Canyon-SRAM announced Friday that they have signed Elise Chabbey for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The Swiss road race champion was part of the now-folded Equipe Paule Ka team but she made headlines this spring for her work in helping an under-staffed Geneva University Hospital on the front lines of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"Since I started cycling, Canyon-SRAM Racing was one of the teams I always admired. It’s a team that has the same sponsors and a lot of the same staff and riders for a long time. That provides me with confidence about the future of this team," Chabbey said in a team press release.
Chabbey, a 27-year-old from Switzerland, completed her medical degree over the last three years while racing for Cogeas-Mettler in 2018, and then Bigla-Katusha and Equipe Paule Ka in 2019 and 2020. She plans to put her medical career on hold for at least the next two years.
Chabbey was recently nominated by Swiss-German newspaper Blick in its Sport Champions of the Year awards. She also finished in third place behind Curdin Orlik and Roger Federer in the category of ‘special achievements outside sport’ for putting aside her cycling training in order to work as a medical doctor at the University Hospital of Geneva during the COVID-19 pandemic in March, according to the team's press release.
“The reality of the situation was bigger than sport and I felt more useful working as a doctor than riding my bike. It did me a lot of good and I feel it helped me professionally and personally,” Chabbey said in a team press release.
Chabbey has a long history in high-level sports having competed in slalom kayaking at the 2012 London Summer Olympics during her final year of high school. She spent a year as a professional kayaker, before embarking on a six-year medical degree, and she became a professional cyclist just two years ago, according to a team press release.
In her short professional cycling career, so far, Chabbey has won the climbing classification at La Course by Le Tour de France, placed 24th in the general classification and 11th in a stage at the Giro Rosa, 13th at Liége-Bastogne-Liége, and won the Swiss road title.
"This season I improved a lot in terms of positioning and confidence in the bunch," Chabbey said. "After only two years, I proved that I can be among the best in every type of race, be in the final, and be really helpful for the team. I'm a lot more confident and now I can race in an aggressive way. I'm sure next season I can make another step and win some races."
Canyon-SRAM renew contracts for core quartet
Canyon-SRAM already announced the signing of American Chloe Dygert on a four-year deal. In a recent press release, they also announced two-year contract extensions for British champion Alice Barnes, Lisa Klein and Alexis Ryan, and a one-year extension for Tiffany Cromwell.
"I have re-signed because I feel the team is a good place for me to continue to develop as a bike rider. I have found my place in the team where I am able to get opportunities to race for the win but also to support some of the best riders in the peloton to do the same. It's a unique balance that you don't find at every team," Barnes said.
"The 2020 season re-start didn't go as planned for me personally, but I learnt a lot about myself and can improve on this for next year. I hope to be stepping onto the podium more and hopefully being on the top step."
Ryan has spent five season with Canyon-SRAM, and will stay with the team through a seventh season in 2022. She's placed on the podium at Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Ronde Van Drenthe, and stages at the Tour of California and Giro Rosa.
“I re-signed with the team because of their continued belief in my abilities and untapped potential. They have nurtured my development as a rider and person over the last five years. I know the best years of my career are ahead. I want to live through them with this team and its faithful, supportive sponsors," Ryan said.
“I spent 2020 reflecting on my past accomplishments, and regrets, in life and sport. I also thought deeply about my goals, and racing holds a very important role. I’m moving forward into the 2021 season with rediscovered purpose and motivation."
Canyon-SRAM are expected to announce their full 2021 roster next week.
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