Wiggle-High5 has brought their number of confirmed riders for the 2018 to 15 with Annette Edmondson and Amy Cure extending their contracts into next season. They join Elisa Longo Borghini and Emilia Fahlin in staying with the team, while Lisa Brennauer and Kirsten Wild are among those new to the squad for the coming year.
Both Cure and Edmondson will continue to divide their time between the tarmac and the boards in 2018, along with teammates Wild, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker. The track will take priority at the start of the year with the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April, with the next Olympic Games in Tokyo the ultimate target.
"On behalf of Wiggle High5, we share the same goals and ambitions of our two Aussie track specialists – to win Gold in Tokyo," said team manager Rochelle Gilmore. "In regards to Nettie and Amy, our main objective in 2018 is to support their track aspirations while continuing to develop their road careers."
Cure was a new addition to the squad this season after taking a year off the road in 2016 to focus on the Olympic Games in Rio. She and Edmondson were part of Australia's four-rider line-up in Rio last August and were among the favourites for a medal. A crash in training disrupted their preparations but they still qualified third. However, they eventually missed out on a medal after posting a disappointing time in round 1.
The first part of this season was dedicated to the road for Cure with three national titles coming in March. She also took home two bronzes and a silver at the World Championships in Hong Kong a month later. Cure finished off her road season with a solid second place at the Tour of Guangxi at the end of October.
"I'm looking forward to having a great year starting in the road in January with the Tour Down Under and Cadel's Race," said Cure. "Before moving on the track for the Commonwealth Games, and then back to the road full gas in the hope of making the road team time trial team for the World Championships before I get married. It's going to be a full year for me and I'm looking forward to sharing the journey with this great team for another year."
Edmondson – who has been with the squad since switching from Orica-AIS for the 2015 season - chose to give the track a miss at the start of this season, aside from a few early-season jaunts. Instead, she took on a full Classics programme and scored a hard-earned victory at the Pajot Hills Classic ahead of Canyon-SRAM's Barbara Guarischi. Another road win came in July with success in the prologue at the BeNe Ladies Tour.
After a year out, Edmondson has her eyes set on glory on the boards next season. "I'm going to go back to the track for 2018 to have a crack at the Commonwealth Games," said Edmondson. "It's our home games so it's a good opportunity for us to put out some good times in front of a home crowd, and really give back to Australia really.
"That's the target of my 2018 season, and then I'll go to the road from there. I assume I'll start with [the Tour of Chongming Island] which I have done in the past, and then the rest… who knows? I'm excited to coming back swinging because I had a taste of it this year for the first time properly, and really enjoyed focusing and feeling fit on the road."