CCC-Liv announced Wednesday that they signed Soraya Paladin to their roster for the 2020 season. The Italian all-rounder is eighth in the world ranking and hopes to develop her strengths in both one-day races and stage races with guidance from Marianne Vos and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio.
"I am extremely pleased with the contract with CCC-Liv," Paladin said in a press release. "For me it is a big step and I just can't wait to race with the women who already achieved many successes in the big races.
"Undoubtedly, I can still learn a lot from top-ranking riders like Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Marianne Vos. The manner of racing at CCC-Liv appeals to me. There is always a close-knit team that launches the attack as one block. In my opinion that's the key for success.
"The ambitions appeal to me and I am happy that I may be part of this team starting next year. My purpose is to develop myself further as a rider and to contribute to the success.”
Paladin, 26, spent the last three seasons with the Ale Cipollini team where she has made a name for herself as one of the top overall contenders. This year she stood on the final podiums at Emakumeen Bira (3rd), Vuelta a Burgos Feminas (2nd), Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (2nd) and Tour de Yorkshire (3rd). She was also ninth overall at the Giro Rosa, where she finished in the top 10 during seven of the ten stages. She was also fourth at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and fifth at Amstel Gold Race.
The team already includes top performers Vos, who won four stage of the Giro Rosa and La Course, and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. With the addition of Paladin, CCC-Liv will bring even more depth to the highest level of women's racing in 2020.
CCC-Liv's general manager, Eric van den Boom, said they had taken notice of Paladin's results since the start of the season and had been hoping to sign her for 2020.
"We have had Soraya in our sights for some time," Van den Boom said. "This whole season she is constantly reaching a high level in big races. She was in the top five in the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but also finished closely in stages and overall standings in major races like the Emakumeen Bira, Giro Rosa and Tour of Valencia. Soraya is an enrichment for the team. With her we can even be more prominent in the finals."
CCC-Liv have not yet announced whether they have applied to be among the new top-tier of women's teams set to happen next year as part of the UCI's women’s cycling reforms. There will be a two-tier system - WorldTeams and Continental teams - whereby the top level will have automatic invitations to the WorldTour events. These teams will also be held to a higher financial requirements such as minimum salaries for their riders, along with other social insurances.
Team that have announced that they have applied to be WorldTeams are Ale Cipollini, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope and WNT-Rotor.