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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, September 23, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Georgia Williams joins EF Education-TIBCO-SVB

The team sent me this release:

EF Education-TIBCO-SVB are delighted to announce that Georgia Williams has signed with the team. The New Zealander has a decade of experience racing in the professional peloton and excels in the hilly classics, stage races, and time trials.

Georgia Williams in 2018

Changing teams was not originally on Georgia’s radar but as she spoke more and more with the team, she found herself excited by the idea. A new team would mean new opportunities, both as a racer and as a leader.

“Going out of my comfort zone, trying something new, a challenge and something exciting. It was really enticing,” Georgia said.

Not only was Georgia impressed with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB’s management, she appreciated the team’s trajectory.

“The vision of the team, the goal of becoming a top-five WorldTour team, and how they saw me fitting in the team as sometimes a domestique and sometimes a leader, it was all really cool,” Georgia said. “I have almost ten years’ experience and I’d love to pass it on. If I retired in the next few years and didn’t get to pass it on, it’d be a waste. To have worked my way up and to now be able to be a mentor like past riders have been to me, that’s really special for me. On the road, I’m not only looking for opportunities for myself. I love to be a domestique and work for others. I get such satisfaction out of that. I talked to Linda and realized this team would be something good for me.”

Linda Jackson, the founder and owner of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, was equally excited to sign Georgia.

“Our main priority for next season was to hire a rider that had the personality and the desire to be a mentor to the incredible talent that we have on our team. Someone that is not focused solely on getting results for herself, but someone that had a genuine interest in mentorship. As soon as I talked to Georgia, I knew we had a good fit. She has a lot of experience and I think she is as excited about her role on the team as we are. Georgia will play a vital role in helping us grow into a top-five WorldTour team in the next few years.” 

The 29-year-old has been racing bikes since she was a teenager, first coming to the sport through the track when a national talent ID program discovered her engine. She had been a cross country runner but permanently swapped her running shoes for cycling cleats when her early experiences training on the track showed promise. To complement her track racing, Georgia picked up road cycling and discovered she had an aptitude for that as well. After racing on the track at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics, she was ready to focus full time on the road.

​​”I’ve just loved road cycling since then. I’ve never wanted to go back to the track. I liked the track but I felt like I was done with it. I made it to the Olympics and also to the Commonwealth Games on the track. New chapter, the road. Now the question is: can I make it to the Olympics on the road?”

While Georgia has an eye on the Paris 2024 games, she is eager to get the 2023 season underway.

“I want to start the season quite well in Australia just because it’s close to home and I have the New Zealand national championships so I’d like to be in good form for those races. Then I’ll fly to Europe and be good for the hillier classics like Strade Bianche, Trofeo Binda, and all the Ardennes races. They’re really fun for me,” Georgia said.

In addition to loving one-day races, Georgia has proven that she is a strong and consistent stage racer.

“I’m pretty flexible. I like time trialing. That’s a strength of mine. I’m good on the flat and I can also climb decently well. I’m versatile.”

Her versatility has earned her a silver medal in the road race and a bronze in the time trial at successive Commonwealth Games, four time trial national titles, a pair of road race national championships, and top ten finishes on stages and one-day races in nearly every season of her career.

We can’t wait for you to kit up in pink with us. Welcome, Georgia!

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Team BikeExchange-Jayco signs young Ethiopian climber Welay Hagos Berhe

The team sent me this announcement:

Team BikeExchange-Jayco is delighted to confirm the signing of 20-year-old Welay Hagos Berhe on a three-year contract, as the Ethiopian steps up to the WorldTour with the Australian squad, after showing great potential racing in Europe at U23 and continental level.

The talented climber has demonstrated his pedigree while riding for a development team this season, and GreenEDGE Cycling believe that giving Berhe a structured three-year plan, with the right support and training, he can develop into a top rider of the future.

As Simon Yates continues as Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s general classification leader, developing upcoming climbing talent is a priority for team and with this, the squad is motivated to assist Berhe with his progression to the WorldTour and help him to learn and perform in the biggest races on the calendar.

Brent Copeland – General Manager:
“For us it is really exciting to be bringing Welay Hagos Berhe onto the team, we have seen his training files and performances in the races this season, and we believe we have found a huge talent for the future.

With the experience of the staff and riders we have on the team, we’re confident it will be the environment Berhe needs to step up. He will learn a lot joining the WorldTour and he is still a very young rider, so we are happy to have him join on a three-year contract. This gives us time to work with him closely and get the best out of him over the next three years. It will be an exciting challenge, he is ready and very motivated.”

Welay Hagos Berhe:
“I am so excited to join Team BikeExchange-Jayco. I truly believe this team will be perfect for me in order to keep growing and learning. I feel very proud and motivated for this new adventure and I can’t wait to begin. I am going to give all I have in order to make it a success and I hope to pay the team back for all the trust they are giving me.

