The Movistar women's team has announced that Spanish riders Eider Merino and Alba Teruel, along with French talent Aude Biannic, have extended their contracts with the squad into 2020. The trio has been with the team since its inception and will continue to play a valuable role on the Women's WorldTour as part of the squad's core group of riders.
"These were three fundamental pieces for us to retain so that we could build a solid team for next season," said team manager Sebastián Unzué.
"They are three ladies who have been a part of our team since the beginning, and we wanted to thank them for their great work and commitment since then."
Biannic, 28, returns with valuable skills for all types of races. The all-rounder has had strong performances in the Classics and plays a domestique role in the stage races. She was the French road race champion in 2018 and earned the bronze medal in the national championship event this year. She was also seventh place in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
"Aude is a 'life insurance' for us in a every race she takes part in," Unzué said. "A true all-rounder, one [who is] able to do well wherever she's required and, above that, an excellent domestique. We couldn't allow ourselves not retaining her, because she's such a huge asset for us."
Merino, 25, continues to be one of the most talented climbers in Spanish cycling. She was the national road race champion in 2018 was ninth this season at the Emakumeen Bira. This season she was also 16th in the Giro Rosa, won two races in the Basque Country (Zaldibar and Gorla) and was fifth in the new UCI event Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa. Teruel, 23, remains with the team as a strong rouleur, sprinter and domestique.
"Eider is one of our go-to riders to aim for GC in the hardest stage races," Unzué said. "[She is] a pure climber who also does really well against the clock. Her consistency and climbing make her a solid rider for the most mountainous courses.
"In turn, Alba has become a really valuable team rider in the last two years. Sometimes her work is not valued enough or can't be watched from the TV, yet she's a spectacular rider, who is always willing to help the others and also takes advantage from her individual chances. She continues to progress, and I'm convinced she will continue to grow next season and take huge steps forward."
Movistar have announced 11 riders to the team for next season; Sofia Bertizzolo, Barbara Guarischi and Katrine Aalrud all join from Team Virtu, along with Jelena Erić from Alé Cipollini. They also announced the return of a core group of four; Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Lourdes Oyarbide and Gloria Rodríguez.
The team roster is not yet complete and they will announce future signings at a later date.
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