Canyon-SRAM confirmed Friday that they have nearly completed their roster for the 2020 season and have signed back 15 riders. In a team press release, manager Ronny Lauke has said that the team boasted one of the youngest average ages amongst the top-ranked UCI women’s teams in 2019, and that they have maintained their focus on building a team of talented, passionate riders with a mix of youth and experience.
"When we started to build this group from 2016 on we were specifically looking to hire younger riders who occasionally have shown results, but where we have seen more potential than the current showing. We wanted to give them time to build," Lauke said.
"This has been possible only through the support of our partners and them showing confidence in us when times were not so successful. It has become a rarity in this sponsorship landscape. Thank you to all of them."
Canyon-SRAM formed in 2016 from its previous versions T-Mobile, Team Columbia, HTC-Highroad, Specialized-lululemon and Velocio-SRAM. Co-title partners Canyon and SRAM have already extended their partnership with the team beyond 2020.
Canyon-SRAM is one of eight teams that have applied to be part of the top-tier of women's racing in 2020. The new two-tiered team system will include WorldTeams and Continental teams, all part of the new structure of women's professional cycling reforms set to start next year.
They will join teams Alé BTC Ljubljana, CCC-Liv, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar Team Women, Team Sunweb and Trek-Segafredo in the highest ranks.
The team already announced a series of returning riders, who had signed multi-year contracts in previous seasons, such as Tiffany Cromwell and Hannah Barnes. Last year's Zwift Academy winner Ella Harris is also returning.
They will be joined by returning teammates Alena Amialiusik, Alice Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Tanja Erath, mountain bike world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Rotem Gafinovitz, Lisa Klein, Hannah Ludwig, Kasia Niewiadoma, Christa Riffel, Alexis Ryan and Omer Shapira.
The 2020 roster will be a total of 16 riders, with the final rider being announced after the 2019 Canyon-SRAM Zwift Academy finals, which start today at the team’s training camp in Malaga, Spain.
"The goal is to compete for the number one spot in the sport," Lauke said. "I believe the team is ready to take on that challenge. This group went together through many ups and downs during our last four seasons, but have grown closer every, single time.
"I believe that between them, they have built a strong foundation based on trust and growing experiences. They went through many errors, but did many good things too, and that has brought them to a new level of understanding and commitment to stand up for one another. We want to utilise that further."
This year, Canyon-SRAM won Amstel Gold Race, Healthy Ageing Tour, BeNe Ladies Tour, and won stages at OVO Energy Women’s Tour and Giro Rosa, where Niewiadoma wore the maglia rosa for the first half of the 10-day race.
Lauke is realistic about his roster's ability but confident that the team will achieve their goals for 2020 as well.
"The target is 20 plus victories next season and within that number, a better ratio of World Tour victories," he said.
"We want to be smart, confident, efficient, and use the power of a team, in each and every bike race we do. Overall we aim to be a dominant force in any race we compete in, as well to be the most uncomfortable competitor possible.
"We are probably not the strongest force in the high mountains, but anything else that’s topographically required in the sport we are highly competitive. During those disciplines and races we want to create situations where our tactics are unpredictable.
"This requires our riders to stand up for one another in any type of race situation, which I believe they have defined and fine-tuned already over the past seasons."
Canyon-SRAM roster for 2020: Alena Amialiusik (Belarus), Alice Barnes (UK), Hannah Barnes (UK), Elena Cecchini (Italy), Tiffany Cromwell (Australia), Tanja Erath (Germany), Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (France), Rotem Gafinovitz (Israel), Ella Harris (New Zealand), Lisa Klein (Germany), Hannah Ludwig (Germany), Kasia Niewiadoma (Poland), Christa Riffel (Germany), Alexis Ryan (USA) and Omer Shapira (Israel).