Team Virtu has continued its recruitment for the 2018 season, announcing the signing of Katarzyna Pawlowska. The 28-year-old joins from Boels Dolmans on a one-year contract after four years with the Dutch squad.
A triple world champion on the track, Pawlowska hasn't raced since the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche where she won the first two stages of the race. Along with her Polish time trial title, Pawlowska was also involved in Boels Dolmans' TTT win at the Healthy Ageing Tour earlier in the season.
"You can see lots of potential in the team. It's new, but it's already working well and I think it can get even better really fast. It's rare you can become part of a new team and help develop it and see how good it can be," Pawlowska said.
Also announced to be joining the team from 2018 is Barbara Guarischi, Emilie Moberg and Katrine Aalerud.
Along with the likes of Linda Villumsen, Pawlowska adds time trial power to the squad and is aiming to improve the team's strength against the clock.
"I hope we can go well together and create a strong team where we can show ourselves as a unit - ride together and win together," she said. "If we have a goal as a team, it's much easier to win races - and so I think we can do well in the team time trials."
In 2018, Pawlowska is also aiming for a strong spring classics campaign having only started her season in March this year due to track commitments.
"I have always wanted to do well in the spring classics, but it has been difficult since I have been injured this year and last year I was with the track team," she explained. "I look forward to it, because it will be some new races for me. And of course, I'm also looking forward to the Polish championships."
For sports director Carmen Small, Pawlowska is a key signing for the new season, explaining the versatile rider will improve the squad and believes that in turn can lead to more victories.
"Kasia has had her troubles with injuries this year, but her results and especially those she made this summer speaks for themselves. When she is feeling well, she is among the best, and she can make her mark both in the sprints and on the ITT. She can be really valuable for the team in 2018," Small said. "She has a lot of experience and can help teach the younger riders find their top level. I think it's important to have a well-rounded team, where riders can learn from each other, and we will see everyone improve personally and as a unit. Kasia will be a leader in the team and she is also able to set a precedence of being a professional rider."