Leah Thomas has agreed a contract extension with Equipe Paule Ka. The new deal came immediately after the American rider finished on the podium at Strade Bianche behind winner Annemiek van Vleuten and runner-up Mavi Garcia (Alé BTC Ljubljana).
"I am really excited to stay with Équipe Paule Ka. We have a very special group, both on and off the bike, and our aggressive racing tactics fit my strengths as a rider," Thomas said via the team.
"I know this is the right place for me to continue to develop and improve, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the continued success of the team."
The team announced in June that the French fashion house Paule Ka agreed to be title sponsor for the squad until the end of 2024. The brand officially took over title sponsorship after former co-sponsors Bigla and Katusha withdrew funding at the end of April amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"I am very grateful to Paule Ka for coming on board for the next four years. Stability is key to developing a good program and I'm excited about what we can build together in the future," Thomas said.
"I love that the team is about development, that each day we work together to become better than the day before, and I think with that type of mindset, we will be a huge force within the peloton."
Thomas joined the Bigla programme last year, after starting her pro cycling career with US-based teams Twenty20 Pro Cycling and UnitedHealthcare. Her 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.
This year, Thomas won stage 4 at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in February before the season was halted due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and then resumed with a third place at Strade Bianche last weekend.
"We are delighted to extend Leah’s contract. She is a rider who routinely makes important contributions to our team, both on and off the bike. Over the past 1.5 years since she joined us, she has grown immensely as a rider, with her podium place in Strade Bianche this past weekend demonstrating the potential which she possesses," said the team's owner Thomas Campana.
"It will be exciting to see what else she can achieve along this path, and it is great that riders such as her are able to make significant sportive developments as part of our team. We’re looking forward to continuing to facilitate such improvements in her career and helping her to achieve her full potential on the bike."
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