An overview of what we know so far about women’s domestic road race teams and how they are shaping up for 2021. A similar overview for men’s domestic teams can be found here.
For international and UCI transfers and contract renewals, read our ‘2021 domestic transfers & renewals – women‘ page.
This is a ‘live’ post that will be updated as team news emerges. Note that it only includes UCI Continental teams, the GB Senior Academy and the first few elite teams so far. The other elite team squads will be added very soon.
Latest update: 20 February 2021
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. 2019 HSBC UK National Road Championships, Women’s Road Race – Norwich, Norfolk, England.
On the men’s side of the sport, there are three tiers of UCI teams: UCI WorldTeams, UCI ProTeams and UCI Continental teams. The women’s side skips the middle tier, instead having Women’s WorldTeams and UCI Women’s Continental teams.
Last year, two British teams were registered at UCI Women’s Continental level: CAMS – Tifosi (the 2020 incarnation of the all-conquering Brother UK – Tifosi of 2019), and Drops. These teams continue in 2021, joined by UCI Continental newcomers AWOL-O’Shea.
Drops will begin their sixth year at UCI level in 2021 with all of their 2020 squad, as well as three new exciting signings.
18-year-old Alice Towers joins the team to ride her first season at senior level, having made a brief stagiaire appearance with Spanish team Eneicat-RBH Global last year year. Meanwhile, accomplished road and track rider Maike van der Duin joins from the Biehler Krush Pro Cycling squad. Van der Duin sprinted to a silver medal at the European U23 Track Championships in Fiorenzuola D’Arda, Italy earlier this year. Last, but certainly not least, Dani Christmas joins from Lotto Soudal Ladies. The 33-year-old – who won the first edition of the Tour de Belle Isle en Terre – Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames (UCI 1.2) in 2018 – will add both experience and firepower to the squad.
Drops also bring in new sponsorship. Current partner, British performance clothing brand Le Col, step up their support as title sponsor, and are doubling down their investment having spent the past two years with the team developing some of the most eye-catching women’s kit in the pro peloton. Meanwhile, premium mattress and pillow brand, TEMPUR, joins as a new sponsor.
In: Dani Christmas (Lotto Soudal Ladies), Alice Towers (Cero – Cycle Division RT), Maike van der Duin (Biehler Krush Pro Cycling)
Re-signed: Elizabeth Bennett, Anna Christian, Joscelin Lowden, Maria Martins, Emily Meakin, Emilie Moberg, Elise Marie Olsen, Sara Penton, Finja Smekal, April Tacey, Marjolein Van’t Geloof
By far the most successful outfit on the domestic scene in 2019 was Brother – 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 Circuit Championships and frequently peppering the top 10 of just about any race they entered. This success yielded the reward of stepping up to UCI level for 2020, with the backing of CAMS under a three-year deal, providing the team with security throughout the pandemic.
The team bring in three new riders for 2021, including time trial specialist Hayley Simmonds, Kate Wootton from development team Brother UK – OnForm and Emma Edwards. Meanwhile, Grace Garner and Charmaine Porter have both retired.
In: Kate Wootton (Brother UK – OnForm), Hayley Simmonds (Ciclotel), Emma Edwards (Campinese – Velo Performance)
Re-signed: Megan Barker, Rebecca Durrell, Jo Tindley, Illi Gardner, Natalie Grinczer, Megan Barker, Clover Murray, Jessica Finney, Katie Scott, Gaby Shaw, Jennifer Powell
Departed: Grace Garner (retired), Charmaine Porter (retired)
Run by Pat Hayes, the AWOL set-up has created a new UCI Continental this year, replete with new co-sponsor O’Shea, that will run alongside the existing elite team, AWOL Worx (see below), which will effectively work as a development squad. With two new members of staff on board, both female riders with a wealth of experience on the continent (Megan Chard and Isla Rush), the team will no doubt have excellent representation across national events and UCI races, with a young squad made up of primarily under 23 riders.
Describing themselves as an ‘amateur team with elite ambitions’, the team has said it wanted to make the step up to ‘create a healthy, supportive environment for young women to realise their potential on the international stage’. The team hopes UCI status will afford it greater opportunity and greater freedom in race calendar selections.
The team moves six riders across from the AWOL Worx squad, including our 2021 journal contributor Charlotte Broughton. They are joined by seven new riders.
In: Hannah Bayes (AWOL Worx), Olivia Bent (Jadan – Vive le Velo), Charlotte Broughton (AWOL Worx), Autumn Collins (Weston Homes-Torelli-Assure), Amy Cundy (unknown), Alana Forster (StepFWD IT Suzuki), Hannah Graveney (AWOL Worx), Connie Hayes (AWOL Worx), Phoebe Martin (Cero – Cycle Division Racing Team), Elizabeth Marvelly (AWOL Worx), Caitlin Peters (Weston Homes-Torelli-Assure), Louise Scupham (AWOL Worx), Holly Waymark (unknown)
Elite and national teams
Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy
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.
