The evolution of the Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team
The Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team has made some exciting announcements with regards to new athletes who will be joining the team in 2019. Sophie Wright was the first announcement and joined the team with immediate effect. She already impressed in her first stage race, finishing sixth overall in Giro della Toscana and second in the young rider classification.
Following Wright’s announcement were the additions of Nikola Nosková and Leah Thomas. This was preceded by the contract extension of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig who will take a leadership role next year.
“We’re going through the evolution of the what we’ve been working on with our partners and that’s to have a very professional platform to develop athletes to the next level,” team manager, Thomas Campana, explained. “When we refer to development, it’s not necessarily a young athlete, it’s older athletes coming from other sports too. They enter our organisation to receive professional support to become a better cyclist, but also to live healthy lives, learn how to be professional in the media, how to run their social media accounts. This is what we offer to committed athletes.”
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Lotta Lepistö have led the team the past four seasons and will be leaving having now been developed to a world-class level. Moolman-Pasio has become one of the most consistent riders in the world and ranked as high as third in the UCI Rankings. Lepistö won her first professional race with the team on the way to becoming a sort after sprinter these days. These success stories are what the team stands for Campana said.
“It’s time for these athletes to go to the next level and reach a new platform to conclude the development they’ve started with us on a bigger scale. Some riders who are leaving have been with us for 4 – 6 years and have been developed into world-class athletes and they’re now moving into structures where they can find new challenges to reach new goals. Our main work will always be one of the teams who help athletes become more professional in all areas of life and cycling.”
Both Uttrup Ludwig and Emma Norgaard Jørgensen will have added responsibility next season as they take the next steps in their careers. Campana says this is a sign of how the team runs a multi-generational plan. “When a generation leaves like is the case now, we already have the next generation ready to step up and take responsibility. It’s a four to six-year plan that we’re running. The mission is completed with a generation moving on to bigger teams but already we have the next generation stepping up”
The team will be making more announcements in the coming weeks with athletes who’ve identified the platform the team provides. There is a great demand from young riders who want to build a future with the team. “In life, the respect of your work has to come from people outside your organisation, that’s how you know if you’re doing a good job. This is exciting,” the team manager said.
Campana added that the rate at which women’s cycling is developing, it’s important to have organised structures between the financially bigger teams, the smaller teams, and junior teams. “It’s very important that the UCI and the world of cycling gives support towards a healthy structure of team set-ups in the Women’s World Tour.”
In conclusion, he added, “We’ve created something unique. We’ve had success on paper but for me it’s more important to have great athletes with great character. That’s our mission and it’s not going to change.”