Wiggle-Honda have announced the signing of Swedish national champion Emma Johansson for the 2016 season. Johansson, who is currently second in the World Cup standings, joins the team on a two-year contract. However, it appears that only one of those will be spent as a rider as she is set to bring her career to a close with the Belgian-registered team next season.
“After 10 years as a professional cyclist and the three previous years with Orica-AIS, I feel I need new challenges. I have learned a lot professionally and personally during these last ten years, and I’m proud of the results I’ve achieved with the support of my teams,” Johansson said in a team press release.
“I plan to stop racing at the highest level of the sport following the 2016 season, and I’m confident that Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team is the best place for me to continue to learn and grow, even in my final season, so that I can call close to my career at my very best.”
Johansson turned professional back in 2005 and has been riding with the Australia Orica-AIS team since 2013. Despite a troubled start to the season that saw her break her collarbone in March, she won both the national road and time trial national championships in June, giving her a tally of 12 national titles. Johansson also won the Swedish cyclo-cross championships last season. Among her biggest achievements are victories at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and the Ronde van Drenthe, plus silver medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and in the road race at the 2013 World Championships.
With just one season of racing remaining, Johansson has set her eyes on big goals.
“The 2016 season is an Olympic year, and it’s no secret that Rio is my main goal alongside my typical objectives at the World Cup races and in the Spring Classics. I won a silver medal in Beijing, and I would love to stand on the podium again in Rio.”
Johansson will join the likes of Giorgia Bronzini – who is also due to retire next season – Elisa Longo Borghini and Mara Abbott at the Wiggle-Honda team. “Emma is a really experienced professional who will bring strength in depth to our team and be an invaluable asset on her own terms, as well as a mentor to the younger team members as they develop their racing experience,” said team managing director Rochelle Gilmore.
Johansson is due to compete in the RideLondon GP this weekend, the only Orica-AIS rider to do so.