This weekend sees Velo Project Women’s Cycling Team get their China campaign underway with the Tour of Zhoushan Island I. In what can only be described as a fantastic sign for the future of women’s cycling, Mike Greer Homes Women’s Cycling are also embarking on their first European campaign in their history.
The team will feature a host of riders who already have pedigree on the UCI circuit. Included in the team are Jenna Merrick who comes to Europe on the back of being crown U23 national time trial champion in Napier, taking second place at Gravel and Tar along with the best young rider classification at the Herald Sun Tour. Niamh Fisher-Black gained valuable European experience last year that culminated in a strong performance at the UCI World Road Championships in Innsbruck. Hannah Bartram recently took second place in the U19 road race and time trial at the Age Group Road National Championships, while Libby Arbuckle was third in the U23 women’s TT in Napier.
Previously a handful of Mike Greer Homes Women’s Cycling riders have individually ventured over to the global cycling capital of the world to take their opportunities racing against some of Europe’s best in some of the most intense racing environments. This year though, the team will be heading over with nine riders to tackle racing in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Racing begins with the SwissEver GP Cham-Hagendorn, a UCI 1.2 race on the 26th May and from there will be followed by the UCI 2.1 Lotto Thuringen Ladies Tour, a race that has previously been won by New Zealand world and Commonwealth time trial champion Linda Villumsen. Last year the race was won by former world TT champ Lisa Brennauer for the second year in a row ahead of the likes of Ellen van Dijk, Lucinda Brand and Coryn Rivera.
Belgian & Dutch racing will kick off with the Salverda Omloop van de Ijsseldelta on 8th June before the Dwars door de Westoek one-day race, the SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour and the Belgian kermesse scene leads to a brief reprieve before the final big stage race of the season at the Tour de Feminin in the Czech Republic from 11th-14th July. Last year’s race saw Rushlee Buchanan – then of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling – finish 10th overall while supporting teammate Leah Thomas to overall victory.
The riders lining up for Mike Greer Homes Women’s Cycling’s inaugural European campaign are: