22-year old makes step up to German team for 2018 season

Promising British rider Alice Barnes is to join German-registered Canyon-SRAM for the 2018 season.

Leaving Drops, where she has raced for the last two seasons, Barnes will join her sister Hannah on the team, forming part of what appears to be a very strong outfit for next season.

Barnes has had an excellent two years with Drops after switching to the road full time from mountain biking. She has notched up five Women’s WorldTour top tens as well as a number of other notable results throughout this year.

In June she narrowly lost a battle with her sister for the tag of best British rider tag at the Women’s Tour, though arguably her most notable result came in July when bagged her first UCI victory at the BeNe Ladies Tour.

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There, not only did she out-sprint Marianne Vos (WM3 Energie) to win a stage, she finished second in the general classification, 23 seconds behind the Dutch multiple world champion.

“This year I have had some great opportunities to ride for myself to ride for myself, but I believe for me to move forward I have a lot more to learn,” Barnes said.

“The staff and riders are very experienced and they can teach me a lot. I have always admired the way that they work as a unit and are always working towards one goal.

“I am really excited to join the Canyon-SRAM line up.”

Barnes is one of four new signings that the team has announced for next year. 21-year-old German champion Lisa Klein will join from Cervélo-Bigla, and stagiaire Christa Riffel will graduate to a full time contract having recently competed for the team in late season races.

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However, the biggest signing is of former Polish champion and Women’s Tour winner Kasia Niewiadoma from WM3 Energie. The 22-year-old’s climbing strength will see her lead the team in events such as the Giro Rosa and the Ardennes Classics, where she finished third in all three races this year.

Though Canyon-SRAM have consistently finished well in top level races, often lighting up the events with aggressive, exciting tactics, they finished the Women’s WorldTour season only fifth in the team classification. With only only two top level wins all year, and with current sponsorship agreements thought to expire at the end of next season, victories will be important in 2018.

The need for success was accentuated on Monday when Movistar, who also ride Canyon bikes, announced their women’s team for next year.

A member of the British Cycling elite women’s team, Barnes will ride in the road race at the upcoming World Championships which start this weekend in Bergen, Norway.