Women ride the transfer merry-go-round
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Women ride the transfer merry-go-round

by Ben Atkins at 11:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

There has been quite frenetic transfer activity in women’s cycling in the past few weeks, not least because of the loss of two of the sports biggest teams. Bigla and Flexpoint both ended sponsorship of their respective teams, and with no replacements found, both teams ceased to exist at the end of the season. Most of the prominent riders of both teams have found places in others.

Flexpoint riders two-time World champion Susanne Ljungskog and Trine Schmidt have both signed for South African team MTN-Energade, while Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel is reported to be in talks about ending her career with Leontien.nl. Loes Gunnewijk and Loes Markerink are set to join World Cup winner Marianne Vos at DSB Bank–Nederland Bloeit, and – as we have already reported – Iris Slappendel is to join the Cervélo TestTeam.

The highest profile transfer from the Bigla team is Italian time trial champion and double World Championship medallist Noemi Cantele who will join Columbia-HTC. Swiss champion Jennifer Hohl will join Skyter-Shipping (currently known as Equipe Nürnberger), while Swedish sprinter Monica Holler goes to Italian team Fenixs. Lithuanian Modesta Vzesniauskaite is crossing the Atlantic to join US team Colavita-Sutter Home.

As we have already reported, 2008 World and Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke has signed for Skyter-Shipping, Lizzie Armitstead leaves Belgain team Lotto-Belisol for the Cervélo TestTeam where she will be joined by compatriot Sharon Laws.

Joining Cooke at Skyter will be Angela Hennig and Tina Liebig from Vos’ DSB team in what could potentially be a straight swap for Suzanne De Goede and Charlotte Becker who are apparently leaving the Nürnberger team (Skyter to be) and in talks with DSB. Also leaving Nürnberger is young German Lisa Brennauer, who has signed for Norwegian based Hitec Products, and Marie Lindberg, who is set to join her Swedish compatriot Emma Johansson at RedSun.

Dutch rouleur Adrie Visser also leaves the DSB team to join Columbia-HTC, who has also signed American Route de France stage winner Evelyn Stevens.

There has also been a number of high-profile retirements at the end of the season, Olympic and two-time World time trial champion Kristin Armstrong hung up her wheels immediately after her fourth place in the Worlds road race in Mendrisio. Five-time Giro d’Italia winner Fabiana Luperini has also called it a day, as well as 2005 World champion Regina Schleicher of Germany. Dutch rouleur Chantal Beltman – World silver medallist from 2000 – “hung her bike in a tree”, as the Dutch say, immediately following the Holland Ladies Tour.


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