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Rachele Barbieri signs with Liv Racing

Rachele Barbieri (Italy) third from right at the Baloise Ladies Tour
Rachele Barbieri (third from right) races with the Italian team at the Baloise Ladies Tour (Image credit: Getty Images)

After success on the velodrome Rachele Barbieri is turning her attention back towards the road, signing for Liv Racing on a two-year contract that will take her through 2023. She last raced on the road with Bepink, an Italian-based team, in 2019.

“A few years ago I put my road ambitions aside,” she said in a media release, “instead, I concentrated fully on my first Olympic Games. I feel it is now time to return to the road, at WorldTour level. I am very happy that Liv Racing believes in me. In the next two seasons I definitely want to repay that trust. Liv Racing is a perfect team for me.” 

On the track, Barbieri won a gold medal in the Scratch Race at the 2017 World Championships, beating a strong field containing riders such as Elinor Barker, Jolien D’hoore  and Sarah Hammer. She has also twice been crowned the European U23 Champion in the Scratch Race. 

More recently, Barbieri won a bronze medal in the Omnium, and a silver medal in the Team Pursuit at the European track cycling championships last week. The combination of different attributes used in each of these disciplines – a strong sprint in the scratch race, endurance in the team pursuit and an understanding of group dynamics in the Omnium – should translate well onto the road. 

Recently, road racing has been sparse for Barbieri due to her commitments on the track, but she showed her potential in her only race in the discipline this season, finishing second on stage 3 of the Baloise Ladies Tour. She has also previously competed with top-level women's road teams Cylance, Wiggle High5 and then Bepink.

At Liv Racing, she will have the opportunity to fully immerse herself back into the road racing scene where she will join the team's new sports director Giorgia Bronzini.

“The riders always work as a unit with a strong tactical plan and the organisation is professional,” Barbieri said, “I want to be part of that. I already know Giorgia Bronzini, the new sports director, pretty well. I am convinced that my return to the road can be successful in this environment.”

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Issy Ronald has just graduated from the London School of Economics where she studied for an undergraduate and masters degree in History and International Relations. Since doing an internship at Procycling magazine, she has written reports for races like the Tour of Britain, Bretagne Classic and World Championships, as well as news items, recaps of the general classification at the Grand Tours and some features for Cyclingnews. Away from cycling, she enjoys reading, attempting to bake, going to the theatre and watching a probably unhealthy amount of live sport.