Rally Cycling sign Henrietta Christie and Barbara Malcotti through 2023

LEUVEN BELGIUM SEPTEMBER 25 Henrietta Christie of New Zealand competes during the 94th UCI Road World Championships 2021 Women Elite Road Race a 1577km race from Antwerp to Leuven flanders2021 on September 25 2021 in Leuven Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Henrietta Christie (New Zealand) at the 2021 Road World Championships (Image credit: Getty Images)

Rally Cycling announced Tuesday that they have strengthened their women's roster by signing climbing talents Henrietta Christie and Barbara Malcotti through 2023.

Christie, 19, joins the team from Bepink and is the current under-23 New Zealand national time trial champion. She recently competed in both the elite women's road race at the World Championship and the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes, and she won the youth classification at the Tour de l'Ardèche.

"I'm really excited about getting to meet everyone next year. Rally Cycling can help me progress with my career, and I can't wait to build some strong foundations within the team," Christie said.

"I love pushing myself to the limits. My aspirations are to get stronger every day and aim to get on a UCI Women’s WorldTour podium next year. It’s going to be so cool to be part of a team that is so close-knit and is like a family."

Malcotti, a 21-year-old Italian, joins the team after spending three seasons with Valcar Travel & Services. She is also a strong climber who took fourth place in the young rider classification at the Giro d’Italia Donne, and top 10 finishes at Giro dell’Emilia (eighth) and Tre Valli Varesine (fourth). 

She aims to develop in her new role at Rally Cycling with a goal of competing in the Ardennes Classics next spring.

"I’m excited to be racing with girls from around the world. It’s a great opportunity for me to improve my skills and be a good rider for the team," Malcotti said. “I look up to Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos and Elisa Longo Borghini because I like their method of racing. They stay in the bunch, get in the breakaway, and they attack, and I think a rider must do all of these things."

The team have also re-signed New Zealand rider Olivia Ray, the current national criterium champion.

Rally Cycling have indicated that they have applied to upgrade to the top-tier Women's WorldTeam status next season, which would grant the team automatic invitations to the highest level one-day and stages race on the Women's WorldTour calendar.

"We saw the promise and progression that they have shown already at a young age," said women’s team director Joanne Kiesanowski of the new signings.

"Henrietta showed a lot of progression after only a few months in Europe and Barbara has kept improving from her junior years and is ready to move to a World Tour team after racing at a very high level in the elites

"They both have shown strength in stage racing and have the abilities to be GC contenders in the future. We’re excited to work with them and help them develop over the next two seasons."

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