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Rally Cycling keeps four, adds eight to expanded women's roster

Rally Cycling announced its 2017 women's roster today, with four returning riders joining eight new recruits to form the expanded squad.

Up from 10 riders the year before, the 12-rider roster will be anchored by a core group of riders that includes Erica Allar, Kirsti Lay, Sara Poidevan and Emma White.

The group of eight new recruits once again focused on youth as the team continues the development mission it began last year.

"Last year we refocused the program on the development of young riders, with great success," Performance Manager Jonas Carney said in a statement released with today's announcement. "The 2017 season will continue this direction with the addition of several talented new riders. The team is excited to add to the strong core group of riders that are returning."

Among the new riders are Olympians Catlin and Beveridge. Catlin was a member of the US silver medal-winning Team Pursuit squad, while Beveridge earned bronze in Rio as part of Canada's Team Pursuit effort. Other new riders include Canadian Sarah Bergen, collegiate standouts Amy Benner and Monica Volk, fast finisher Caitlin Laroche and up-and-coming junior Megan Heath.

The team will miss the services of Jasmin Glaesser, who will not return in 2017 after two years with the team, but Lay, a 28-year-old who has medaled in the Olympics, World Championships and Pan Am Games, is ready to anchor the squad.

Lay will be joined by fellow Canadian Poidevin, who proved herself as a talented climber in 2016. The duo will provide the team's GC hopes in stage races, while veteran rider Allar will continue to hunt scalps on the criterium circuit. White was runner-up in the junior road race and junior time trial at the 2015 World Championships, while Maine is returning after a mid-season crash this year.

"For 2017 the team adds another group of talented riders," said returning director Zach Bell. "With a positive team environment and structure already established, Rally Cycling will help them progress and reach their full potential as athletes.

"With returning riders like Erica, Sara, Emma and Kirsti, we have proven strength with room to grow. To complement their strengths, we added several new riders that have already shown the ability to race at a high level. The entire team has been working hard and we are excited to get the season started."

The women of Rally Cycling will contest an extensive road and criterium schedule in North America, according to today's announcement, along with select events in Europe.

Rally Cycling women's 2017 roster:
Erica Allar, Amy Benner, Sara Bergen, Allison Beveridge, Kelly Catlin, Megan Heath, Kirsti Lay, Caitlin Laroche, Katherine Maine, Sara Poidevin, Monica Volk, Emma White

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