Cero – Cycle Division Racing Team rider Sian Botteley provides an overview of what are likely to be the main British domestic women’s teams this season.
With the coming season coinciding with an Olympic year and several top riders moving up to race on the continent, 2020 could provide an opportunity for young and upcoming domestic talent to shine.
Read our men’s team guide here.
On the men’s side of the sport, there are three tiers of professional UCI teams: UCI WorldTeams, UCI ProTeams and UCI Continental teams. The women’s side skips the middle tier, instead having 8 UCI Women’s WorldTeams and 44 total UCI Women’s Continental teams, two of which are British-registered: CAMS – Tifosi (the 2020 incarnation of the all-conquering Brother UK – Tifosi of 2019), and Drops, now in their 5th season at this level.
The 2020 season also sees three young riders joining the top racing tier. Anna Henderson joins Team Sunweb, Jessica Roberts leaves the British Cycling outfit Team Breeze for Mitchelton-Scott, and Elynor Bäckstedt steps straight out of the junior ranks to Trek Segafredo.
By far the most successful outfit on the domestic scene in 2019 was Brother UK – Tifosi, wrapping up the Tour Series overall win in convincing fashion as well as claiming victory in half of the National Road Series events, the National Criterium Championships, and frequently peppering the top 10 of just about any race they entered. This success has yielded the reward of stepping up to UCI level for 2020. There have been a couple of notable departures in Emily Wadsworth, who has moved over to NXTG Racing, a Dutch Under 23 UCI team, Annie Simpson, who takes a step back from racing but will remain with the team in a support role, and most significantly Anna Henderson, taking a deserved step up to the World Tour outfit, Team Sunweb.
In: Megan Barker (Drops), Grace Garner (Hitec Products), Natalie Grinczer (Bizkaia Durango), Jennifer Powell (Bianchi Dama), Katie Scott (Brother UK – OnForm), Jo Tindley (Campinese – VeloPerformance)
Extended: Rebecca Durrell, Jessica Finney, Illi Gardner, Charmaine Porter, Gabriella Shaw
Departing: Leah Dixon (Team TIBCO – SVB, also supported by the Wales Racing Academy, as she sets her sights on the World Tour and Commonwealth Games selection), Anna Henderson (Team Sunweb), Annie Simpson, Emily Wadsworth (NXTG Racing)
Drops remain at UCI level in 2020 and take on some great up-and-coming British talent in Elizabeth Bennett and April Tacey, who took 1st and 2nd respectively in the 2019 edition of the Curlew Cup (sister race to the Beaumont Trophy). Another notable signing is Emily Meakin, who spent 2019 gaining experience racing on the continent with Team Isorex.
In: Elizabeth Bennett (also supported by the Wales Racing Academy), Emily Meakin (Team Isorex), Maria Martins, Emilie Moberg (Team Virtu), Elise Marie Olsen, Sara Penton, Finja Smekal, April Tacey (Brother UK – Fusion), Marjolein Van’t Geloof
Extended: Anna Christian, Manon Lloyd, Joscelin Lowden
Departing: Grace Anderson, Elinor Barker, Megan Barker, Ellie Dickinson, Lizzie Holden (Bizkaia Durango), Abby-Mae Parkinson (Lotto-Soudal), Hannah Payton, Lucy Shaw
Based in the South West, Bianchi Dama have quickly risen over the last couple of seasons to be one of the most successful teams in the UK, boasting some excellent young talent and great climbers. This year we’re sure to see them having more success in the National Road Series as well as other disciplines. Georgie Panchaud has been seen not only flying up anything that goes uphill on the road but also balancing a successful career as a vet with ultra-endurance riding events.
In: Anneleen Bosma (Team LDN), Jazz Jones (Storey Racing)
Extended: Charlotte Colclough, Emma Cockcroft, Holly McMahon, Tasha Reddy, Bethany Taylor
Departing: Sarah King (5th Floor Racing), Jennifer Powell (CAMS – Tifosi), Alex Sheehan, Becky Womersley
LDN had an incredibly successful 2019 season, ever prevalent in the women’s team series, with great performances from Alicia Speake at a national level, including 5th at the Lincoln GP, becoming Masters Road Champion, several Tour Series top 10s, and a fine solo win in the Netherlands. Alicia has decided to focus on her career in law, taking a step back on a high after proving that she’s more than capable of mixing it with the best and gaining some great results. Now sponsored by Brother UK, the team are sure to build on their 2019 success this season.
In: Olivia Bentley (Vision Innovative Leisure), Harriet Dodd (Boompods), Lauren Higham (Liv – AWOL), Ione Johnson (Brother UK – OnForm), Molly Patch (Brother UK – Fusion)
Extended: Francesca Cutts, Liz Hughes, Amy Marks, Kerry Middleton, Dani Shrosbee
Departing: Anneleen Bosma (Bianchi Dama), Helen Ralston, Alicia Speake
Team Campinese VeloPerformace proceed into 2020 after a great first season. They have had great success in the National Series and Tour Series, with Elizabeth Bennett stepping up to UCI level after a year under the guidance of the Portuguese originating team. They’re sure to be looking to improve on their 3rd overall in the National Road Series in 2019.
