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Urska Zigart to Mitchelton-Scott in 2021

IMOLA ITALY SEPTEMBER 26 Urska Zigart of Slovenia during the 93rd UCI Road World Championships 2020 Women Elite Road Race a 143km race from Imola to Imola Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari ImolaEr2020 Imola2020 on September 26 2020 in Imola Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Urška Žigart rides during UCI Road World Championships in Imola for Slovenia (Image credit: Getty Images)

Urška Žigart has left her long-time team Alé BTC Ljubljana for a new one-year contract with Mitchelton-Scott in 2021. The Slovenian time trial champion hopes to continue her development with the Australian team, looking to make her mark within the squad’s climbing group, according to a team press release.

“It was a pretty big decision to change teams after all these years. BTC City Ljubljana has been my home since I started cycling and I am so grateful for them for helping me to get to know the world of cycling and racing. Now I feel like it’s the right time for me to step out of my comfort zone, broaden my horizons and take on challenges with a new, foreign team," Žigart said.

“I’ve always looked up to this team, their winning mentality, but also relaxed, family-like feel. There are so many talented riders and staff that I can’t wait to learn from, so when I got the opportunity to join this team, I didn’t have to think too much."

Žigart is the second Slovenian to join Mitchelton-Scott following last week’s extension of compatriot Luka Mezgec, and the third new signing for the women's team after Arianna Fidanza, and Teniel Campbell.

“I’ve always heard Luka [Mezgec] say only good things about the team. He’s happy here, he said the atmosphere is great, everything is properly organised and functioning well in the team, so I was never questioning my decision to join Mitchelton-Scott," Žigart said.

“I am good on the climbs and in stage races so I want to work on that even more, along with improving in hard, hilly one-day races. Also I’ve always liked time trialling but I feel like I lack something in order to be good at it, so I want to improve this. Mitchelton-Scott has always been good in all of these types of races, so I am sure that I can develop well here next year through helping the leaders and learning from them.”

Žigart has raced with versions of the Alé BTC Ljubljana team since 2015. She has had top-10 performances at the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas and Tour de l'Ardeche.

“Urška joining our team brings great pleasure to us all. We feel that Urška can be of great support in the climbs which is an area of the team we have been wanting to invest in," said team General Manager Brent Copeland.

“We believe that Urška stepping up to WorldTour level will definitely bring out the best of her and we believe that both she and the team still need to understand where her limits are. As with all the riders on our team we will give the support that is needed to help Urška reach her goals.”

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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.