Canyon-SRAM have confirmed their roster for the 2019 season, with the likes of Elena Checchini, Pauline Farrand-Prevot and Kasia Niewiadoma headlining the line-up. The team hope to to ride virtually all 23 of the WorldTour races on the women's calendar and are expected to make their season debut at the Setmana Valenciana next month, followed by Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The team endured plenty of ups and downs in 2018 but took a surprise victory in the team time trial at the World Championships and finished fourth in the World Rankings at the end of the year.
“I am extremely excited to be able to continue working with these young women. The group has individual talent and exceptional team spirit. They also had some setbacks which they've managed to get through and we've seen that they have worked hard for some big achievements together,” said team manager Ronny Lauke.
"They've gained experience and they've gained confidence. All this combined, makes me believe that the team can achieve more success in future years with these riders.”
The team announced a roster of 15 riders, three more than they had for the 2018 season, and is one of the youngest in the women’s peloton with an average age of 24. Providing the bed of experience will be their oldest rider Tiffany Cromwell, 30, and Alena Amialiusik, 29.
Star rider Niewiadoma will ride her second season with the team and will be hoping to enjoy some better luck after a challenging 2018 season. The Polish rider was still the team’s best performer and won the Tour de l’Ardeche at the end of the year. Ferrand-Prevot will also be hoping for some better fortune but she will have to wait to start her season after she underwent surgery for iliac artery endofibrosis.
Hannah Barnes is once again joined by her younger sister Alice, who moved to the team at the start of last year. Italian time trial champion Elena Cecchini starts her fourth season with the team, as does Alexis Ryan, who is looking to continue the progression she enjoyed last season. Lisa Klein is another returning rider for the 2019 season.
Five young new arrivals
Just two riders have left the team over the winter with five coming on-board in their place. Trixi Worrack’s departure for the new Trek-Segafredo team was the biggest change. The other to leave is Leah Thorvilson, the first to earn a contract with the team through the Zwift Academy. Last year’s Zwift winner Ella Harris is among the new intake while Tanja Erath – the second Zwift winner – remains with the team for another year.
Christa Riffel’s spell with the team at the end of last season was enough for the 20-year-old German to earn a full-time spot on the squad. She is not the youngest rider, with her compatriot Hannah Ludwig taking that honour at just 18 years of age.
Ludwig enjoyed an impressive 2018 season, winning the German junior national road race and finishing on the podium in both the junior time trial and road race at the European Championships. She also mixed it with the top riders at the Thuringen Ladies Tour to finish 16th overall.
The other two new signings are Israeli road race champion Omer Shapira – who joins from Cylance – and Israeli time trial champion Rotem Gafinovitz – who moves over from WaowDeals.
Canyon-SRAM for the 2019 season: Alena Amialiusik, Hannah Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Rotem Gafinovitz, Omer Shapira, Alice Barnes, Tiffany Cromwell, Tanja Erath, Ella Harris, Lisa Klein, Hannah Ludwig, Kasia Niewiadoma, Christa Riffel, and Alexis Ryan.