"After speaking with the team, I straight away felt at ease with the performance group and also I had the chance to speak to Tsgabu Grmay, who will also be part of the team next year. I also spoke a lot with Michael Albasini who I know well, and he only had great words to say about the team and its environment.

"I still need to learn a lot in order to become the best possible climber, and I am convinced that at GreenEDGE Cycling I will find the best environment to do so.”

Welay Hagos Berhe
Date of Birth: 22nd October 2001 (20)
Nationality: Ethiopian
Joins GreenEDGE Cycling: 2023, 2024 & 2025

Top Results:
1st Mountains Classification – Istarsko Proljeće (2022)
7th Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Overall (2022)
7th Giro Ciclistico della Valle d’Aosta Stage (2022)
1st Ethiopian Time Trial Championships (2021)
1st African Continental Championships Time Trial – Junior (2021)
1st African Continental Championships Team Time Trial - Junior (2021)
4th African Continental Championships Time Trial - Junior (2021)


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Michael Leonard to turn pro with the INEOS Grenadiers

The team sent me this announcement:

The INEOS Grenadiers’ commitment to youth gathers further pace with the confirmation that exciting Canadian youngster Michael Leonard will turn professional with the team.

The 18-year-old, who is currently racing as a second year junior in Italy, hails from Oakville just outside Toronto. He has signed a three-year deal, up until the end of 2025.

2022 has seen him win eight races thus far, including the overall at Tour du Leman after an emphatic stage two victory. That sits alongside victories in the Memorial Paolo Batignani, Gran Premio Bermac Gara and Trofeo Sopegu, among others.

Leonard started out splitting his time on the road and the track but with a natural climbing ability and appreciation for time trialling, he now aims to grow as an accomplished GC rider of the future.

Leonard said: “It's really exciting for me to have this opportunity and I’m pretty proud of it because it suggests that people at the INEOS Grenadiers, who know a lot about cycling and GC riders, think I have the potential to do that in the future. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn in what I think is the very best team both in terms of riders and staff. The Grenadiers have a lot of experience in winning big races so I’ll get to learn from the best, which will be fantastic.”

Leonard added that the team’s riders – both former and current – played a role in his decision to join the team: “As a youngster I watched Chris Froome and in the current team I look up to Carlos Rodriguez. He’s followed a similar pathway to what I see as the dream for myself and this year he’s really broken out. To follow in his footsteps would be fantastic.

“Obviously for me the future goal is Grand Tours but outside of that a race I’d love to tackle is Il Lombardia which is probably the biggest race that a rider with my characteristics has a really good shot in. It would be a dream to be competitive in that one day as well.”

Deputy Team Principal Rod Ellingworth said: “Michael’s profile is certainly one that is really interesting, and he looks to have real potential. He’s very mature for his age, and the fact that he’s already spent so much time racing in Europe is really important. It’s also great that he has clearly been following our team closely, and the fact that he looks up to someone like Carlos bodes really well for us. We look forward to working with him and further unlocking his obvious potential. He’ll be joining a young but very exciting group of riders and has the potential to play a big part in our future.”


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Team Jumbo-Visma Women signs Kimberly Cadzow

Here’s Jumbo-Visma’s release:

Twenty-year-old Kimberly Cadzow from New Zealand will ride for Team Jumbo-Visma Women for the next few seasons. Cadzow signed a two-year contract, which means she will compete for the Dutch team in 2023 and 2024. Cadzow is the second of six new riders. Last week the team already announced Fem van Empel's arrival.

Cadzow first got on her bike five years ago as a triathlete. She achieved excellent results but discovered that she liked running less. As a result, her coach urged her to dedicate herself to cycling. Early in 2021, Cadzow switched from triathlon to cycling without any expectations. "I really liked it very quickly", Cadzow reflects. "After a few weeks, I rode my first race. It went surprisingly well."

That was in March 2021. A month later, Cadzow took third place at the national time trial championships. This year, she entered the pro peloton for the first time. Cadzow spent the spring and summer in Europe and is currently a cyclist for the British Team Torelli. The cyclist will relocate to Spain in 2023 to participate in Team Jumbo Visma's training and race schedule.

"I feel very welcome in the team and impressed by the professionalism", Cadzow says, based on her first meeting with the team. "The team is looking at the long term and that feels good. I'm getting the right guidance here and think I can make much progress here. I'm young and still lack some experience, but I have a strong sense of motivation", the New Zealand native continues. "I like to work hard and get the best out of myself. Heavier stage races suit me. Especially in the mountains I feel comfortable. I am looking forward to becoming part of the team. I'm eager to contribute to the team's performance and learn from the more experienced riders."

Esra Tromp, manager of Team Jumbo-Visma Women, and Rutger Tijssen, sports technical manager of the team, are excited about Cadzow's arrival. Tromp: "The values Kim showed during the various sports tests are promising. We are also very pleased with her personality and work ethic. We will carefully guide Kim because she has just recently started cycling, but I am convinced she will be an asset to the team."

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