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Sliding doors at Canyon-SRAM as Hannah Barnes departs and Sarah Roy joins

Sarah Roy (BikeExchange) will race with Canyon-SRAM beginning in 2022
Sarah Roy (BikeExchange) will race with Canyon-SRAM beginning in 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images)

The transfer season in the women’s peloton is in full swing with several high-profile riders set to change colours in 2022. There are a number of changes at Canyon-SRAM Racing and while Sarah Roy joins after a long stint at Team BikeExchange the end of the campaign will see Hannah Barnes leave the team for the new Uno-X Pro Cycling Team. For both riders, the idea of changing teams is an exciting prospect for the future.

Roy joined her current team back in 2015 when they raced under the Orica-AIS banner, and the Australian road champion is looking forward to joining a team that she believes fits with her style of racing and outlook on women’s cycling in general.

“I’m super excited to have a change in direction after seven years,” she told Cyclingnews at the Women’s Tour.

“My role won’t change all that much, I don’t think, but a new environment, some new challenges, new people to work with and a nice vibe will be really good for my career. They’ve got a lot to offer, and I’ve got a lot for them too. It’s going to be really exciting,” she added.

“I really appreciate their outlook when it comes to creating awareness for women’s cycling. The things that they do off the bike and their motivation to the sport is something that really attracted me. The way they race is going to really suit me.”

While Roy’s end of season racing calendar looks relatively settled, as she competes for stage wins in the Women’s Tour, her longer-term plans look slightly less certain due to the COVID-19 related border restrictions and quarantine requirements in Australia. She would not rule out remaining in Europe over the winter, especially given that the situation in Australia is so uncertain at the moment.

“Going home to Australia is a big question for every Australian at the moment. We’ll have to see what happens because it’s a bit of a waiting game and the situation changes daily. Next year I’ll still be targeting the same races that I raced this year.”

Roy’s arrival at Canyon-SRAM Racing coincides with Hannah Barnes’ departure with the 28-year-old moving on to the newly formed women’s squad at Uno-X Pro Cycling Team. Barnes has spent the six years at Canyon, having joined in 2016. Like Roy, she’s looking forward to the future but will take on a role that balances leadership and captaincy when it comes to helping the younger riders on the team.

“They contacted me in April. I know that’s early to be thinking about teams, but I had a really good phone call with the general manager and it sounded good,” she told Cyclingnews.

“I liked the sound of a new project and having a number of young riders and who were coming into the sport and developing was exciting. I used to be one of the young ones and now I’m one of the veterans but I like the idea of the development.”

“I’ve been happy here but I’ve heard really good things about the men’s team and the organisation around it. I think that there might be some leadership roles, along with some mentorship with helping the younger riders. Hopefully I can pass on some of my knowledge. 

"I’ve been on Canyon-SRAM for six years and I was here when that team started but we already have a WhatsApp group going for next year and the team has been really supportive. Jos just did the Hour Record and everyone was really supportive and cheering her on. Even though a lot of us have never met before it feels like we’re a really good unit.”

The Women’s Tour will lead the British rider into the national championships, which take place later in October. It’s been a long season, and many of the riders at the Women’s Tour are still feeling the effects of a brutal Paris-Roubaix Femmes but Barnes is determined to end the year on another high.

“The form is OK. It’s October, so it’s hard to know but I felt okay on Sunday but then it hit me quite hard .... There are a lot of people in the peloton in the same way though. Hopefully I go well in the next few stages, head into nationals and finish the year well,” she added.

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.