Carmen Small has joined the Bigla Pro Cycling team for the remainder of the 2015 season. Small has been riding in the US with the TWENTY16 presented by Sho-Air for the first part but moves to the team with immediate effect. The switch allows Small, who recently won the Chrono de Gatineau at the start of June, more racing in Europe.
“This is a great opportunity to finish the year off strong by being able to compete in European races with one of the best teams in the world,” Small said in a team statement. “I could not pass up the opportunity, the team's goals and my personal goals line up very well.”
"It isn't without a feeling of sadness that I will be leaving Twenty16 presented by Sho-Air for the remainder of the season to race in Europe," Small said. "I have much gratitude and appreciation for the team and sponsors, they have been a tremendous support this season and I could not have been successful without all their help. I wish the team future success."
The announcement comes just a day after it was confirmed that Small’s US teammate Shelley Olds would be leaving the team after just half a season. There was no further explanation regarding Olds’ departure.
Small is twice a world team time trial champion with Specialized-Lululemon, she also claimed third in the individual event in 2013 - where she finished 28 seconds behind the winner Ellen van Dijk. Small left Specialized at the end of the season as the team struggled to find new sponsors. She recently claimed victory in the Pan American championships in May and went on to finish second to Kristin Armstrong at the US National time trial championships later the same month, and the team is hoping that she can help them to success in Richmond later this season.
The 35-year-old American made news recently when she took part in the men’s event in the North Star Grand Prix, riding for Elbowz racing, an experience she gained much from. “The experience riding with the men at NSGP was very rewarding and beneficial in many ways,” said Small. “At just a fitness standpoint I could not have had better training. I think I did bring some light onto women's racing and I hope I showed that we are at a very high level of racing. That said, I am more than excited to race with women again.”
Bigla are yet to announce Small’s first race for the team.