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Hagiwara, Knetemann join Ale Cipollini in 2018

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Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle High5)

Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle High5) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ale Cipollini 2018 team in Verona

Ale Cipollini 2018 team in Verona (Image credit: Ale Cipollini)
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Mayuko Hagiwara smiles for the camera

Mayuko Hagiwara smiles for the camera (Image credit: Bart Hazen)
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Roxane Knetemann (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)

Roxane Knetemann (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Ale Cipollini unveiled its 2018 team in a Gran Gala Ale at the Palazzo Gran Guardia in Verona. New to the team are Japan's Mayuko Hagiwara from Wiggle High5 and Dutchwoman Roxane Knetemann, who spent four seasons with the former Rabo women’s team before moving to FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope last year.

Hagiwara has been a top performer on the women’s circuit during the past five seasons. She is a two-time road champion and five-time time trial champion. She notably won stages of the Giro Rosa and Tour de Bretagne in 2015. She has spent the previous five seasons with the Wiggle High5 team.

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The team also brought in new riders Karlijn Swinkels, a former junior time trial world champion (2016), and new to the elite scene Italy’s Sofia Nilda Frometa Leonard.

"The Team Ale - Cipollini is a big reality for women’s cycling. This year we have been the strongest Italian elite team, in eighth place on the UCI ranking and with many victories in the Women's WorldTour. There are also new races to take part in next year," said the team's president Alessia Piccolo.

Returning to the team are former world champion Marta Bastianelli, Anna Trevisi, Soraya Paladin, Janneke Ensing, Lithuanian road champion Daiva Tuslaite, Martina Stefani, Romy Kasper, Ane Santesteban Gonzalez and Anisha Vekemans. Also returning is Chloe Hosking, former winner of the Chongming Island World Cup and La Course by Le Tour de France. Hosking also brought the team its two season victories in 2017 at Ladies Tour of Norway and OVO Energy Women's Tour.

Fortunato Lacquaniti, who is a new team manager will direct the 14-rider team during the road season. "We have ended an extraordinary season with a high morale and big goals have been reached. If 2017 has been splendid, the following year should be unforgettable," he said.

Ale Cipollini 2018 roster: Marta Bastianelli (Italy), Anna Trevisi (Italy), Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spain), Chloe Elle Hosking (Australia), Janneke Ensing (Netherlands), Romy Kasper (Germany), Daiva Tuslaite (Lithuania), Martina Stefani (Italy), Anisha Vekemans (Belgium), Soraya Paladin (Italy), Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan), Roxane Knetemann (Netherlands), Karlijn Swinkels (Netherlands) and Sofia Nilda Frometa Leonard (Italy).

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.