CANYON//SRAM Racing announce today its roster for the five-day stage race OVO Energy Women’s Tour from 13 to 17 June. Sporting a special edition design across its bikes and kit for the five days, the team will line up with a roster of Alena Amialiusik, British sisters Alice and Hannah Barnes, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, German road champion Lisa Klein, and defending champion Kasia Niewiadoma.
The UCI Women’s WorldTour race will start in Framlingham, Suffolk on Wednesday 13 June and for the first time in its history will venture into Wales with the final stage finishing in Colwyn Bay on Sunday 17 June.
Since the first edition in 2014, the race leads the way on the women’s calendar with exciting stages, prize money parity, exceptional media attention and thousands of fans lining the course. It has quickly escalated to be one of the most popular races for many teams and riders. Read what each of CANYON//SRAM Racing’s riders has to say below.
Current German road champion Lisa Klein, will have her first race back after breaking her collarbone four weeks ago in a training crash:
“I’m lucky that I had a really successful surgery. I could immediately start on the trainer with Zwift and after 12 days I had my first ride outside. It hasn’t been the optimal preparation for the tour, but I have been training hard, I feel good and I’m really motivated.”
After collecting two podiums at the latest UCI MTB World Cups, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will race her first OVO Energy Women’s Tour:
“It’s the first time for me at this tour and I can say I’m excited because everyone says it’s one of the best organised races on the calendar. I haven’t raced on the road since the Ardennes classics so I’m really looking forward to being on the road with my teammates again. My goal for this tour is to try to win a stage and for sure help my teammates for the GC or stage wins.”
Alena Amialiusik, who was forced out of last year’s tour with a broken pelvis:
“I’m feeling in great shape. I’d like to go for a stage win and to help my teammates have a successful week. It’s one of the biggest races, with a lot of fans out on the course cheering for us and people watching from all over the world. I hope our special edition kit brings even more attention to women’s cycling. Thanks to our partners who have made it possible!”
Alice Barnes seized her first win for CANYON//SRAM Racing last week at Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour:
“We will be racing on roads around where I grew up riding my bike and have a lot of fond memories. It will be really nice to see friends along the routes cheering for us. The stage three finish in Royal Leamington Spa will bring back good memories for me where I finished second last year. This stage is always really exciting with some tough steep climbs finishing in a reduced bunch sprint.”
Hannah Barnes, who took third on the general classification in last year’s tour said she is hoping to improve on her performance this year and is the hometown favourite for the British race:
“I’m looking forward especially to stage two as it’s my ‘home’ stage and I know a lot of people that will be coming to watch. When you race all over the world, it’s nice to race on some familiar roads. I think our team has good chances for a successful week, with many of us capable of winning stages. If I can add to that or improve on my place in the overall, then that would be great.”
Despite being defending champion, Kasia Niewiadoma did not have the tour on her initial race program. Niewiadoma soloed to victory after a long-range breakaway on the opening stage last year, and her subsequent commanding lead on the general classification was never overtaken. Yet, the 23-year-old Polish rider doesn’t feel weight on her shoulders to replicate her win:
“I saw the stage profiles and I can say that they are going to hurt! It’s a demanding and unpredictable race and I love this. I have decided to race again because of these hard stages which I believe will help me to get into better shape before the Giro Rosa. I love all of the fans along the roadside and I have amazing memories from last year! I’m coming into this race with no pressure and no expectations on myself. It will be pure racing for the team. At the moment, I feel happy and complete on my bike and that’s all that matters!”
The team’s special edition design for the tour, based on Rapha’s Women’s 100 kit, will be seen across its Canyon bikes, Zipp wheels, Rapha kit, Giro helmets and Boa dials.
“The new design is really pretty and very unique! It already draws a lot of attention from our supporters and fans and I hope it creates even more! I feel like most of the women who will see this kit will be inspired to get on their bike to feel the beauty of cycling! This would be cool because the more women on the road riding the better it is for the development of women’s cycling!” added Niewiadoma.
Follow the OVO Energy Women’s Tour with #OVOWT and #UCIWWT and watch daily highlights on ITV, Freeview, Freesat, Virgin Media and Sky (UK), SuperSport (South Africa), Sky (New Zealand), KSWESE (Africa) and worldwide on SNTV.