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Lizzy Banks joins Ceratizit-WNT after Equipe Paule Ka folds

TIVOLI ITALY SEPTEMBER 14 Arrival Elizabeth Banks of The United Kingdom and Team Paule Ka Celebration during the 31st Giro dItalia Internazionale Femminile 2020 Stage 4 a 1703km stage from Assisi to Tivoli 237m GiroRosaIccrea GiroRosa on September 14 2020 in Tivoli Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Lizzy Banks rode for Equipe Paule Ka at the 2020 Giro Rosa and took a stage win (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling announced Wednesday that they have signed Lizzy Banks for the 2021 season. The German-based UCI Continental team also announced its full 14-rider roster that includes three new signings, and along with Banks, includes Marta Lach and Lotta Henttala.

“I’m delighted to be joining Ceratizit-WNT in 2021, we’re all aware of the difficult situation that led to this transfer but sometimes out of a difficult situation can arise a fantastic opportunity and this is what has happened here," Banks said in a team press release.

"It’s rare that you get this clear alignment with what you think, and the team think you can do. There’s so much talent within this team that’s bubbling through and is about to crack open some big results, then you’ve got proven winners, world class riders like Lisa Brennauer and Kirsten Wild who I can’t wait to work with. I think the duo of Lisa and I in the final of a race can be incredibly dynamic duo and a dangerous one as well. I think we really complement each other’s riding styles, and hopefully we’ll be knocking on the door of some huge wins in 2021.” 

Banks had a strong season with a stage win at the Giro Rosa and podium finish at GP Plouay Trophee. She renewed with Equipe Paula Ka for next year, however, they announced that they would fold immediately, in October, after they had not received the agreed upon sponsorship funding from financial backer Paule Ka. 

Ceratizit-WNT also announced signing of Marta Lach, who joins the team from CCC-Liv, and Lotta Henttala from Trek-Segafredo.

“It’s exciting for me to join the team, I had a very challenging year, but I am ready for new challenges and this is a new motivation. Dirk [Baldinger, team manager] and I have a joint vision for next season. I won my first professional victory with Dirk as my sports director in 2015 in Thüringen, so we have some nice history, but I hope we can continue to make history together in 2021," Henttala said.

The team also signed back 11 riders, including recent winner of the Madrid Challenge Lisa Brennauer and track world champion Kirsten Wild. 

“I’m very happy to sign for one more year, we’ve got a great atmosphere with the people around us and there’s so much more to come in 2021 for us as a team," said Brennauer.

Wild's success on the road with Ceratizit-WNT includes Women's WorldTour wins at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem last year, and she also won two stages at both the Healthy Ageing Tour and Tour de Bretagne.

“I feel comfortable, happy and supported with Ceratizit-WNT," Wild said. "I feel supported for my biggest dream and that’s to go to the Olympics and be the best me during that time. With my plans I have freedom but the backing of confidence to combine my road and track ambitions as well as having good material to perform to the highest level. The most important I have a team who believes in me.” 

Returning riders also include Erica Magnaldi, Lara Vieceli, Maria Giulia Confalonieri, Sarah Rijkes, Kathrin Hammes, Franziska Brausse, Lin Teutenberg, Julie Leth and Laura Asencio.

Riders who are not returning to the team include Aafke Soet, who has signed with Jumbo-Visma, Claudia Koster, who goes to Hitec-Products, and Ane Santesteban, moving to Mitchelton-Scott.

Ceratizit-WNT 2021

  • Lisa Brennauer – 1 year
  • Franziska Brausse – 1 year
  • Lin Teutenberg – 1 year
  • Kathrin Hammes – 1 year
  • Sarah Rijkes – 1 year
  • Kirsten Wild – 1 year
  • Laura Asencio – 2 years
  • Maria Giulia Confalonieri – 2 years
  • Erica Magnaldi – 1 year
  • Lara Vieceli – 1 year
  • Julie Leth – 1 year
  • Lotta Henttala – 1 year
  • Marta Lach – 1 year
  • Lizzy Banks – 1 year