After a successful first year at Team BikeExchange in 2021, Urška Zigart has signed a one-year contract extension. The 24-year-old joined the Australian team in 2021 from Alé BTC Ljubljana and enjoyed a full calendar of WorldTour racing.
She also took her maiden European professional victory with a stunning solo win on stage 4 of the V Setmana Ciclista Valenciana-Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana Feminas in June. She backed that up with a string of impressive team performances in both one-day events and stage races.
“I’m very proud and happy to renew my contract with Team BikeExchange for another year. It’s been a year full of new experiences, which I’ll never forget, especially my first international win in Valenciana,” Zigart said in a statement released by her team.
Zigart admitted that the move to BikeExhange hadn’t come without challenges but the Slovenian has learned a great deal during her first year with the team.
“Coming here to Team BikeExchange was like coming into the wild, because I didn’t know anybody, how the team worked or how I’d fit in, but I was pleasantly surprised by everything. I’ve learned so much this year, on and off the bike. It helped me improve in so many aspects and I’m looking forward to keeping on working and carrying the momentum into next year.
“Everybody in the team helps me to bring out the best in myself and helps me with my weaknesses and I feel like I’ve found my place here. I love how encouraging everybody is, hardworking and professional, but also family-like and we all just enjoy what we do. Next year, there are quite a lot of changes coming, both new people and new sponsors who are bringing some freshness into the team. I can’t wait for 2022 and to see what we can achieve.”
Brent Copeland, the general manager of both the men’s and women’s squad, praised Zigart’s dedication and desire to move up the ranking and develop over the last 12 months.
“We are happy to have Urška with us for the upcoming season, we have believed in her since we first signed her, and she has proven to everyone that we made the right choice,” Copeland said.
“She achieved a great victory at this year’s Vuelta Comunitat Valenciana Feminas and she has been racing at a high level throughout the entire season in WorldTour races and honestly, I feel she can still improve a lot. With her determination, hard work and love for our sport, I don’t think we will be disappointed by her.”
BikeExchange have gone through significant changes during the off-season. Kristen Faulkner and Nina Kessler have signed from TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank, while neo-pros Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Chelsie Wei Shi Tan have also signed contracts.
Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly both returned to the team after stints elsewhere while Grace Brown has joined FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope. Jessica Roberts has gone to Coop-Hitec, Sarah Roy to Canyon-SRAM Racing, while Lucy Kennedy and Janneke Ensing have both retired.
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