Loren Rowney joins Orica-AIS in 2016
With Velocio-SRAM closing its doors at the end of the season, Loren Rowney has joined the Australian Orica-AIS squad for 2016. The 26-year-old won stages at the Trophée d'Or Féminin and La Route de France this season along with several top-ten finishes.
"I've raced with, but mostly against these girls my whole career, so I feel the transition will be pretty smooth," Rowney said of joining the Australian team. "The team has such an awesome dynamic, quite often at races I find myself gravitating towards the Aussie table to engage in some banter.
"To say I'm pumped about finally being teammates with this crew is an understatement. I really enjoyed my time with Velocio SRAM, and learnt so much. I'm the professional I am today because of that team, however, there's always been a part of me that wanted to be on an Aussie team."
Rowney added she is looking to pursue more of her own opportunities from next season.
"Orica-AIS has always had a really aggressive approach in their racing style. I've always liked and respected that in their style of racing, so I look forward to testing myself more in those race situations where you just have a go and see what happens," she added. "For me I do best in a small break away, or reduced bunch at the finish. I really want to be good in the spring. The classics are my favourite type of race, so it's a big goal to have a good start to the year, go into races like Het Nieuwsblad and be at the pointy end of the race to contest the finish."
Sport director Gene Bates explained the team had been pursuing Rowney for several seasons and having finally secured her signature, is looking forward to see her development continue with the team.
"We are really pleased to be able to have Loren on the team next year, we've been looking at her for the last couple of years," Bates said. "Loren is a very versatile rider and we probably haven’t seen that come out in the last year or two. We think she has a lot more to offer than what we’ve seen. She’s had some good wins from small groups but also a top 20 at Het Nieuwsblad, which highlights her ability over a one-day classic."
Zaugg to IAM Cycling
After three seasons with Tinkoff-Saxo, Oliver Zaugg will move to IAM Cycling form 2016. The addition of the Swiss rider is the fourth for IAM Cycling who have previously added Leigh Howard, Vegard Stake Laengen and Oliver Naesen. The 2011 Tour of Lombardy winner has just 30 race days in his legs this season with a crash at the Tour of the Basque Country ruling him out of action for a large portion of the year. Zaugg's last race was the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian in which he recorded a DNF.
The 34-year-old will add experience to the team next season having ridden 12 grand tours and 11 monuments in his 12 year career.
"To sign this contract, at the end of the season, is great for me," said Groenewegen. "We were talking about this move for a while. When I grabbed my second victory everything went a little faster.
"t was a bit tough to get used to the high level of racing in the beginning, but I improved a lot after the Dutch national championships. I've been waiting for my first victory, and the successes came eventually."
Groenewegen won the Brussels Cycling Classic and Arnhem-Veenendaal Classic in the later-half of this season but is looking for success in the early spring classics in 2016.
"I want to develop in bunch sprints now," Groenewegen said. "I want to become a stronger and faster rider. I'll join a team with men who can teach me a lot. It will be very instructive to have Dennis van Winden around me, for example. He has a lot of experience and he can use that to support me. For now, I'm aiming for the spring classics. Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne suits me, so I want to show myself immediately in that race."
Karol Ann Canuel signs on for Boels Dolmans
Karol-Ann Canuel will ride with Boels-Dolmans in 2016 after two season with the Velocio-SRAM team. The 27-year-old joins several former teammates at the Dutch squad where she is looking to further develop her time trial skills.
"Boels-Dolmans was the only team I would have moved to from Ronny [Lauke's] team," Canuel said. "I'm excited to race again with Evie [Stevens] and Chantal [Blaak], who I raced with last year, and I'm super excited to be going back to Specialized.
"Before Velocio, I didn't know I could time trial," added Canuel. "When we did camp in Sweden last year, the team quickly realised I'm strong in the time trial. They picked me for the team time trial, and they helped me believe in myself. I've seen the biggest improvements in my time trial over the last two years."
"I've also learned a lot tactically. I think I'm better at reading races. Now I know what to do and how to do it. Boels-Dolmans is very strong tactically, and I'm excited to be a part of that and learn from the more experienced riders on the team."
Canuel won stages at the Gracia Orlova and Thüringen Rundfahrt along with the Canadian national time trial title and Velocio-SRAM's team time trial win at the Worlds and her time trialling talents where a main attraction team manager Danny Stam offering a contract which was duly accepted.
"I see two main places where Canuel can make the team stronger," said Stam. "She will add power to the team time trial, and she will also be important in stage races.
"From our talks and my observations, I believe Karol-Ann will fit into the team easily," said Stam. "She is a hard worker and a good teammate and a mix of confident and humble."
Eddie Dunbar moves to Axeon from NFTO
Irishman Eddie Dunbar will move across the Axeon development team in 2016 after spending this season with the British Pro-Continental NFTO team. 19-year-old Dunbar announced the move via Twitter, writing;
Delighted to announce that I will be joining @axeoncycling for 2016! Looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
Dunbar most recent race was the U23 Worlds where he was part of the day's main breakaway, eventually finishing in 108th place. With NFTO, Dunbar rode the majority of the British calendar including the Tour de Yorkshire, Velothon Wales, RideLondon and the Tour of Britain.
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