Norwegian women's team Hitec Products - Birk Sport announced Friday on their social media channels that they have signed British rider Lucy Garner and Dutch rider Chanella Stougje to their 2019 roster.
Garner, 23, joins the team having raced with the Wiggle High5 program for three seasons. Wiggle High5 owner Rochelle Gilmore announced in July that she would not register the team next year, meaning that riders needed to find contracts elsewhere. It has recently been announced that Elisa Longo Borghini will be racing for the new Trek women's team next season. Before joining Wiggle High5 in 2016, Garner raced for the former Sunweb titles; Argos/Giant-Shimano and Liv-Plantur.
Garner is a former two-time junior world champion, and as an elite rider has won stages at the Tour of Chongming Island and La Route de France. She has also had a series of podium finishes at Tour de Yorkshire, Ronde van Gelderland, GP de Dottignies and Dwars door de Westhoek.
The team also announced signing Stougje, 22, who joins the team after spending the last four seasons with Parkhotel Valkenburg. This year, Stougje was 12th at Brugge-De Panne and 11th at Omloop van Borsele. In previous seasons, she has finished in the top 10 at the Diamond Tour, Erondegemse Pijl and she was third in a stage of the BeNe Ladies Tour.
Hitec-Products made a public plea for extra funding in May over social media, saying that they were forced to reduce the number of events they could afford to participate in this season. They said that they were struggling to cover the increased costs of competing in the Women's WorldTour. The team asked social media followers to spread the word.
They sent out a follow-up notice on social media one month later, letting the cycling community know that they had positive reactions and started a crowdfunding campaign. They have currently reached €7,000 of their €50,000 goal.
The Hitec Products team has a 13-rider roster this season that includes former world champion Tatiana Guderzo, Danish national champion Camilla Møllebro and Tour of Chongming Island winner Charlotte Becker. The team has been active since 2009 with some of the sport's best riders on its roster over the years.
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