rabo-Liv, it wasn’t long before many of their star riders were snapped up, and Boels-Dolmans were quick to secure the signature of van der Breggen. Over the past two seasons, van der Breggen has enjoyed a wealth of big results, which culminated in her emotional victory in the Olympic Games road race.
Boels-Dolmans already has an enviable line-up with the last two road race World Champions and the WorldTour winner and van der Breggen will just add to that. The full Ardennes Classics programme is likely to be a big goal for her, and she will provide the team with plenty of options for the Giro Rosa, alongside Megan Guarnier.
To: Cylance Pro Cycling
After four years with the same road squad, Dani King has decided to move on to further her road ambitions. King completely forwent the track, where she has three world titles and an Olympic gold, in an attempt to make the road squad in Rio. That ended in disappointment when she failed to earn selection this summer.
The 2016 season was her first entirely on the road and, despite the Olympic disappointment, came with some success, including third in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and a top 10 finish at the Route de France. Next season will be another building block for King, and she'll be hoping for much bigger results with her new squad.
From: Hitec Products
To: Cylance Pro Cycling
Cylance has been busy this transfer season, and Wild is certainly their biggest signing. The Dutchwoman has been the dominant sprinter over the past few seasons, sitting near the top of the win rankings for many of the past few seasons. Even with her time taken out to target the track for the Rio Olympic Games, she managed six victories on the road.
She was odds on favourite for the road race title at the Worlds but was bettered by Amalie Dideriksen in the final sprint. That disappointment will surely spur her on and with little track to occupy her and a stronger team to support her she should improve on her tally of six.
To: Alé Cipollini
Hosking is one of six new signings for the new-look Alé Cipollini team for the 2017 season. After developing into one of the most consistent sprinters in the women's peloton, Hosking's move to the Italian squad was a bit unexpected. The Australian is part of an attempt to internationalise the Italian team with just four Italians left in their line-up next season.
Hosking has really stepped up her game this season, but at Wiggle-High5 she was one of several top riders. In contrast, she will headline the Alé squad along with just one other rider, Marta Bastianelli. It is a much-changed team, but Hosking will have the backing of some experienced riders such as Romy Kasper and Carlee Taylor. Time will tell if her decision to move outside the relative security of Wiggle-High5 was a worthwhile one.
To: Team Sunweb
Rivera has been one of cycling's most promising young riders this season with some strong results throughout the season. A stage win at the women's Tour de San Luis got her year off to a cracking start. There were some promising signs during her spring campaign in Europe, which was promptly followed by two stage wins and overall success at the Joe Martin stage race. Her win at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen was probably the biggest moment of her season.
UnitedHealthcare has been a good squad for Rivera over the past three years, but her move to Sunweb will open up possibilities for a much stronger programme that will help her push on as a rider. She has a decent sprint finish, but she's also not afraid to go on the attack and she'll be an exciting prospect to follow throughout the 2017 season.
To: Astana Women's team
Morzenti will be just 18 when she turns professional in January, but she is a hugely promising time trial talent. She finished second to Alessia Vigilia at the Italian championships in June before returning the favour at the European Championships a couple of months later. At the World Championships in October, she came within seven seconds of taking out the title.
It will be interesting to see how well Morzenti will cope with the huge step up in level but she will certainly be one to watch as the year progresses.
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