The women's Wiggle High5 team has confirmed its line-up for 2017, with Emilia Fahlin, Claudia Lichtenberg, and Britain's Grace Garner among the five new riders that will boost the ten riders from this year’s squad. Emma Johansson and Giorgia Bronzini have both delayed plans to retire, while Elisa Longo Borghini, Jolien D'hoore and Annette Edmondson will again be team leaders as Wiggle High5 targets key events in the women's WorldTour.
Australian sprinter Chloe Hosking leaves the team to ride for Alé-Cipollini in 2017 so she can combine studies for a law degree with her training and racing.
The team took 35 victories in 2016, including five national championships, and its riders earned three medals at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"I'm extremely excited about the five new additions to Wiggle High5 for 2017, the team was selected and strengthened very carefully and strategically with the input of our current athletes and staff. We're a very close, united, family style team and believe very much in the strength of our roster for 2017," said Wiggle High5 team owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore, announcing the new roster.
"We've created a team very capable of winning the WorldTour. And we'll focus on the specific individual World Tour events most important to our partners and their markets."
Lichtenberg finished fourth overall in this year's Giro d'Italia and was one of the few riders able to compete with Mara Abbott in the mountains.
"After the Olympics I decided to race for one more season," Lichtenberg said. "I'm happy to do this last year of my career with one of the biggest teams. I'm looking forward to create the races together with many strong riders. We will have many options to play with in every terrain. That's how racing gets fun!"
"Personally I'm very much looking forward to the Ardennes Classics. This is another very nice step for women's cycling. Also the Giro Rosa will be a big goal for me."
Fahlin is a new recruit but a familiar one, having ridden for the team for two seasons before spending 2016 with Alé-Cipollini.
"I'm really happy to be back in the black and orange with Wiggle High5 for the 2017 season," she said. "I've had a year away in Italy which has given me a lot of new experience and I got the chance to develop a few other sides of myself as a rider. I've proved not just to myself but also others I'm capable to compete on a higher level all year and that I also can win bike races again.
Australia's Amy Cure adds some power to the Wiggle High5 team after focusing on the track and the Olympics in 2016.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what I can offer the team," said the 23-year-old. "I hope I can learn a lot from the more experienced road riders in the team. Developing my road racing skills while also being able to help out the team using my strengths that I have developed form my track background.
The other two new signings for 2017 are 19-year-old Grace Garner, who joins her sister Lucy Garner on the roster, and 24-year-old former Danish road race and time trial champion Julie Leth.
The 2017 roster of the Wiggle High5 team:
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Amy Cure (Australia), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Jolien D'hoore (Belgium), Annette Edmondson (Australia), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden), Grace Garner (Great Britain), Lucy Garner (Great Britain), Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan), Emma Johansson (Sweden), Julie Leth (Denmark), Claudia Lichtenberg (Germany), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy), Amy Roberts (Great Britain), Anna Sanchis (Spain).
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