TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, a US-based UCI Continental team, have strengthened their roster with six new signings including WorldTour talents Tanja Erath, Eva Buurman and Eri Yonamine. The American outfit announced a roster of 13 riders that also includes US cyclo-cross national champion Clara Honsinger in 2021.
"In Eri and Eva, and Tanja, we have added strength and depth for the varied European races that we will compete in, and I think their aggressive racing style will work really well within our team. Tanja also adds significant Zwift experience to the team which will be especially useful for our esports calendar," said team owner Linda Jackson.
Erath won the 2017 Zwift Academy and joins the team from Canyon-SRAM. Yonamine is a five-time Japanese national champion and a top-20 finisher at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and joins the team from Alé BTC Ljubljana. Buurman is one of the strongest up-and-coming climbers and joins the team after spending two seasons with Boels-Dolmans.
TIBCO-SVB also welcomes US cyclo-cross national champion Clara Honsinger, Maddy Ward, and Emma Langley to the squad in 2021.
During cyclo-cross season, Honsinger races for Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld Pro Cycling and also had several top-five results on the 2019 World Cup circuit. On the road, she was 11th overall at the 2019 Colorado Classic.
Ward got her start with the UCLA collegiate team in 2016, and three years later finished top 20 in two stages of the Colorado Classic. She also competes in cyclo-cross and gravel.
A former triathlete, Langley had a strong domestic road season, finishing seventh at US Road Nationals, sixth at Joe Martin Stage Race, and fourth at Redlands Bicycle Classic Yucaipa Road Race.
"Clara, Emma, and Maddy are all up and coming US riders with tons of potential, and I'm excited to help them with the next stages of their development," said team owner Linda Jackson.
TIBCO-SVB announced the return of their core group of seven riders that include Diana Peñuela, Sarah Gigante, Kristen Faulkner, Emily Joy Newsom, Lauren Stephens, Nina Kessler, and Leah Dixon, who have all extended their contracts for 2021.
TIBCO-SVB had a strong presence and focus on virtual racing during the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of racing this year. Stephens won the overall title of the Virtual Tour de France and Dixon won the overall of the V-SERIES Women's Tour, along with strong performances from Gigante and Faulkner.
Stephens went on to a remarkable series of top-10 finishes in her revised Women's WorldTour campaign, which began after nearly five months of dominating Zwift racing. She won the overall title at the Tour de l'Ardeche, and finished 10th at Brabantse Pijl, sixth at Gent-Wevelgem and ninth at the Tour of Flanders, which was the team's final road race of the season.
"The 2020 season has been unusual, to say the least, but I am proud of the way the team adapted to the challenges faced," said Director Sportif Rachel Hedderman. "With the successes in virtual races and the performances in both classics and stage races, the condensed season turned out to be a really good one for the team."
Jackson acknowledged that competing during the revised calendar in Europe, during a pandemic, was not easy for the athletes, many coming from outside of Europe.
"Everyone that went over to Europe, riders, and staff, had to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival and self-isolate, quarantine when they went home," Jackson said. "For some, that meant four weeks of rigid quarantine to pursue their goals."
TIBCO-SVB are planning for a comprehensive race calendar for 2021 that will include supporting Yonamine's, Gigante's, and Stephens' Olympic Games ambitions.
The team will target both the Women's WorldTour racing calendar and the major North American UCI events, while gravel and esport races will remain a fixture on the 2021 schedule.
"This is an ambitious calendar, and, to achieve success in both physical and virtual racing, it was critical to keep our core 2020 team together,” Hedderman said. “The strategic additions of Eri, Eva, and Tanja strengthen our European and esports rosters.
Jackson said that the team will focus on the continued development of Honsinger, Langley and Ward.
"Maddy, Emma, and Clara are all tremendous talents that will benefit from working alongside our experienced road riders,” Jackson said.
“One significant upside of not being a WorldTour squad in 2021 is that we can provide opportunities like these for these talented women who are the future of our sport."
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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