In: Emma Edwards, Ellie Mackman, Daniela Campos, Abi Smith (RFDA), Abbie Manley (Hargroves Montezumas), Amy Gornall (Racing Chance Foundation)
Extended: Flo Thomas, Lucy O’Donnell, Soraia Silva, Fiona Hunter Johnson, Cristina Azevedo, Charlotte Berry,
Departing: Elizabeth Bennett (Drops)
Cero Wheels – Cycle Division
Cero Wheels – Cycle Division, formerly RST Cycle Division, is again for 2020 to be headed up by former track world champion Emily Nelson. Emily has long been branded as one of the best bunch racers in the world on the track and has clearly found it a breeze translating these skills onto the road, with convincing wins in 2019 in both the Rutland and Bourne CiCLE Classic races. They also boast one of the strongest junior women’s line ups for 2020, including Emily’s younger sister Josie and Alice Towers. Previous incarnations of the team have seen several riders propelled up to the professional ranks across both genders, including Gabriel Cullaigh (Movistar), Jessica Roberts (Mitchelton-Scott) and Joey Walker (current National Criterium Champion). The team, managed by the experience of Daryl Harvey and Mark Botteley, who along with daughter Sian, move over from OnForm, will be looking to build on previous success across the National Road Series.
In: Sian Botteley, Holly Hoy, Jess Woodworth (all OnForm), Sam Fawcett (Lovelo Squadra Donne), Amelie Wayte, Lucy hart, Lotta Mansfield (all CPS)
Extended: Emily Nelson, Phoebe Martin, Alice Towers, Josie Nelson, Lucy Buckley
Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy / Team Inspired
Formerly known as Team Breeze, Inspired is the road outfit for British Cycling’s female academy riders, having previously shared its name with British Cycling’s HSBC UK Breeze programme, aiming to get more women riding bikes. Guiding a huge amount of talented riders to worldwide success on both the track and the road, many of their riders have, or are sure to in the future, represent Great Britain at the Olympics on the track, as well as progress onto professional road teams.
In: Anna Shackley (Team 22)
Extended: Anna Docherty, Josie Knight, Amelia Sharpe, Ella Barnwell, Jenny Holl
Departing: Rhona Callander, Jessica Roberts (Michelton Scott)
The Liv AWOL team, comprised primarily of u23 and junior riders, have gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years, providing a great pathway from youth racing up to senior level. The team has an excellent core of riders that regularly compete at the top domestic races as well as UCI races abroad, giving their riders valuable experience for later in their careers. [Note: Only the team’s senior riders are listed below]
In: Cecilia Hime (St Ives CC), Lydia Watts (Team OnForm)
Extended: Emily Ashwood, Hannah Bayes, Emily Bridson, Zoe Brookes, Charlotte Broughton, Hannah Gravney, Connie Hayes, Savannah Hewson, , Victoria Lovett, Elizabeth Marvelly, Clover Murray, Louise Scupham, Rosie Wallace, Poppy Wildman
Departing: Imogen Chastell (Flamme Rouge), Lauren Higham (Brother UK – LDN), Harley Pell (Hargroves – Montezumas), Isabella Torrie
Headed up by women’s racing advocate Victoria Hood, the Jadan team over the last few seasons have created a great pathway for younger riders stepping into the senior ranks. Other than a sponsor change from Weldtite to Cyclespace, there’s no news on the 2020 roster. We’ll keep you updated when we hear more.
Storey Racing, headed up by multiple Paralympic champion Sarah Storey, in 2019 proved an incredibly successful springboard for young up and coming talent. Elynor Bäckstedt left Storey for UCI WorldTeam outfit Trek Segafredo in 2020, and Amy Monkhouse has joined Spanish team Bizkaia Durango. Sarah partnered with Skoda to form the Skoda Cycling Academy, imparting her wisdom to young and less experienced riders with the potential opportunity to race for Storey Racing team in 2020. There is little news about the team for 2020 but we’ll keep you updated when we hear more news.
Team Boompods based in the North East but with riders from all over the country have added a breadth of young yet experienced talent to their roster for 2020. With many of their riders juggling university studies with their racing careers, the team has seen great success with many of their new riders representing their universities on the track scene.
In: Isabel Darvill, Maddie Gammons (both Datalynx Paranesis), Frankie Hall (DAP CC), Jenny Holden (Campinese – VeloPerformance), Gaby Homer (Brother UK – OnForm), Lauren Watson
Extended: Jenn Batey Haug, Hannah Farran, Amy Graham, Lauren Humphreys, Hannah Larbalestier, Ellen McDermott, Nikki Meltcalfe
Departing: Olivia Fawcett, Becky Longthorp, Charlotte Redden, Sarah Walker, Rosie Walsh
Torelli have been seen far and wide in recent years. The team is headed up by Tony Orrell, a stalwart figure of the women’s cycling scene who has taken dozens of riders over to the continent to gain experience on the UCI scene. Often recruiting guest riders for these trips to expand the base of riders he can provide an experience to, Torelli for 2020 have a great breadth of talent on their roster with experience at a high level.
In: Holly Breck, Georgia Bullard (Brother UK – Fusion), Isabel Ellis (Andy Schleck Cycles), Amelia Harper (London Dynamo), Jayati Hine, Elise Maes (Andy Schleck Cycles), Roisin Lally (CPS), Alice Lethbridge (Kingston Wheelers), Caoimhe O’Brien, Caitlin Peters (Storey Racing)
Extended: Ellen Barker, Lydia Boylan, Autumn Collins, Dierbhle Ivory
Departing: Niamh Fisher-Black (Bigla-Katusha), Jennifer George, Ohla Kulynych (Ciclotel)
Brother UK – Fusion
Sadly 2019 was to be the final season of the Brother UK – Fusion team, a highly respected team that has been a pillar of the women’s scene for several seasons. Unlike the demise of other teams primarily due to a lack of sponsorship for the coming season, Terry Williamson at Fusion was met by the offer of increased funding from Brother UK. However, with key riders leaving for various reasons spanning business pursuit and travelling overseas, Terry was met with the enormous task of largely rebuilding the team from scratch. It’s a great shame that Brother UK – Fusion will be absent from the women’s peloton this season, however many of their riders have achieved great things that the team and its supporters can be very proud of.
Featured photo: David Hares