Leah Thomas will depart from her current Movistar Team having signed a new two-year contract with Trek-Segafredo. The American all-rounder said the team’s all-in approach to winning races suited her abilities and that she is looking forward to joining the team through 2023.
“I’m really excited to race with Trek-Segafredo in the next two years because I feel like they approach every race with a plan, and I think they race cohesively as a team, all-in, with the goal of getting a top result,” Thomas said in a press statement on Thursday.
“Their attacking style of bike racing suits me as a rider and plays to my strengths. I’m also really excited to have good equipment.”
Thomas burst onto the cycling scene in 2015 as part of the development Twenty16-Sho-Air programme where she stayed until signing her first pro contract with UnitedHealthcare in 2018. She then spent two seasons with Bigla but was out of a contract when the team folded while under the Equipe Paule Ka sponsorship last year.
The 32-year-old has spent only one season with Movistar and has raced in a selection of Spring Classics largely in support of Annemiek van Vleuten. She was third in the time trial at the US national championships in June and competed for her nation in the women’s road race at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“My goals for the next two years are to continue to learn and hone my strengths. Right now, I think I’m beneficial to a team in a variety of races and race situations, and I want to continue to be that all-around style of athlete,” Thomas said.
“However, at the same time, I want to hone-in to really find where my strengths lie and what part of bike racing I excel in. I also really want to return to a focus on time trials and stage racing, and I think Trek-Segafredo will provide me with those opportunities. I’m excited to race with a team that really has shown to work together to get that top result.”
Thomas’ career highlights include victories at Women's Tour of Scotland, Tour de Feminin and Chrono des Nations, along with top-10 overall placings at Tour of California and Women's Tour of Britain. She won a stage at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and finished third at Strade Bianche. She was also twice in the top 10 in the time trial at the World Championships.
“We spoke with Leah in the past, but last year we had already finished our planning for the roster, so there wasn’t any room for her. Leah has proven over the last couple of years that she is a solid teammate who takes her chances in small breaks and by herself is a strong time-triallist,” Ina Teutenberg, director at Trek-Segafredo, said, also noting that Thomas will replace Ruth Winder’s position on the team following her retirement at the end of this season.
"For us, knowing that Ruth (Winder) was planning to retire, we tried to find a similar rider who could step into her shoes. With Leah, we know that she is a reliable worker for her leaders and is good at taking the opportunities which come her way. I think she will be a great addition to the team.”
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