New signings to the squad this year include our highly-talented journal contributor Abi Smith, as well as Sophie Lewis and Eluned King. Previous journal contributor Jenny Holl continues with the Academy along with Ella Barnwell, whilst several riders are registered with both the Academy and trade teams: Meg Barker, Jess Roberts and Amelia Sharpe.
In: Eluned King (Liv Cycling Club – Halo Cycles), Sophie Lewis (Team Flamme Rouge P/b Grenade), Abi Smith (Campinense – Velo Performance)
Re-signed: Ella Barnwell, Jenny Holl
On the Academy but also riding for trade teams in 2021: Megan Barker (CAMS-Tifosi), Jess Roberts (Mitchelton-Scott), Amelia Sharpe (NXTG Racing)
Departing: Anna Docherty (Isorex No-Aqua), Anna Shackley (SD Worx)
Pat Hayes’ development team continues, closely linked to the new UCI Continental team AWOL O’Shea (see above).
Re-signed: Emily Ashwood, Emily Bridson, Zoe Brookes, Savannah Hewson, Cecilia Hime, Rosie Wallace, Lydia Watts
Departing: Hannah Bayes (AWOL O’Shea), (AWOL O’Shea), Hannah Graveney (AWOL O’Shea), Connie Hayes (AWOL O’Shea), Victoria Lovett (I-Team Cyclists’ Club), Elizabeth Marvelly (AWOL O’Shea), Louise Scupham (AWOL O’Shea)
Bianchi Dama, based in the South West, have quickly risen over the last few of seasons to be one of the most successful teams in the UK, boasting some excellent young talent and great climbers. This year they hope to step up to be one of the new tier of British Cycling Elite Development Teams, planning a calendar based around the National Road Series, as well as strong representation in a selection of UCI races in Northern Europe.
Their eight-rider contingent from 2020 stays on with the team for 2021, bringing one further rider on board in Alderney Baker, another young talent with a proven record across both the road and cyclocross. Baker will join as a stagiaire later in the season.
In: Alderney Baker (Team Empella Cyclocross.com)
Re-signed: Anneleen Bosma, Charlotte Colclough, Emma Cockcroft, Holly McMahon, Jazz Jones, Georgie Panchaud, Tasha Reddy, Bethany Taylor
Founded in 2018 by Ian Watson & Drew Morris, Team LDN was set up to support and enable talented London-based cyclists to race at a national and international level, at some of the largest and most important races the UK has to offer.
The women’s team in particular has been a strong presence on the domestic scene and has been rewarded in 2021 with Brother UK stepping to be title sponsor. The team bring in two new signings, Lucy Lee and Ruth Shier, whilst Olivia Bentley departs to join the Spanish UCI team Vib Sports Natural Greatness.
In: Lucy Lee (Brother UK – On Form), Ruth Shier (Returns from maternity leave)
Re-signed: Francesca Cutts, Harriet Dodd, Lauren Higham, Ione Johnson, Amy Marks, Kerry Middleton, Danni Shrosbree
Departed: Olivia Bentley (Vib Sports Natural Greatness), Liz Hughes (Team Watto-LDN), Molly Patch (Unknown)
Brother UK – OnForm presents a mix of experience and youth for 2021. With a link to UCI Continental team CAMS-Tifosi, the team, managed by Mark Botteley, provides a pathway to the next rung of the racing ladder. This is demonstrated by Kate Wootton, who moves up to the CAMS-Tifosi team in 2021.
A number of riders re-join for 2021, with Sian Botteley, Imogen Chastell and Holly Hoy all returning to the team. Our journal contributor Chrissie Slot also joins the team to experience her first season riding at the national level. The team aims to target a wide range of races from the National Road Series races and the Rás na mBan in Ireland to regional level races allowing their younger and less experienced riders to learn their craft from their teammates.
In: Sian Botteley (Cero – Cycle Division), Abi Cooper (Bourne Wheelers), Leonah Ellis, Holly Hoy (Cero – Cycle Division), Laura Pittard (Team Vision Innovative Leisure), Chrissie Slot (IRIS Race Team), Becky Storrie (Watts Up Performance), Maddy Verdegaal (Poole Wheelers)
Re-signed: Maire Claffrey, Hannah Lancaster, Imani Pereira-James, Rebecca Richardson
Departed: Josie Griffin (Unknown), Lucy Lee (Brother UK – LDN), Kate Wootton (CAMS-Tifosi)
Crimson Performance’s women’s team hasn’t formally been announced for 2021, although we understand the majority of the 2020 squad will re-sign for next and will be joined by some fresh faces. The team will be revealed in March.
Unknown: Sophie Earl, Melissa Greaves, Gwenno Hughes, Jo Ryding, Sammie Stuart
Departed: Laura Tissiman (Clifton CC)