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The Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies women’s squad will look quite different in 2016 as the American pro team will feature all new riders, except one: Jasmin Glaesser. Otherwise, the orange-and-black team brings on nine new riders, including notables such as Emma White, a two-time silver medalist in the junior races at Richmond worlds, and cyclocross talent Elle Anderson.
“It has always been a dream of mine to race for this team,” said White. “I couldn’t be more excited to be on the same team and race with some of the strongest women in the sport. I look forward to gaining new experiences and growing as an athlete, teammate, and overall person in the coming year.”
In addition to White and Anderson, Canadians Kirsti Lay, Katherine Maine, and Sara Poidevin will join the Optum outfit. The team also adds all-rounders Jessica Prinner and Heather Fischer, time trial specialist Hannah Ross, and sprinter Erica Allar.
“Our team has always been dedicated to the development of athletes in North America,” said performance director Jonas Carney. “The 2016 season will continue this tradition. The team is excited to place a renewed focus on developing some of the best young female cyclists in North America. Providing opportunities to up-and-coming riders is an important part of growing the sport of women’s cycling.”
He added that the team’s primary goals will be USPRO TTT, criterium, time trial, and road race championships, as well as the WorldTour races in California and Philadelphia.
Optum Pro Cycling women’s 2016 roster
Erica Allar, Tucson, Arizona
Elle Anderson, San Francisco, California
Heather Fischer, Boulder, Colorado
Jasmin Glaesser, Coquitlam, British Columbia
Kirsti Vivian Lay, Montreal, Quebec
Katherine Maine, Ottawa, Ontario
Sara Poidevin, Canmore, Alberta
Jessica Prinner, Saint Charles, Missouri
Hannah Ross, Wichita Falls, Texas
Emma White, Delanson, New York