Wiggle-High5 announced their third new signing for the 2018 season with Olympic Champion Katie Archibald set to join the powerful women's squad.
The Scottish rider has spent much of her early career on the track, where she has been hugely successful, winning gold in the team pursuit in Rio last year. She took her second world title earlier this season when she won the Omnium event ahead of Kirsten Wild.
Archibald has mixed her track racing with some efforts on the road with the WNT team and finished second in the road race and third in the time trial at the British national championships.
"I've joined Wiggle-High5 to take the next step in my professional career,” Archibald said. “2017 was my first season of racing a UCI calendar on the road and in 2018 I'll now be able to race as part of the Women's WorldTour. With my previous team I was often race leader though our racing ambitions were small.
“With this move I expect to be playing a support role to bigger goals as part of one of the highest ranked UCI teams. One day I hope to again be a race leader myself and plan to learn as much as possible from the hugely successful roster Wiggle-High5 boasts in 2018.”
Wiggle-High5 has already announced Lisa Brennauer and Archibald’s track teammate Elinor Barker for the 2018 season.
Penton extends with Team Virtu Cycling
Swedish champion Sara Penton will stay with Team Virtu Cycling after extending her contract with the fledgling Danish squad for another year. The 28-year-old turned professional last year with the Lares-Waowdeals squad before joining Virtu at the start of this season.
She scored her first win this June, winning the national title in a three-up sprint, and helped her trade squad to fifth place in the team time trial in Bergen despite losing key rider Amber Neben due to a mechanical problem.
“It’s been long and tough year but also fun and exciting,” said Penton. “This year has been on the highest level with the best riders in the world and of course it takes a toll on both body and mind, but is has been so amazing to travel around the world being a part of the World Tour. I am tired now, but it has been a good year, and I really enjoyed it.”
Penton says that she has enjoyed playing the domestique role for the team but would like to take her own opportunities in the future.
”I’ve been in the lead-out role for a lot of races and I like it and I want to do it even better. I want to be able to put someone on that podium, it’s an amazing feeling,” she explained.
“I like the role as domestique, but if I could find a race that suits me and plan it in the calendar, so I could be at my best and get the help from the team that would be great. To have an international podium would be amazing.”
Wiasak wins Tour of Gippsland stage 1
A regular winner on the track, Rebecca Wiasak (High5 Dream Team) was victorious on the road on Thursday with a win on the first stage of the Tour of Gippsland. Wiasak took the opener of the Australian National Road Series event with a long sprint to beat Nicola Macdonald and Kimberley Wells to the line.
“We have a team of track riders here, and Em Roper, who has ridden track in the past, so with the Tour of Gippsland being a series of criteriums we feel it plays to our strengths in being able to control the front and set up a lead-out train, which the girls did perfectly today,” Wiasak said after the stage.
“Any one of us could have won today, but right at the end I saw an opportunity and took it, opening up my sprint from a long way back. The kids on the side of the road made for an electric atmosphere, and I’m thrilled to get the win for the High5 Dream Team.”
The Tour of Gippsland is the final event for the women in the Subaru National Road Series. Shannon Malseed of Holden Women’s Cycling Team, who finished ninth on stage 1, went into the race as the series leader, 50 points ahead of Lucy Kennedy.
Crooks extends with Orica-Scott
Another week and another extension for the Orica-Scott women's team, with Jenelle Crooks inking an extended deal with the Australian squad. A former U23 time trial and road race national champion, Crooks has been with the team since the middle of the 2016 season.
Crooks rode 42 race days this year, including appearances at the Giro Rosa, the Women’s Tour and many of the Classics. She is the eighth rider to extend with the team, with Annemiek van Vleuten, Sarah Roy and Amanda Spratt, among others, remaining for 2018.
“I really enjoyed this year with the team and I learnt so much,” Crooks said in a team press release.
“The culture of the riders and staff really makes the team such a great environment to learn and develop as a professional rider, not only on the bike but off the bike as well. This made my transition to a full professional season so much easier and has got me super excited for next year. I am looking forward to developing more and working towards my goals for next season.”