An impressive season while racing for Equipe Paule Ka has landed Marlen Reusser a contract with the Women's WorldTeam Alé BTC Ljubljana in 2021. The Swiss champion and time trial specialist is hoping to continue to medal in major events such as the European Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games, while also improving her road racing by learning from team leader Marta Bastianelli.
"My focus will certainly be on the most important time trial events such as the European Championships, World Championships and Olympics Games where I think I can aspire to a medal," Reusser said.
"I also want to improve my skills in road races and try to get some good results. For this I will be able to learn a lot from the most experienced riders of the new team like Marta Bastianelli."
Reusser started her career with the World Cycling Center (WCC) programme in 2019 where she won time trials at the Ljubljana-Domžale-Ljubljana, European Games and Swiss National Championships. She also won the Swiss road race title that same year and placed sixth in the time trial at the World Championships in Yorkshire.
In her 2020 season with Equipe Paule Ka and her national team, Reusser successfully defended her time trial title at the Swiss National Championships, took the bronze medal in the time trial and silver in the mixed relay at the European Championships. She secured the silver medal in the time trial at the World Championships in Imola.
On the road racing calendar, Reusser was fifth overall at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and seventh at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and 10th in the hilly road race at the World Championships.
Her team Equipe Paule Ka has had a turbulent season financially, however, and announced in October that they were forced to close immediately after their title sponsor did not pay for part of the agreed upon sponsorship funds in 2020, according to the team. In addition, the owners of the team and the company completed negotiations regarding a dissolution of the sponsorship agreement, according to the title sponsor.
Reusser listed several reasons for wanting to join the Alé BTC Ljubljana next year.
"The first is that I have always admired this team, I always found there was a nice atmosphere, the right way to live this sport and I love the Italian attitude to life and sport and then I would also like to learn Italian. The other thing I really liked was that the team is led by Alessia Piccolo, a strong woman who has given an important impulse to the whole world of women's cycling and her team and I find myself aligned with their philosophy. I like the management, we have talked a lot and I find myself with their ideas and I am happy to be able to pursue new goals together with them," Reusser said.
Team manager Fortunato Lacquaniti said he has been interested in signing Reusser since she won the European Games last year.
"Marlen's recruitment is a very important reinforcement for our team. We are talking about a top rider who is one of the best in the world in the time trial specialty. She proved it again at the last ITT World Championships, coming within 15 seconds of [Anna] Van der Breggen," he said.
"We had already discovered her last year, even before she won the European Games in Minsk, we had talked to each other and there was an understanding that is happening now and we are happy to be able to work together and help her in this important phase of her career."
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.
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