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Team BikeExchange brings back Alexandra Manly and Georgia Baker

Georgia Baker (Team Garmin Australia) wins stage 4 of Santos Festival of Cycling
Georgia Baker wins the final stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling in 2021 (Image credit: Sarah Reed)

Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly have signed with Team BikeExchange for the next two seasons, turning their focus from the track and returning to the road with the familiar Australian squad.

Both of the Australian riders, who represented their nation at the Tokyo Olympic Games on the track, have raced with the team in the past – the 25-year-old Manly for five seasons up to 2019 and the 27-year-old Baker in 2017.

“With Alex, she had other targets on the track over the last couple of years which will have helped her to improve and develop her riding characteristics in many ways,” general manager at Team BikeExchange, Brent Copeland, said in a statement.

“She has achieved top results in her career since the junior level and we are looking forward to seeing what she can do next year back on the road.”

“Georgia has matured as a rider over the past years on the track and we believe we will be able to help her grow even more. It’s very important for us that she already knows some of the riders and the staff members, this will facilitate her and us into this new chapter of our journey together. She has lots of track experience and her characteristics can give us different options during the year in various races.”

The TeamBike Exchange women’s squad had a large group of riders to replace for 2022, with Grace Brown, Jess Roberts and Australian champion Sarah Roy moving on to other teams, while Lucy Kennedy retired along with Janneke Ensing. The squad has already announced the signing of Kristen Faulkner from the USA, Australia’s Ruby Roseman-Gannon, Dutch rider Nina Kessler and Singaporean Chelsie Tan Wei Shi. 

Manly, who was born in the Western Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie, said it felt right to be returning to the team that had helped her develop over the years.

“I will keep in touch with the track, but it won’t be what I prioritise,” said the rider who in 2019 won the World Championships Points Race and Team Pursuit, as well as the Commonwealth Games Team Pursuit in 2018. 

”I want to focus fully on the road and see what I can achieve. I am most looking forward to being back racing regularly and chasing some new goals with the girls.”

Baker is a four-time national track champion who also won the Team Pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and at the World Championships in 2019 plus stage four of the Santos Festival of Cycling at the start of this year. The Tasmanian plans to race at the Commonwealth Games next year but said the road will be a priority.

“I’m honestly unsure what to expect next season, I don’t have a huge amount of experience in the Women’s WorldTour Peloton, but I’m looking forward to the new challenge and learning lots to contribute to the team success,” said Baker.