Italian team Alé-Cipollini announced on Friday that they have re-signed American sprinter Shelley Olds for the remainder of the 2015 season. The news comes just one day after her previous team Bigla Pro Cycling announced that they had mutually parted ways with Olds and director Manel Lacambra, effective immediately.
Olds raced with Alé-Cipollini during the 2014 season but left the team after signing a contract with Bigla Pro Cycling that started in January. “I asked President Alessia Piccolo to come back and I am very glad she accepted. I am here for the team,” Olds said in a statement from the Alé-Cipollini team.
“I felt great here,” Olds said. “It was like a big family but at the same time a group that worked really hard. I felt great with my teammates and the staff, with the President first of all."
Alé-Cipollini’s director Fortunato Lacquaniti echoed the team’s support for Olds’ return saying, “Shelley Olds is a great athlete. I am glad to have her back, she can be a great example for the young girls who will have a lot to learn from her. She finds some athletes she had as teammates before and that she knows very well. Shelley Olds is an expert athlete who knows how to face races and who is able to give us a lot, especially in great races.”
Olds raced for Alé-Cipollini last year, and she previously spent a season with Tibco (2013), AA Drink (2012) and Diadora-Pasta Zara (2011). During the first half of this year, while racing under the Bigla Pro Cycling outfit, she was fourth at World Cups in Philadelphia and Chongming Island, and second at EPZ Omloop van Borsele WE.
It seems, however, that the working situation between Olds and Bigla Pro Cycling did not work out but that they mutually and amicably parted ways. Bigla released a statement on Thursday regarding the immediate release of Lacambra and Olds that read, “We are sad to see Manel and Shelley leave," team manager Thomas Campana said.
"We were very excited to have them join the team at the beginning of the season but sometimes things don’t work out the way you’ve planned. We have had respectful conversations and have decided it best to end the relationship now instead of prolonging it until the end of the season. We wish them the very best for the future.”
Bigla also announced that they had signed American all-around Carmen Small, who spent the first half of the season racing with Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air.
Now at Alé-Cipollini, Olds will join a strong sprint team that includes Annalisa Cucinotta, Marta Tagliaferro, Arianna Fidanza and Maria Giulia Confalonieri. The other members of the team include Beatrice Rossato, Alice Algisi, Beatrice Bartelloni, Francesca Cauz, Simona Frapporti, Dalia Muccioli, Fleur Faure, Flavia Oliveira, Uenia Fernandes, Elena Berlato and Malgorzata Jasinska.
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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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